Google is planning to join the bandwagon of social platforms and Internet services which start setting their foot down on unauthorized nude photos by censoring them from their massive search engine.
This move is part of a new policy change that targets “revenge porn,” one of the most destructive forms of malicious practices in the online.
According to the announcements from Friday, people whose naked pictures have been posted on a website without their consent will be able to file a request with Google so those links will be prevented from appearing in the search results.
Censorship requests will be available in the next few weeks, as Google is still perfecting the form that will have to be filed out by revenge porn victims.
In the past, the tech giant has been known to deny any efforts of erasing online content from their searches, mostly because they wanted Google to show websites and image results based on relevance to one’s query.
With this libertarian judgement ruling over all searches, Google has become the world’s most dominant search engine; statistics show it processes almost two-thirds of all online requests of people looking for information.
However, the company decided it was wise to make an exception in the case of nude photos being published without consent, because a great majority of those are posted by revengeful ex-spouses or frustrated romantic partners. In some cases, it may also be about extortionists who won’t take the pictures down unless the victim pays a certain ransom.
Amit Singhal, Google’s senior vice president of search, wrote on Friday that it was time to establish a new policy for revenge porn images, because they expose the victim in a very personal way by degrading them and they do a lot of emotional damaging.
Statistically, women are more prone to being subjected to this kind of malicious behavior. Unfortunately, Google won’t be able to purge this practice from the Internet, as it has no authority over what other sites contain – even if it’s illegal or offensive content.
What Google hopes is that revenge porn will become less efficient as the content will be more difficult to find if it doesn’t appear in the search results. Similar policy changes were adopted by other heavily trafficked sites, such as Reddit, one of the most influent social forums.
Google also has previous attempts at prohibiting sexually explicit material, when earlier in 2015 it enforced a new policy on the publicly accessible sites in its Blogger service. The ban failed and was reversed days later as Blogger’s users complained about having their blogs censored with no warranties.
Image Source: Magnet Sites
A new study was published in Nature journal on the discovery of a compound that is so efficient that a single $1 dose may treat malaria and offer protection against further infection at the same time.
Researchers are positive that just one dose of the potential treatment might be enough to fight malaria infections in patients. Even more so, it can help the patients increase their immunity so they won’t be affected by the parasite again.
Lead researcher Kevin Read of the University of Dundee’s Drug Discovery Unit in the United Kingdom is hopeful their team will begin clinical trials of the compound within a year. Because these might take a while to prove the treatments’ success, the drug would only reach the pharmacist’s counter in another five to six years.
Read explained the compound disrupts the parasite’s process of synthesizing protein, no matter at what stages of life cycle the parasite is. Because the drug has the ability of remaining active in the body longer than other treatments, it can also become a preventing tool in protecting healthy people from contracting the illness.
A recent World Health Organization report showed that malaria is responsible for the deaths of more than half a million people each year; sadly, most of these victims are children under five years old. But this figure was doubled back in 2000, and medical research and prevention methods are the ones responsible for the drop.
The new challenge is fighting drug-resistant parasites, which seem to emerge in higher numbers than ever, pressing for innovative treatments that can continue to keep lowering the death rates.
The compound was discovered in 2010 in a study part of the Medicines for Malaria Venture. Since then, the DDD107498, as it was dubbed, has been a test subject along with dozens of other potential antimalarial compounds. The Malaria Venture represents a public-private collaboration in which the University of Dundee is also involved.
Read commented the DDD107498 is undergoing its final steps of preclinical safety testing, hoping that it will eventually be used as an antimalarial treatment fighting drug-resistant parasites.
One of the most important aspects of this compound is that it’s fairly easy to make, which means that the final product will not be as expensive as one would expect: merely $1 for a dose.
Malaria is one of the most difficult diseases to treat because the parasite causing it has a very complex life cycle; a drug that would be efficient in one stage, might be rendered useless in other.
However, the current chemical compound is expected to interact with many of the different stages, which is exactly what the drug industry needs right now. Bottom line is that preliminary work has shown promise for an end product, which will take some time to be perfected.
Image Source: Discover Magazine
One of the main arguments that critics used in opposing the legalization of marijuana use for medical purposes was that teen use would skyrocket. However, according to a new report, that’s far from being the case.
The article can be found in The Lancet Psychiatry, where a team of Columbia University researchers describe their observations after studying marijuana use of more than a million teenagers.
Participants from 48 states, ranged from grade 8 to 12, proved that over 24 years (1991-2014) legalizing medical marijuana did not have a discernible effect on teen use.
Study author Dr. Deborah Hasin, professor of Epidemiology at Columbia University Medical Center, New York, explained that the study’s findings are the strongest proof to date that states legalizing marijuana for medical purposes does not encourage more teenagers to start using.
Until now, she added, the states that passed medical marijuana laws had already have increased rates of adolescent marijuana use, compared to other states.
Instead of blaming these new laws for the early adolescence use of marijuana, concerned authorities should make it a priority to identify the factors that actually play a role, and prevent the long-term harmful outcomes.
There are, however, slightly higher drug use rats in states which have agreed to legalize marijuana, and teen use is also more common in those states since 2014, when the laws have been passed.
More than 15 percent of teenagers from these states said they used marijuana during the last month, and not for medical purposes. In comparison, there was a slightly lower percentage in the states where the drug is not legalized, where the number stood at 13 percent.
But these numbers seem to have remained the same – prior and after the marijuana legalization – as scientists found out when they got real close to the data they were interpreting. In the 21 states where medical marijuana is now legal, statistics show no increase (or decrease, for that matter) in teen use.
In the month before the law was adopted, 16 percent of teens reported having used marijuana, a figure which hasn’t changed when the same teens were surveyed after the legalizing of the proposal.
Researchers pointed out that this study had strictly focused on how medical marijuana laws affect teens, and recreation use laws were not part of the study’s conclusions. They only meant to assess the outcome of medical marijuana legalization and its influence on teenagers.
Image Source: Overpasses for America
According to a recent survey, almost half of bank workers witness elder abuse, and that’s why Crimestoppers, a charity from Essex, has partnered with Police Crime Commissioner Lindsay Whitehouse to raise awareness on the matter.
The members of the crime-fighting organization are promoting a new phone line that people can call anonymously and report an abuse of the elderly. The line is still in trials since its February launch, and it represents a joint initiative of the private and public department.
Initiators hope that having such a line will encourage people to not stay silent if they witness an abuse, whether it’s emotional, financial, physical or psychological. After testing it on a local level to see if it’s a success, Crimestoppers wish to expand the line’s range across the entire UK.
Today, June 15, people join together on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, and in honor of that, an advertising van will be touring Essex and raising awareness on the matter by handing out flyers and talking to people in each district over the next 10 days.
Crimestoppers’ campaign manager Ann Scott explained that elder abuse is not tied to certain locations; it can happen anywhere – in a hospital, at a bank, in a care home or even in the victim’s own apartment.
People who have knowledge of such incidents – be they regular or isolated cases – are encouraged to call the line. No personal details are requested from people who reach out, as the safe cover of anonymity is designed to ease people’s concerns that they might be traced or asked later on to give statements about the incident they reported.
Whitehouse added that such awareness campaigns are relevant and they mean to teach people how to spot the signs of elder abuse. Either calling the police directly or using this anonymous phone line, it doesn’t matter, as long as you help to put an end to it.
Abuse should not be tolerated in any form, but taking any kind of advantage of the highly vulnerable members of our society, who should be treated with dignity and respect, needs to be addressed more.
Gary Clinton, service delivery manager for Age UK Essex’s advocacy service, said that educating people on the matter is incredibly important, because there are many different strands of elder abuse. The service wants to help more people speak up against something that’s not right.
Image Source: Misteryous Days of Mysterious Life
Amazon Web Service introduces M4 to offer support to increased volumes of files.
Based on the recent announcements, Amazon Web Service launches M4 to facilitate workload for people who have to compute and use memory workloads at the same time. The new option will be a cloud-based service, so users can access it from various locations.
Amazon has decided to offer its users better work services in an attempt to obtain more market shares. The company announced on Friday that they will introduce a new cloud-based service called M4, which will soon be available on AWS Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).
The M4 service is meant to offer support to people who normally use large memory volumes and need to compute files at the same time. The company made an official declaration in relation to the upcoming launching event, but did not provide many details in relation to the new product.
Tech analysts have, nevertheless, managed to find out some of the specs that the future service may hold. According to their reviews, the M4 instance will feature 40 virtual cores and up to 160GiB RAM.
Unfortunately, only certain computer systems will be able to use Amazon’s new Web Service, namely those that work with the Intel Xeon E5-2676 v3 Haswell processor. The service has been purposefully designed to work only with this type of processors because they provide a 2.4 GHz – 3.0 GHz turbo boost capacity.
Among the little things that Amazon has specified in relation to the new service is the fact that the M4 instance of the Web Services allows users to joggle with multiple processes. The service offers full support to all sorts of applications by making them more accessible to users.
Enhanced Networking is one of the features that Amazon has most stressed about in relation to its new service. According to their description, the enhanced networking option can increase up to four times the delivery rate of online packages.
The M4 instance will be available starting today across retailers in U.S., Asia and Europe. The online sales platform suggest people to inform themselves before they purchase the new option as they may benefit of additional advantages. Clients in U.S., Asia and Ireland, who order the product will also receive discounts for On-Demand and full access to M3 and C4 for the next year.
Image Source: Gadgets gestures
Bronze Age Europeans had dark skin and blue eyes due to a DNA mutation.
A recent scientific research shows that DNA is responsible for lactose intolerance and white skin in Europeans. According to experts’ declarations, these traits appeared as a result of a DNA mutation which most likely occurred during the Bronze Age.
Scientists have followed different leads in order to understand the differences in point of physical traits occurring between Europeans and other cultures. They have thus found out that the large group of modern humans who have left Africa about 40,000 years ago have also headed towards north.
These people populated today’s territories of Europe, north, west and central Asia and they soon started to develop new physical characteristics. Several centuries later, these inhabitants no longer looked like their African co-inhabitants, but started to look more like the European populations we now know.
The exact DNA mutation occurred in the Bronze Age, so scientists have conducted a lengthy research to determine what happened back then. They have thus, found out that this was the period when European populations featured persons with dark skin and blue eyes for the first time.
Dark skin populations on the territory of Europe received blue eyes during the Bronze Age as a result of the OCA2 gene mutation. This modification might have been inherited from the European hunters of the Mesolithic as other populations in the area.
In addition to the light skin traits that Europeans had during the Bronze Age, scientists have also managed to identify possible lactose tolerance that inhabitants might have had back then. Further analyses have helped them discover that the Yamnaya population of Europe had problems digesting milk during adulthood.
Researchers were not able to identify the exact cause behind these population’s lactose intolerance. They presuppose that it has a lot to do with the milk being produced by cattle living in this region. Further evidence is required to prove that the milk that our Bonze Age ancestors consumed has led to Europeans’ lactose intolerance.
What is known for sure at the time being is that Europeans living in the Bronze Age already presented such a DNA mutation. This DNA mutation has further spread among populations and have eventually produced lactose intolerance and white skin in Europeans.
Image Source: Techtimes.com
Monstrous Galaxy Was Sighted
Recently, a big discovery was made when a monstrous galaxy was sighted by astronomers, in a very far corner of the galaxy, namely at a distance of 11.7 billion light-years. The so-called monstrous galaxy is moving quite fast and forming stars at a speed much faster than our own Milky Way.
Located in the constellation named Hydra, this new galaxy was observed with the Atacama Large Millimeter/sub-millimeter Array telescope, and this was only thanks to the fact that another galaxy that is is situated between them acted as a sort of magnifying looking-glass.
The galaxy that helped us make this discovery is located at a smaller distance, specifically of 3.4 billion light-years, but the problem was that the image was still unclear. As a consequence, two Japanese researchers from the Tokyo University together with the NAJO Institute, have worked at devising a special kind of gravitational lens that would allow us to get a better image.
Tamura and Oguri managed to improve the telescope, and with the new lens managed to spot the fast wonder, about which they affirmed that it constitutes a perfect example of a phenomenon named the Einstein ring. The phenomenon refers to a kind of giant object that would bend space and time.
With its help, they managed to use it as a lens provided by the Universe itself and channel the circle of light provided as an aid in their endeavor. This allowed to receive images that were so sharp, that scientists were able to detect small grainy clusters and possibly branches. Also, they spotted an array of dust clouds that at a distance of 5000 light years a and the special feature was that it was for the first time that such a galaxy was observed in fine detail.
This amazing discovery once again confirms the theories of Albert Einstein, according to which warps form around massive cosmic objects, basically a curve in the space and time continuum, a prediction that hadonly been mathematically been proven so far.
Image source: dl-digital.com
A new study suggests there is a link between creative skills and mental disorders.
A recent medical research has triggered the discontent of many psychiatrists after suggesting that creativity is a mental illness, scientists claim. The conclusion was reached after medical experts have closely observed the psychological behavior of creative people.
Scientists grounded their study on the belief that creative geniuses have always suffered from mental illnesses. Is the case of famous musicians, writers and painters, so psychiatrists wanted to find out whether there is a direct link between an individual’s artistic drive and his mental problems.
For that matter, researchers at the Harvard University subjected 86,000 Icelanders to a series of tests with the intention to compare their genetic data with their medical information. Statistics have shown that there is a strong link between creativity and mental illnesses for 25 percent of the respondents.
Based on the information provided by medical experts, the mental illnesses that are more often associated with creativity are schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. These two affections appear to be more often among people with high creative skills, than among individuals, who normally carry out non-artistic activities.
Psychiatrists have also provided a list of the non-creative activities to enable people to make a comparison. In their opinion, sales activities, farming and laboring duties are usually less related to creativity and, hence these individuals don’t run the risk of suffering from possible mental illnesses.
Scientists have further looked into the medical data of those respondents belonging to an artistic society. They have thus, discovered that people, who belong to these groups have 17 percent more chances of developing schizophrenia or other similar mental illnesses.
Kari Stefansson, the founder of the research group, told the press that the findings of the research were mainly grounded on the idea that creative people think differently. He further added that these people are usually labeled as crazy, strange and insane.
Some scientists have strongly contested Stefansson’s findings as, in their opinion, the study does not provide real explanations as to why these people should be labeled as such. Simply because these people think differently does not mean they are mentally challenged.
In addition, stating that someone is strange and unusual presupposes the existence of a ‘normality’ standard, whereas medical investigations can only say whether an individual is sane or not. If a person does not show signs of any mental illnesses it would not be fair to say that the respective person is ‘strange’ simply because it has been endowed with an artistic capacity.
Albert Rothenberg, professor at the Harvard University has been among the first to state that the study is not conclusive. He explained his beliefs by saying that people who belong to certain artistic groups and their works are usually judged according to non-creative criteria.
Moreover, the concepts of ‘creativity’ and ‘creative person’ are most of the time wrongfully understood as abstract notions, when, in fact, these may just as well account for very down-to-earth individuals, who simply use different thought processes. Rothenberg further suggested that medical researchers should rather focus on the identification of the thought processes that these people normally use.
Image Source: Turner.com
It is the age of cyber warfare, without any doubts. After the Chinese developed a cyber weapon which has surprised the security of some companies in the United States, called `the Chinese Great Cannon`, a recent attack targeted against the Office of Personnel Management, a governmental agency who keeps personal records of millions of US citizens threatens to represent the start point of a Chinese strategy of stealing information in order to boost its intel capacities and its cyber warfare. Now, another key factor in the security of the United States has been the target of a cyber attack. This time, it is about the official website of the United States Army, which has been taken down on Monday morning. And, as the authorities are still trying to figure out who exactly was responsible for the attack, some Syrian activists claim cyber attack over the official website of the US Army.
Following the cyber attack against the US Army website, a twitter account has shared information according to which the aggressors behind the drop of the official website would be a group of Syrian activists, who call themselves the Syrian Electronic Army.
The Syrian Electronic Army has already earned a reputation of being supportive and to the Syrian regime and having activities which aim at backing the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, who is the main protagonist of an international scandal over his legitimacy to power in the Middle Eastern country, that now has a civil war going on for more than 4 years.
The experts responsible for the security of the US Army website have tried numerous times to get the website back online, still their attempts failed and concluded with a “network error” message. Even if the US Army website was down on Monday afternoon, the other websites representing different arms of the Pentagon, like, for example, the Navy official website, were functioning in a proper way.
Officials talking on behalf of the US Army have announced that they have taken down the website, as its homepage was severely affected by the cyber attack.
“The Army took appropriate preventative measure to ensure there was no breach of Army data,”
Army Brig. Gen. Malcolm Frost has commented on the matter.
This cyber attack is another in a series of attacks targeting key factors of the United States security and data storage. Officials have warned that it is a top priority to improve the defense mechanisms of the US cyber warfare.
Image Source: The Register
The Varroa Mite parasite is responsible for a 42 percent bee mortality rate.
White House officials have declared themselves worried as the Varroa Mite parasite kills honeybees by mimicking their smell. A new study claims the Varroa Mite parasite is responsible for almost 42% deceased honeybees determining authorities to take measures for the protection of the honey-producing insects.
The honeybee population in America is now threatened by a powerful parasite, based on the findings of a recent research conducted by the Michigan State University. According to the experts who have carried out the experiment, a new parasite, named Varroa Mite, has the ability to infiltrate itself among bee swarms and silently kill them.
Science professors at the University of Michigan have carefully analyzed the behavior of the said parasite and were thus, able to identify the strategy that the insects use to smoothly kill bees and other insects. Based on the data presented in the journal of Biologic Letters, the honeybee ectoparasite is capable of changing its cuticular hydrocarbons and reproduce certain specific traits of their victims.
Honey bees are incredibly sensitive to smell. They rely on this particular sense to find flowers and to engage in the pollination process of the respective plant. Smell is also frequently used by honey bees in order to distinguish themselves from the rest of the insects.
The Varroa Mite parasite has found the soft spot of the bees and is using it to destroy bee swarms. Around 42 percent of the U.S. bee population has been killed since the beginning of the year, as scientists were not able to effectively fight against the parasite.
Scientists have used parasites collected from populations of European bees and transplanted them among Asian bees in order to observe the modification process. They have noticed that the Varroa Mites began changing their cuticular hydrcarbons as soon as they were inserted in the new group.
More specifically, the European microorganisms began mimicking the smell of the Asian honey bees to successfully mingle themselves within their group. The group of pollinating insects has been fooled into thinking that the invaders were legitimate members of their ‘society’. Once infiltrated, the parasites began killing bees from inside their group.
The mimicking behavior of the Varroa destructors is all the more alarming for scientists as these microorganisms also develop physical resemblances with their victims. Researchers did not manage to find effective solutions to prevent the parasite from spreading.
Future studies and experiments will most likely focus on the natural and artificial ways experts may use to stop Varroa mites from multiplying. They will most likely rely on the techniques that have been used during past pest threats.
The Asian bee populations have been the most affected by the deceiving parasites. During the 1940s and the 1950s, the killing bugs were also found among the European populations of honey bees. The parasite was first identified in the U.S. in 1987, but their presence is now more threatening as many honey bees die each year as a result of the Varroa Mite attacks.
The White House has become directly involved in the fight against the killing microorganisms. The new national strategy that officials proposed in the month of May aims to reduce honey bee mortality to 15 percent.
Image Source: Lazy BFarm