Classically trained pianist Holly Bowling reimagines Phish on solo piano.To say that pianist Holly Bowling is a big fan of Phish is a bit of an understatement.Bowling, a classically trained pianist who began playing at the age of five, has attended over 300 Phish shows. Her passion for the music of the Vermont based masters of jam has spilled over into her latest musical project, a collection of fifteen classic Phish tunes reinterpreted for piano entitled Distillation of a Dream: The Music of Phish Reimagined for Solo Piano.Phish fans will revel in the solo piano treatment given to tunes like “Harry Hood,” “Waste,” and “Fly Famous Mockingbird.” Even more impressive, though, was the attention Bowling gave to the transcription of three live cuts, “Twist,” “The Wedge,” and a 37 minute “Tweezer” from the Lake Tahoe show in July of 2013.Yes, you read that right. Every note of a 37 minute “Tweezer,” painstakingly transcribed and played on solo piano. Never before has obsession so easily slipped into a maniacal beauty.I recently caught up with Holly Bowling to chat about that epic “Tweezer” and how I might get my wife to dig Phish a bit more.BRO – You’ve been to 300+ Phish shows. Favorite show of all time?HB – My favorite show is always the next one I’m going to! But I think my favorite show I’ve seen has to be 7/31/13, just for the Tahoe “Tweezer” alone. There are shows that are more complete, but the Tahoe “Tweezer” is the highest musical peak I’ve seen Phish attain, and that carries the show for me.BRO – I can’t get my wife to listen to 37 seconds of a Phish tune. You transcribed a 37 minute “Tweezer” for piano. Is there still time to help my wife “get” Phish on that level?HB – There’s definitely hope! I’ve heard from several people that Distillation of A Dream is a good way to get people into Phish who don’t “get it” yet. It’s sort of a hidden agenda with this record. You throw on this solo piano album around your family, your girlfriend, your coworker, whoever . . . and maybe they’re into it without realizing what they’re listening to. They ask you what it is and you tell them, “Ha! You’re listening to music by Phish right now and you like it!” Try it out on your wife and let me know how it goes.BRO – As a classically trained pianist, you are well familiar with the composers most of us know – Bach, Beethoven, Mozart. How do the guys in Phish stack up in comparison?HB – Oh, man. I can’t stack composers up against each other like that. But I will say this – as different as they are, I’ve had moments where Phish’s songwriting has taken me to the same inward place as listening to Bach’s “Goldberg Variations,” and I’ve felt the same blissful rush of energy and loss of self while playing Beethoven’s “Waldstein Sonata” that I am always chasing at Phish shows. So they’re both able to achieve IT, and that’s what matters, as far as I’m concerned.BRO – Put together your favorite setlist for me.HB – For me, a perfect set is less about song selection and more about where the songs go once they break away from the composed structure, but my favorite songs in a live setting are “Tweezer,” “Ghost,” “Piper,” “Sand,” and”Twist,” especially the way they have been playing it this summer!! That would be a really solid five song second set right there. If I really get to design a completely unrealistic dream setlist, though, it would start with “Soundcheck Jam” and end with a “40 Minute Anything.” Maybe I’ll throw in a triple encore with with two songs I’m still chasing – “All Things Reconsidered” and “Izabella” – and top it off with “Sanity.”BRO – Page turns up sick and the band calls you to fill in. How quickly are you on the plane?HB – That would be the happiest day of my life. I’d be out the door so fast, I might even forget to put pants on.Holly Bowling will be in Colorado and California over the next couple weeks before returning to the East Coast for shows in New York and Vermont at the end of the month. For more on when and where you can catch Holly live, please check out her website.Make sure you check out Holly’s rendition of “The Squirming Coil” featured on this month’s Trail Mix, and if you are interested in ordering a copy of Distillation Of A Dream, point your browser here.
Following a plea challenging the environmental clearance granted to the Chardham highway project, the National Green Tribunal on Wednesday constituted a oversight committee to look into the issue.A Bench headed by NGT Chairperson Adarsh Kumar Goel said that the independent committee will consist of representatives from the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), the Forest Research Institute and others.The directions came while the green panel was hearing a set of pleas challenging the construction of the Chardham highway project, stating that the project will have adverse environmental effects.
Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jan 3 2019If teen partner rape could be predicted, it could be better prevented. Social scientists from Michigan State University are helping close that gap by identifying risk factors linked to sexual violence in young women’s first relationships in life.”There’s this idea that sexual violence doesn’t happen in relationships – certainly not in young women’s first relationships – which is absolutely not the case,” said Angie Kennedy, associate professor of social work and lead author. “We wanted to examine the most severe forms of sexual violence – rape and attempted rape – to better understand the specific risk factors linked to partner rape among young women. Our results can be used to inform prevention and intervention efforts aimed at reducing sexual violence among young people.”Kennedy and colleagues interviewed 148 college-aged women between the ages of 18 and 24 who experienced partner violence in at least one prior relationship. To get a diverse sample, the researchers recruited participants from a university, a two-year college and community sites serving low-income young women, including a county health clinic and a transitional living program.In the interviews, the researchers asked the young women to talk about all of their partner relationships, starting with their first relationship, which began when they were around 15 years old on average.The results, published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, showed consistent risk factors for partner rape across the three groups of women. During their first relationships, lower socioeconomic status, being of a younger age, and higher levels of physical abuse and coercive control predicted sexual violence. Key risk factors across all of the young women’s relationships include a greater age difference between them and their partners, as well as physical abuse and coercive control.”Rape or attempted rape in a relationship isn’t typically an isolated incident. It’s usually connected with other forms of abuse or coercion,” Kennedy said. “Young age and higher age difference between adolescent girls and their male partners may make them more vulnerable to experiencing abuse, particularly partner rape.”Related StoriesComplement system shown to remove dead cells in retinitis pigmentosa, contradicting previous researchResearch on cannabis use in women limited, finds new studyBridging the Gaps to Advance Research in the Cannabis IndustryThe researchers also found differences in the rate of sexual violence across the three groups.While young women from the university group had a higher rate of partner rape in their first relationship, their rate dropped significantly over the course of all of their relationships in comparison to the two-year college students, who experienced an increase in partner rape over the course of their relationships. These results suggest that experiences with partner abuse, much like the three groups of young women, are diverse.”We shouldn’t assume that young women are all alike in terms of what they go through, or that experiences are consistent across all relationships. For prevention and intervention efforts to work, we will need to take this diversity into account,” Kennedy said.Past studies tended to focus on sexual assault as it relates to college campuses. Kennedy’s research, however, focuses on young women’s first relationships as well as all of their relationships over the course of adolescence and emerging adulthood; it’s also the first to compare these different groups in terms of their experiences with partner abuse.”Most college-aged sexual assault research focuses on residential colleges and universities where there is dorm life, drinking on campus and co-ed living,” Kennedy said. “But there are more than 5 million students enrolled at two-year community colleges in the United States and even more who don’t pursue a higher ed degree. We need to get beyond four-year institutions and learn more about these other groups’ experiences with partner abuse.”The researchers’ next steps include examining young women’s disclosure of physical and sexual partner abuse, as well as the role of labeling and stigma in shaping mental health outcomes associated with abuse. Source:https://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2019/what-predicts-teen-partner-rape/
Source:http://www.hss.edu/ Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Mar 13 2019Low-risk patients undergoing a total hip replacement with a posterior approach can skip the standard hip precautions currently recommended for post-surgical recovery, according to a new study conducted at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS), in New York City. Eliminating standard precautions in this population did not increase the risk of hip dislocation, according to the research presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, March 12-16 (abstract #140).”The majority of patients we see are low risk; 90% of patients probably qualify for minimized precautions,” said Peter Sculco, MD, the study’s lead author and an orthopedic surgeon specializing in hip and knee replacement at HSS.In the last ten years, surgeons have started favoring the anterior approach (through the back of the hip) for total hip replacement over the posterior approach, because it doesn’t involve standard hip precautions. Little data, however, backs the standard hip precautions recommended for the posterior approach. For a posterior approach, standard precautions are not flexing your hip past 90 degrees, not internally rotating your hip more than 10 degrees, using an elevated seat cushion at all times and a grabber for anything that is on the ground, and sleeping on your back for six weeks.”The precautions can be limiting and cause fear in patients,” said Dr. Sculco. “Sleeping on your back is very uncomfortable for many people. You often hear from physical therapists that patients are relieved when they can finally cross their legs and sleep on their side.”The literature showing that hip precautions make a difference in hip dislocation is poor. “The current precautions are based on hip replacements done 25 years ago, and we have changed a lot in terms of improving how we do hip replacements that has given us more confidence in the stability of our hips,” said Dr. Sculco. “Our understanding of the dynamic movement of the pelvis and how we put the parts in is much different. The quality of our soft tissue repair and closure at the end of surgery is much more robust.”When patients are on stringent precautions, they are not as active, which can hamper recovery. “If you minimize the hip precautions in an appropriate way, patients focus more on their mobility and recovery and less on the fear of how they turn their leg ten degrees,” said Dr. Sculco.Related StoriesTransobturator sling surgery shows promise for stress urinary incontinenceAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaBordeaux University Hospital uses 3D printing to improve kidney tumor removal surgeryIn the new study, researchers retrospectively reviewed all patients undergoing a posterior primary uncemented total hip replacement (total hip arthroplasty) from January 2014 to June 2016 at HSS. Surgeons had the choice to put patients on standard precautions or a pose avoidance protocol, to avoid a single pose, a flexed external rotation position that occurs when a person puts on their shoe or shaves their leg. A total of 1,311 patients met the inclusion criteria for the pose avoidance cohort, and the minimum followup was six weeks. Researchers then matched patients 1:1 in this group to a historical cohort of patients based on age, gender, and body mass index that were treated with standard posterior hip precautions.Within the first six postoperative weeks, six dislocations occurred in the pose avoidance group (0.46%) compared with seven in the matched group (0.53%), a difference that was not statistically or clinically significant. “Our results suggest that the standard postoperative precautions in patients undergoing total hip arthroplasty through the posterior approach without known risk factors for instability are unnecessary,” said Dr. Sculco. “We may find that precautions don’t make sense for any of our patients, but we need to look at in a stepwise fashion.” Risk factors include neuromuscular issues, such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease and lumbar spine fusions.The study was limited in that it is not a randomized controlled trial, usually the gold standard for dictating a change in practice. “The bottom line of the study is in recent years, we have learned more about interventions that matter after joint replacement and those that don’t really have efficacy. In most patients, we got rid of powerful anticoagulants, for example, and we are moving toward a shorter stay and even outpatient arthroplasty for total hip replacement,” said Dr. Sculco. “Minimizing precautions and simplifying the postoperative recovery is part of the larger simplification of surgery where we are using more selected resources and interventions for people, instead of blanketing everyone with the same kind of protocols.”Dr. Sculco noted that there is an increasing demand for hip replacement in the United States. “In 2010, there were 310,000 hip replacements in the United States and that number is increasing. Its probably 350,000 if not more now,” said Dr. Sculco.
Citation: Rail industry says key safety technology not due until 2020 (2018, February 7) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-02-rail-industry-key-safety-technology.html © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. In a Feb. 20, 2014 file photo, Metrolink Director of Operations, R.T. McCarthy, demonstrates Metrolink’s implementation of Positive Train Control, (PTC) at the Metrolink Locomotive and Cab Car Simulators training facility in Los Angeles’ Union Station. The railroad industry is downplaying expectations that a safety technology that could have prevented recent deadly train crashes will be in operation across the country by the end of the year. Officials at rail industry trade associations now say they view Dec. 31, 2018, as the date by which railroads must qualify for an extension of as much as two more years, not the ultimate deadline. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File) Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Railroad safety: Few likely to meet deadline for technology The railroad industry is playing down expectations that a safety technology that could have prevented recent deadly train crashes will be in operation across the United States by the end of the year. Indeed, freight and commuter rail officials speak as if there never was any plan to complete their work on the technology known as positive train control, or PTC, by Dec. 31.Congress required in 2008 that railroads adopt PTC and gave them seven years to do the job. When it became clear that wasn’t enough, Congress gave them another three years. The discussion then was that a few railroads might need even more than three extra years, and provisions were added to the legislation to allow railroads that showed substantial progress, but couldn’t meet the new deadline, the ability to obtain extensions of up to two additional years.Officials for the trade associations representing the seven major freight railroads in the U.S. and the nation’s commuter railroads now say they view Dec. 31 as the date by which railroads must meet several PTC milestones to qualify for an extension, rather than the ultimate deadline.The Transportation Department has little choice but to grant the extensions as long as railroads meet the milestones, said Kathryn Kirmayer, the Association of American Railroads’ general counsel. One milestone is that freight railroads have PTC in operation on half their route miles where it’s required.”By the end of 2020 is the absolute deadline everybody has to have it installed and implemented, which means operating everywhere they are required to have it operating,” she said.Members of Congress expressed frustration with railroads backing off this year’s deadline.Congress never intended the extensions be used “to allow railroads that have dragged their feet to just blow off the mandate,” said Rep. Peter DeFazio of Oregon, the House transportation committee’s senior Democrat. Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida, the Senate commerce committee’s senior Democrat, said, “Every railroad should be taking the recent deadly train accidents seriously and doing everything they can to meet the 2018 deadline.”Reports filed with the Federal Railroad Administration show some railroads have nearly completed their work, while others have made little progress. Randy Clarke, the American Public Transportation Association’s vice president for operations, said three or four of the nation’s 27 commuter railroads have already received extensions past Dec. 31 and more extensions are expected.”We are actively working as an industry to get everyone to the milestones necessary for extension or to completion,” he said. “We know not every agency is in the same place and some have more complications than others.”The National Transportation Safety Board has said the technology could have prevented a collision between an Amtrak train and an out-of-service CSX freight train on Sunday near Cayce, South Carolina, and the derailment of an Amtrak train in December near Olympia, Washington. Five people were killed and dozens more injured in the two crashes.Amtrak has said it will complete its work on PTC by Dec. 31, but its trains often operate on tracks owned by other railroads.Sarah Feinberg, who led the railroad administration under President Barack Obama, drew a distinction between large freight railroads and smaller commuter railroads that often struggle for funds.”The freight industry should be embarrassed by the way they’ve approached the PTC mandate and deadline, and the Congress should be embarrassed for letting them get away with it,” she said.But industry officials said the obstacles to developing PTC systems are underappreciated. It took many years just for the railroad administration to develop standards and then to approve systems that meet those standards, Clarke said.Despite some federal aid, commuter railroads have had a hard time scraping up the money for the technology.”We’re public transit agencies. It’s not like we have a surplus of money lying around,” he said.Mike Rush, vice president of freight rail group, estimated that freight railroads will ultimately spend $10 billion implementing PTC, and commuter railroads about $3 billion.Other challenges have included acquiring wireless spectrum, taking locomotives out of service to install hardware and software, installing communications towers along tracks, and competing with other railroads for the services of the handful of specialized contractors able to install the systems, Clarke said.”You don’t have a lot of available (contractors), and everyone is trying to hit the deadline at the same time,” he said. “We don’t have a surplus of money and the technical challenges are immense, especially on the larger, more complicated railroads.”
© 2018 AFP In global markets the price of cobalt, a mineral used in batteries for high-tech products from iPhones to Tesla electric cars, has nearly tripled to $81,500 a tonne in two years. The largest producers include Jinchuan Nonferrous Metals Corp., Huayou Cobalt, Jiangsu Cobalt Nickel Metal and Shenzhen Green Eco-manufacture Hi-tech which each have annual refined cobalt production capacities of over 7,000 metric tonnes. “The production of refined cobalt in China has grown 20 percent. At 62,000 tonnes, it accounts for 60 percent of global output,” Darton Commodities said.Benefits?But how much do the people of Congo benefit from the boom?”Today the world’s biggest seller of cobalt is China,” said Congolese economist Musha. “The product clearly does not benefit the Congolese economy.”The cobalt sector has attracted widespread criticism from NGOs for use of child labour, hazardous working conditions, corruption and theft.Artisanal miners accounted for between 14 to 16 percent of the 80,800 tonnes of cobalt mined in the country last year, according to the London-based Darton Commodities, a specialist firm dealing in the metal.The DRC would like to refine its minerals but has run into problems, notably infrastructural glitches like erratic power supplies.There is some prospect of change.The government last year signalled its intention to reform its 2002 mining code, which was seen as favouring foreign investors at the expense of the local economy.It wants to ensure the repatriation of at least 40 percent of the revenue of minerals sold for export, and increase the fiscal take from “strategic minerals.”At present, the state levies a tax of two percent on non-ferrous metals—copper and cobalt—which is based on the value of sales, from which some costs are deducted.The current draft of the revised plan—now in the hands of President Joseph Kabila—sees this rising to 10 percent.Shareholders in big mining corporations with interests in DRC have written to Kabila to express their concern, hoping that this version of the law will be revised, according to industry sources in Kinshasa. The sector has attracted widespread criticism for the use of child labour, hazardous working conditions, corruption and theft A man digs through some mine waste searching for left over cobalt near Kolwezi Electric car market jumpstarts cobalt prices Citation: Cobalt prices soar, but Congo’s small miners see little of the gain (2018, February 22) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-02-cobalt-prices-soar-congo-small.html But in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which produced two-thirds of the global supply of the coveted metal last year, artisanal diggers called “creuseurs” sell their best-quality ore for about $7,000 a tonne, blissfully unaware of how much the global price has rocketed.In Kolwezi, a mining town in southeastern DRC, Chinese entrepreneurs dominate the middle section of the market, purchasing the raw cobalt from miners and selling it on for refining.Transactions in the buying houses depend on the purity of the ore. There are approximately 30 major kinds of cobalt-bearing rock and over 100 more where the metal is present in smaller quantities.Handwritten signs at the buying houses in Kolwezi show the varying prices offered for a tonne: “3 percent = $500” and “15 percent = $7,000”. The cobalt component is determined by a machine called “Metorex” which is used by the buyer.”The buyers have increased prices since the start of the year by five percent,” said a miner called David, who was unaware that cobalt prices on the world market have reached such stratospheric heights.The middlemen—predominantly Chinese and some Indians—then sell the raw material to operators for semi-processing.80% exported to ChinaThe big names in this part of the process are foreign-owned: China Molybdenum, Rangold, the Swiss firm Glencore and MMG, an Australian-Chinese venture, and the Indian-controlled Chemical of Africa.Only an initial treatment of the ore is possible in DRC at present. It results in an intermediary product composed mainly of hydroxide with a cobalt content of between 20 and 40 percent.”The DRC does not export finished products that are ready to be used by Apple, Samsung and the other big battery users in the world,” said economist and activist Florent Musha.”It exports a mineral product which is in the process of being treated.”Eighty percent of the country’s production heads to China from the ports of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and Cape Town in South Africa. In China, the metal is refined, by about a dozen companies. Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
Google on Friday said that people looking to place US election ads on its platform will need to show identification, and make clear who is paying. Citation: Google to show who is behind US political ads (2018, May 4) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-google-political-ads.html Policy changes being rolled out come as online ad ‘duopoly’ Google and Facebook strive to avoid being used to spread misleading or divisive ads aimed at voters.”Our work on elections goes far beyond improving policies for advertising,” Google senior vice president Kent Walker said in a blog post.”We’re investing heavily in keeping our own platforms secure and working with campaigns, elections officials, journalists, and others to help ensure the security of the online platforms that they depend on. “Google promised last year to make political advertising more transparent.New policies for US election ads were a ‘first step’ in fulfilling that vow, according to Walker.Google said that it will require anyone seeking to buy election ads in the US to prove they are legal residents, as required by law.”That means advertisers will have to provide a government-issued ID and other key information,” Walker said.Ads will have to clearly disclose who is paying for them, according to Walker.Google later this year will release a new report showing who is buying election-related ads on the platform and how much money is being spent.The California-based firm also said it is building a searchable library of election ads bought at Google and who paid for them.Facebook last year announced that only authorized advertisers would be permitted to run election ads at the leading social network and its photo and video-sharing service Instagram.In April, Facebook extended that rule to “issue ads” such as hot-button political topics in the US.”We are working with third parties to develop a list of key issues, which we will refine over time,” Facebook vice presidents Rob Goldman and Alex Himel said in a blog post.”Advertisers will be prohibited from running political ads—electoral or issue-based—until they are authorized.”Political ads will be marked as such, and include information about who paid for them, according to Facebook.The social network also added a requirement that pages with large numbers of followers be verified, to make it harder for people to use fake accounts to influence politics.”We know we were slow to pick up foreign interference in the 2016 US elections,” Goldman and Himel said in the post.The updates at Facebook were “designed to prevent future abuse in elections,” they explained. Explore further © 2018 AFP Google announces new rules for placing online US election ads on the social media platform Facebook moves toward revealing political ad backers This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
Citation: Huawei tops Apple in tightening smartphone market: IDC (2018, August 1) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-08-huawei-tops-apple-tightening-smartphone.html South Korean consumer electronics titan Samsung remained the top smartphone maker, shipping 71.5 million handsets, but Huawei moved into second position with shipments of 54.2 million, according to IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.Silicon Valley-based Apple shipped 41.3 million iPhones, claiming 12.1 percent of the global market compared to 20.9 percent for Samsung and 15.8 percent for Huawei.It was the first time since early 2010 that Apple wasn’t in one of the top two spots in the smartphone market, according to IDC.”The continued growth of Huawei is impressive, to say the least, as is its ability to move into markets where, until recently, the brand was largely unknown,” said Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers.The iPhone did well, with the top-of-the-line iPhone X model a big seller in many markets, according to IDC. Apple was expected to wrest back control of the market with the release of new iPhone models in the fall.Apple, Huawei and Samsung were the main contenders when it came to competition for high-end smartphones priced at $700 or more, according to Reith.Preliminary findings by IDC indicated a total of 342 million smartphones were shipped during the second quarter in a 1.8 percent decline from the same period a year earlier.The drop marked the third consecutive quarter of year-over-year declines in the global smartphone shipments, according to IDC.Market saturation and climbing average selling prices were among factors curbing growth in the smartphone market, said Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker research manager Anthony Scarsella.”Consumers remain willing to pay more for premium offerings in numerous markets and they now expect their device to outlast and outperform previous generations of that device which cost considerably less a few years ago,” Scarsella said. Explore further China-based Huawei took the second-place spot from Apple in a tightening global smartphone during the second quarter of this year, according to figures released Tuesday by International Data Corporation. Smartphone shipments hit record high in 2015: report © 2018 AFP South Korean consumer electronics titan Samsung remained the top smartphone maker, shipping 71.5 million handsets, but Huawei moved into second position with shipments of 54.2 million, according to IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
Facebook applies for patent on technology that allows for linking households for targeted ads Citation: Who lives with you? Facebook seeks to patent software to figure out profiles of households (2018, November 20) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-11-facebook-patent-software-figure-profiles.html The system would draw on the wealth of information Facebook already has about its users—including their photos, comments, messaging history and web browsing activities—and could be used to help target ads, according to the patent application.”Without such knowledge of a user’s household features, most of content items that are sent to the user are poorly tailored to the user and are likely ignored,” says the patent application, which was filed last year and made public Thursday.The software would analyze images posted to Instagram or Facebook. (Even users who never upload photos still can be tagged in other users’ photos.) To help determine whether people live in the same home, the patent application says, the software could look at how often people are tagged in pictures together and at the photos’ captions. The software would not be limited to using photos that include everyone in the household; rather, the patent application shows, it would take into account pictures of individuals and pairs.The application indicates Facebook could also incorporate “past posts, status updates, friendships, messaging history, past tagging history” and web browsing history to put together a profile of a household or family. Those profiles, in turn, could be made available to third parties that want to target “content” to users, it says.Facebook declined to comment Friday on the details of the patent application but said that applying for the patent does not necessarily mean it will build or use the software.”We’ve often sought patents for technology we never implement, and patents should not be taken as an indication of future plans,” a Facebook representative said in a statement.The Menlo Park, Calif., company, which has struggled this year to maintain the public’s trust in the security of its platform, rolled out a device this month that will help it gather more information about people in their homes called Portal, which has smart-speaker functions and is optimized for video chatting.In the past, Facebook contracted with third-party data brokers such as Acxiom and Experian to offer ad targeting based on users’ family makeup, income levels and other data. It stopped that practice in March, however, after the revelation that another third-party firm, Cambridge Analytica, may have violated Facebook policy by sharing and storing Facebook user data.Security concerns have continued. This fall, Facebook disclosed a breach that affected 29 million user accounts; hackers accessed user information including name, gender, language, relationship status, religion, birthday, friend lists, timeline posts and titles of recent conversations.Now there’s concern that the level of predictive analytics proposed in the patent application would introduce additional problems in that vein.”This is what I would call a classic case of secondary use,” said Pam Dixon, founder and executive director of the World Privacy Forum. “Someone is signing up to Facebook, or Instagram for that matter, to post photos or maybe keep in touch with old college friends. I don’t think people intend to have all their relational outlines queried and mapped by Facebook and used for purposes that people aren’t expecting.”Based on a profile of a household of seven children, Facebook could make economic inferences, for instance, Dixon said. She also said that using artificial intelligence to analyze pictures of a family could run the risk of drawing false conclusions based on ethnicity or gender.”Today, Facebook allows people to target ads based on information that is available already about you. It’s just on a fact basis,” Dixon said. “But with this (proposed system), it’s traditional data broker predictive analytics. It puts people in categories based on who Facebook predicts them to be. This is where we enter the realm of unfairness and potential bias and discrimination.” ©2018 Los Angeles Times Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. Explore further Credit: CC0 Public Domain Facebook Inc. is applying to patent software that it could use to create profiles of users’ households by making educated guesses about how many people live in the household, what their relationships to each other are, what interests they share and what electronic devices they use. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
COMMENT Published on Amid reports that President Ramnath Kovind’s office has sent a report on the Election Commission’s complaint against Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh, the poll panel said here on Thursday that it is still awaiting a response from the President’s office on the matter.Addressing reporters here, senior Election Commission officials said they have not got any information on their complaint. The poll panel expressed its displeasure on Singh’s reported statement that he wants to see Narendra Modi as Prime Minister once again.The Commission officials also said that a sitting of the Election Commission, scheduled for Friday, will take a final decision on the complaints against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for his statement that Army is Modi’s sena and CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury’s complaint against Prime Minister’s address to the nation on Mission Shakti. The panel reiterated that it will not allow the misuse of defence forces for political campaigns. On the complaints against biopic of the Prime Minister too, the Commission will take a final call on Friday.12 ballot unitsIn Nizamabad, where 185 candidates are in the fray, the panel said it will use 12 ballot units in every booth. “25000 ballot units have been arranged for the constituency. They have already reached there,” the official added. national elections SHARE SHARE EMAIL April 04, 2019 COMMENTS Election Commission of India SHARE