Snow Crash author Neal Stephenson Were in the dystopia right now

first_img 0 Part of Fall, or Dodge in Hell feels like a nightmare critique of current life: a meme-destroyed America can no longer tell truth from fiction, and augmented reality glasses make reality bend even further. To battle the overbearing flow of information, everyone has personal editors that curate their feeds… which leads to more reality bubbles. Stephenson admits that our current reality has gotten stranger and darker than most science fiction: “People talk about dystopian fiction and dystopian writers. But we’re in the dystopia right now, because of what social media is doing to our civic institutions and our society.” But Fall goes further, spinning past that. A good half of the book takes place in a digital afterlife patterned on Forthrast’s fantasy online game worlds, and starts to become a sprawling fantasy novel. Biblical overtones abound, with angels, Adam and Eve, and a storyline that Stephenson says is inspired by Paradise Lost.  It’s not easy sailing. The book’s level of detail is often daunting. Some sections seem to last forever. I found myself glued to it all, though. And, weeks after I finished reading, the ideas are burning in my brain. Some chapters have ideas that could seed full novels of their own. 05-neal-stephenson-book-cnet-interviewThe inside cover of Fall, or Dodge in Hell, with a mysterious map. Sarah Tew/CNET The book has maps, by the way, a tip of the hat to sprawling epics like Lord of the Rings. “I’ve always loved fantasy and science fiction books with maps in them: you know, ever since Lord of the Rings, and Dune, and so on,” says Stephenson. “I’ve always wanted to do one of those. And the new twist, in this case, is that instead of the landscape being a fixed thing that’s always been there, it…kind of gets built out over time into a fully realized world.” While a digital version is far more portable, seeing the occasional maps pop up in the book (there’s a reason for them) makes the physical version worth it. And by the way, if you’re a frequent Stephenson reader, this book shares many familiar characters as other books: the Shaftoes and the Waterhouses of the Baroque Cycle and Cryptonomicon, and the ever-enigmatic character Enoch Root. Fall shares the same universe with those books and Reamde, but Stephenson says that this might be the end of that: “I mean, never say never. But right now, I would say it’s a cycle that I have written. I think we’ve kind of wound that up with this latest book.” Subscribe: CNET RSS | iTunes | FeedBurner | Google Play | TuneIn | Stitcher  See Fall, or Dodge in Hell at AmazonAbout CNET Book ClubThe Book Club is hosted by a pair of self-proclaimed book experts: Dan Ackerman (author of the nonfiction video game history book The Tetris Effect), and Scott Stein, a playwright and screenwriter. We’ll be announcing our next Book Club selection soon, so send us your suggestions and keep an eye out for updates on Twitter at @danackerman and @jetscott. Previous episodes Borne by Jeff VanderMeerWalkaway by Cory DoctorowArtemis by Andy WeirDown the River Unto the Sea by Walter MosleyTen Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now by Jaron LanierCNET Book Club: Holiday 2018 gift guide specialTeam Human by Douglas RushkoffJosh Frank on bringing the Marx Brothers and Salvador Dalí togetherTim Maughan asks, what if the internet dies? Blake Crouch messes with your memories in Recursion Subscribe to CNET Book Club: CNET RSS | iTunes | FeedBurner | Google Play | TuneIn | Stitcher Neal Stephenson’s latest book is intimidating. Sarah Tew/CNET If you’re looking for a long, dense, wild read this summer, here’s one that’s 880-plus pages. The weirdly named Fall, or Dodge in Hell is just waiting for you to arrive. Subscribe: CNET RSS | iTunes | FeedBurner | Google Play | TuneIn | Stitcher   Neal Stephenson, whose 1992 book Snow Crash defined virtual worlds and the “metaverse” as much as William Gibson’s Neuromancer did cyberspace, has written a number of amazing and challenging books: The Diamond Age, Cryptonomicon, Anathem, Seveneves. His latest book shares the same characters as Reamde, a 2011 book about online game worlds, gold farming and terror cells. But Fall also stands on its own. Richard Forthrast, a legendary game designer, dies and ends up having his brain scanned and uploaded. His consciousness lives on in a virtual afterlife. Meanwhile, the real world keeps going on…and getting increasingly strange. Stephenson is the master of long-scale science fiction: his book Anathem explored civilizations spanning eons, Seveneves starts in the present, and follows the survivors of the destruction of Earth over thousands of years. Fall, or Dodge in Hell starts about now, and moves forward about a hundred years… or more. I won’t spoil the rest. “It’s not a conscious thing,” Stephenson says about his recent trend toward time-spanning books. “I think it’s true of a lot of fantasy and science fiction that it’s all about world building. And a lot of the time, in many cases, those worlds span long periods of time.” We’re in the dystopia right now, because of what social media is doing to our civic institutions and our society. Neal Stephenson   Tags CNET Book Clubcenter_img Share your voice Post a comment Culturelast_img read more

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Baltimore Activists Target Toy Guns

first_imgDominic Nell knew he had to do something.He was shaken by the shooting death of Tamir Rice in 2014.Dominic Nell (left) and Juan Nance (right) stand in the aisle of a Dollar General in West Baltimore, where they are working to have every toy gun and replica firearm removed from shelves. (Photo by Alexis Taylor)He was alarmed by the non-fatal shooting of Baltimore teen, Dedric Colvin in April. But with tension rising between the community and police after the killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile – he hit the pavement.The target was clear: Every toy gun that could be the source of a fatal misunderstanding with police had to come off the shelves in West Baltimore.Since earlier this month, the 39-year-old photographer, urban farmer, and mentor has pulled together community organizations and concerned citizens to rid both the Sandtown- Winchester and Penn and North neighborhoods of all toy and replica firearms.“I don’t want another ‘hashtag’ on my shift,” Nell told the AFRO. “I’m challenging parents to stop buying toy guns for their kids and I want stores to stop selling them- at least in Baltimore City.”In exchange for toy guns, Nell, who owns and operates Fresh at the Avenue, is offering a much healthier substitute to stores located in the fresh food deserts across Zone 17.“I’m not just asking storeowners to take something off their shelves- I’m actually replacing it with something people can use every day. We have the ability to put fresh food in these stores everyday of the week,” he said.Nell and his band of community leaders have been to over 20 corner stores and major retailers in Zone 17, the area of West Baltimore where his family runs six generations deep. They have been met with little resistance.“We took all the guns that they had to the front counter and we said ‘either we buy them all or you put them away.’ They chose to put them away,” said Juan Nance, a Baltimore educator, entrepreneur, and mentor who took to the streets with Nell.Nance, 39, told the AFRO the initiative is about more than just preventing negative interactions with authorities.“People are also using fake guns for very real robberies. People don’t even know that they are being robbed with a fake gun,” he said. “As an educator, I also know how children are programmed at early ages. They are guided to do things they see.”Baltimore Police Department officials say they fully support the efforts.“We all have the same goal in mind,” said T.J. Smith, spokesman for the Baltimore Police Department. “A replica firearm in a community plagued with gun violence is only encouraging familiarity and use of an object like that. We’re not talking about orange see- through water pistols. We’re talking about black- sometimes steel- dead ringers for firearms.”“We’re in a city where over 290 people were killed by a handgun last year,” Smith said in a sit-down with the AFRO. “That’s not unique to Baltimore- but it’s on the higher end of what we see nationally. It doesn’t make sense to play with something that looks like an object that killed over 290 people and injured hundreds more.”Councilman Nick Mosby, who represents the seventh district in Zone 17, believes the bigger problem is the “normalization of guns.”Mosby said his mother did not purchase or allow him to play with toy guns as a child. “It’s something that we need to stop normalizing,” he said. “Handgun violence is significantly impacting black men in Baltimore and across the country.”Nell and his group are targeting all toy and replica guns that could easily be mistaken for the real firearms they imitate perfectly up close or at a distance.Alan Kaufman, senior vice- president of technical affairs for The Toy Industry Association, said the general public needs more clarity on laws and definitions related to toy guns.“Toy guns and imitation firearms are already regulated for marking at the federal level,” said Kaufman, noting that states and municipalities can add on additional restrictions and regulations.According to federal law, if the toy or imitation gun is not a bright, non-traditional color for a firearm or transparent, then it must at least have an orange tip or a blaze orange marking that is no less than six millimeters wide.None of these regulations apply to “traditional B-B, paint-ball, or pellet-firing air guns that expel a projectile through the force of compressed air, compressed gas or mechanical spring action.”Kaufman said “what is sometimes called a ‘toy’ is an item outside of that law that does not have to adhere to the requirements because it is not seen as a toy. The word ‘toy’ is used loosely and somewhat incorrectly.”The BB gun 14-year-old Colvin had when shot by Baltimore police on April 27 was a $25 Daisy Powerline 340 air pistol.Joe Murfin, vice president of public relations for Daisy Outdoor Products, said “air guns are not toys or replicas- they do shoot a steel or lead projectile in a rate of speed can cause serious injury or death if you misused.”When asked about the company’s products and their role in police-involved shootings, Murfin said “a BB gun is a gun. It’s not a ‘mistake for a gun’ – it is a gun. If someone wants to use it criminally- or make a bad decision, you are looking at someone mishandling a gun.”Murfin said that Daisy products come with a warning against brandishing their BB guns in public spaces. He also said that BB guns should be used only for “practice, competition, pest control and small game hunting.”“When the community outlaws something like this, they are outlawing a very product that could teach someone how to be responsible with a gun,” said Murfin.Though many issues surround both real and toy guns, Kaufman doubts children will stop playing cops and robbers any time soon. “Children have done it for many years and will continue to do it for years to come,” he said.According to Nell, however, the game comes with rules that aren’t so simple for Black children in Baltimore.“A little White boy with a toy gun isn’t a threat- a six foot black boy playing cops and robbers with a toy gun on Pennsylvania Avenue in Baltimore is a target,” he said. “I look at that little orange tip and I know it isn’t going to safe a life alone- it’s just an orange clip.”last_img read more

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Food chain owners executives attend CII food safety training

first_imgKolkata: About 50 owners and executives from hotel and restaurant groups, clubs and canteens, food joints & eateries attended a Food Safety Training and Certificate (FOSTAC) programme organised by CII on Thursday.The programme, which was inaugurated by Godhuli Mukherjee, the Food Commissioner of Bengal, is a part of its Surakshit Khadya Abhiyan (Safe Food Campaign), included specialized training sessions on how and why one can maintain quality and hygiene – right from the stage of procuring raw materials, cooking, cleaning and storing to serving and transporting food. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killed”We explained to the participants why they should religiously follow the guidelines formed by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) ,”said A K Sen, CII FACE Faculty & National Level Resource Person (FoSTaC), Food Safety & Quality, FSSAI.”All those engaged in the business of preparing, serving and supplying food items need to be quality conscious and responsible,” he said.Sen lauded the efforts of the state government for playing a proactive role in the wake of allegations of carcass meat being sold and served in and around the city. “The Government is taking measures, carrying out regular inspections and taking actions,” he said, adding that the implementation of FSSAI standards should remain a priority. Also Read – Naihati: 10 councillors return to TMC from BJPSagar Daryani, Co-Founder & CEO, Wow Momo Foods Pvt Ltd, and Chair, CII ER Food Safety Core Group, admitted that the “rotten meat scandal” gave a bad blow to the industry as a whole. “In my own company, business was 37 percent negative till May. June saw a revival. July is even better,” Daryani said. “Many eateries in Kolkata have been forced to suspend operations, CII strongly advocates regular training in food safety in this backdrop,” Daryani added.The day-long programme ended with a test. “Upon qualifying the test, the participants will be certified as FOSTAC-Trained – a mandatory FSSAI regulation since 2017,” said Sen.last_img read more

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Pwn2Own Vancouver 2019 Targets include Tesla Model 3 Oracle Google Apple Microsoft

first_imgPwn2Own, run by Trend Micro’s Zero Day Initiative, is one of the industry’s toughest hacking contests. Started in 2007, Pwn2Own has become a platform for white hats to test their skills against various types of software and winners have been awarded more than $4 million over the lifetime of the program. Pwn2Own Vancouver- Pwn2Own’s spring vulnerability research competition- will be conducted from March 20 to 22 at the CanSecWest conference. The contest has 5 categories, including web browsers, virtualization software, enterprise applications and server-side software. For the first time, the contest will feature an ‘Automotive’ category with the Tesla Model 3 chosen as a target by ZDI. Other targets include software products from Apple, Google, Microsoft, Mozilla, Oracle and VMware. Let’s look into what’s in store for every category: #1 Automotive category: Tesla Model 3 “We develop our cars with the highest standards of safety in every respect, and our work with the security research community is invaluable to us”-David Lau, Vice President of Vehicle Software at Tesla Tesla has long involved itself with the hacker community since involvement since 2004 with its bug bounty program, that pays up to $15,000 for security exploits of its systems. In 2018 the company altered its warranty policy. The updated policy states that ‘as long as security exploits are found and reported within the limits outlined by the bug bounty program, the user’s warranty will remain intact.’ At Pwn2Own Vancouver, researchers will have 6 focal points to discover/ research vulnerabilities in the car. While prizes for every category vary from $35,000 to $300,000, the winning security researcher can walk away with their very own Model 3. Tesla’s line of action is an indication of its seriousness towards the security of its self-driving cars. #2 Virtualization Category The targets for virtualization category includes: Oracle VirtualBox VMware Workstation VMware ESXi Microsoft Hyper-V Client Microsoft leads the virtualization category with a $250,000 award for a successful Hyper-V Client guest-to-host escalation. VMware is a Pwn2Own sponsor for 2019, and the VMware ESXi along with VMware Workstation will serve as targets with awards of $150,000 and $70,000 respectively. Oracle VirtualBox is included in this category with a prize of $35,000. #3 Browser Category Within the browser category, we have: Google Chrome Microsoft Edge Apple Safari Mozilla Firefox We have seen a lot of web browsers getting hacked in 2018. It is great to see the biggest names in the tech industry coming forward to find vulnerabilities in their systems which can be saved from being exploited by malicious actors. A browser exploit for Firefox will be awarded $40,000. The award for exploiting Chrome is $80,000. Additionally, a contestant exploiting Edge with a Windows Defender Application Guard (WDAG) will be awarded with $80,000. Contestants exploiting Safari will be awarded $55,000 up to $65,000. #4 Enterprise Application Category The Enterprise Application Category has the following targets: Adobe Reader Microsoft Office 365 Microsoft Outlook The products offered by Adobe and Microsoft are used by almost everyone on a daily basis. Finding out a security flaw in this category would therefore safeguard the millions using these products regularly.  A reader exploit will be awarded with $40,000, breaking into office is awarded at $60,000 and $100,000 for Outlook. #5 Server side Category The final category in this contest includes Microsoft Windows RDP as a target. A successful RDP exploit will award the contestant with $150,000. You can head over to Zero Day Initiatives official blog for more information on the contest, the rules, awards and much more. Read Next Microsoft urgently releases Out-of-Band patch for an active Internet Explorer remote code execution zero-day vulnerability NYT says Facebook has been disclosing personal data to Amazon, Microsoft, Apple and other tech giants; Facebook denies claims with obfuscating press release AI chipmaking startup ‘Graphcore’ raises $200m from BMW, Microsoft, Bosch, Delllast_img read more

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Robert De Niro is bringing his upmarket hotel chain to Toronto

first_img Posted by Tags: Canada, Luxury Travel, Toronto, USA & Canada << Previous PostNext Post >> Share Robert De Niro is bringing his upmarket hotel chain to Torontocenter_img TORONTO — Celebrities in town for TIFF will soon have a new place to see and be seen: Nobu, co-founded by Academy Award winner Robert De Niro, will be launching a combination hotel and condo complex in Toronto.The brand, back by De Niro as well as chef Nobu Matsuhisa and Hollywood producer Meir Teper, is building two 49-storey towers, which are set to include 700 condominium suites, hotel rooms and a 1,400-square-metre restaurant.Credit: Nobu ResidencesThe first Nobu restaurant was launched in New York in 1993 and the brand has since expanded to cities including Beijing, Dubai, Las Vegas, London, Melbourne, Mexico City and Moscow.Nobu hotels can be found in cities including Chicago, Malibu, Manila, Miami and Riyadh.Toronto is the first city to have a restaurant integrated with Nobu-branded high-rise residences and a hotel, the company said Wednesday in a release.Maybe someone should let them know they can still buy Trump Tower before they break ground.More news:  Honolulu authorities investigate arsons at 3 Waikiki hotels; no injuries reported With file from The Canadian Press Michael Smith Thursday, March 9, 2017 last_img read more

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Uniworlds new District Sales Manager arrives from Porter Airlines

first_imgUniworld’s new District Sales Manager arrives from Porter Airlines Share Wednesday, September 19, 2018 TORONTO — Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection has named Carlo Rinaldi as District Sales Manager for Eastern Canada, effective immediately.Rinaldi brings more than 15 years of experience in the Canadian hospitality and travel industry to his new role, most recently at Porter Airlines as one of the founding members of its sales team.“We are very excited to have Carlo join our North American sales team,” says Michelle Palma, Vice President, Field Sales of North America for Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection. “Carlo brings a wealth of expertise in sales and new business development to this role. His ability to develop and maintain strong relationships with our agency partners will allow Uniworld to build our market share in Eastern Canada in 2019 and beyond.”Kristian Anderson, Senior Vice President of Global Sales for Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection adds: “Carlo has the passion, drive and commitment that we need to grow our business with our agency partners.”More news:  Flights cancelled as British Airways hit by computer problemRinaldi’s knowledge of the trade business, including direct experience in business development, sales strategy and account management with brands such as Starwood, IHG and Delta Hotels, will allow Uniworld to further strengthen its presence in Eastern Canada, says Anderson.For the last 10 years Rinaldi was with Porter Airlines in Québec and contributed to its corporate and agency growth in Eastern Canada.He can be reached at, (818) 382-2718 at the office or via his mobile on (514) 743-6001. Travelweek Group center_img << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by Tags: New Hires, Porter Airlines, Uniworldlast_img read more

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UK media regulator Ofcom has upheld a ruling by vi

first_imgUK media regulator Ofcom has upheld a ruling by video-on-demand regulatory body ATVOD that content producers, rather than the platform operator, are responsible for the VOD services featuring their content on the Virgin Media cable platform.Ofcom has upheld ATVOD’s ruling that three Viacom companies – Nickelodeon UK Ltd, the Paramount Partnership and MTV Networks Europe – are responsible for the VOD content of Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and MTV respectively on the Virgin Media platform.The three broadcasters had notified ATVOD early last year that they considered Virgin Media to have “editorial responsibility” for the offerings, and that their services should therefore be withdrawn from ATVOD’s directory of notified services.In rejecting the three companies’ appeal against the VOD regulator’s ruling, Ofcom took the view that ATVOD “made substantively the correct decision for the correct reasons”.The decision means that the three Viacom companies rather than Virgin Media are responsible for ensuring that the services comprising their VOD programmes on Virgin Media comply with the statutory rules which apply to on-demand programme services.“This is a complex area and the appeal system  is a vital part of  the process, giving service providers, in particular, greater clarity over where regulatory responsibility lies,” said ATVOD CEO Pete Johnson.last_img read more

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Mike Fries ITVs market valuation and the premium

first_imgMike FriesITV’s market valuation and the premium that would be required to buy it means that the commercial broadcaster is “not interesting” as an acquisition target to Liberty Global, according to president and CEO Mike Fries.Answering an analyst question on ITV, in which Liberty Global holds a 9.9% stake, after the cable giant reported less than stellar first quarter financials, Fries said: “If ITV was trading at a much lower multiple it might be interesting, but with where it is trading today and the premium that would be required, it is not interesting.”Fries said that “there is no change” in Liberty’s position. He said that departing chief executive Adam Crozier had been “a great CEO”, but that his departure had no impact on Liberty Global’s view of the company as a target.Fries said that content “is important to us” and cited the example of its investment in sports channels in Switzerland and the Netherlands. However, he said the company was focused on opportunities that are “accretive…and not dilutive”, even if it occasionally looked at opportunities purely from a strategic point of view.Crozier’s departure from the UK’s leading commercial broadcaster, combined with the Brexit-related decline in the value of sterling, has fuelled renewed speculation that ITV could be subject to a takeover attempt by a larger media group.In March a regulatory filing to the London stock exchange revealed that Goldman Sachs had acquired a 25% stake in ITV through a number of trades in derivatives and contracts-for-difference, with Liberty Global believed to have lent some stock to Goldman Sachs.The move briefly led to renewed speculation about an acquisition move, with ITV’s stock spiking. However, the company’s share price fell back subsequently as investors concluded no immediate deal was in the offing.last_img read more

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Health officials are investigating an outbreak of

first_imgHealth officials are investigating an outbreak of intestinal illness that has sickened dozens and is “likely linked” to salads at McDonald’s.McDonald’s said Friday it’s voluntarily pulling salads from about 3,000 locations in 14 states, primarily in the Midwest, until it can switch to a different lettuce supplier.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it’s found 61 cases of cyclosporiasis among people located in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin who had eaten salads at McDonald’s.Two people have been hospitalized and no deaths are linked to the outbreak.Illinois’ health department said Thursday that it confirmed about 90 cases of cyclosporiasis since mid-May. The same day, an Iowa health official said the state found “15 Iowans who ate McDonald’s salads in late June to early July prior to getting ill.” The Food and Drug Administration says cyclosporiasis is associated with symptoms including: “diarrhea, with frequent, sometimes explosive, bowel movements. Other common symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps/pain, bloating, increased gas, nausea, and fatigue. Vomiting, body aches, headache, fever, and other flu-like symptoms may be noted.”Cyclosporiasis is caused by the microscopic Cyclospora cayetanensis parasite that can contaminate food or water, according to the FDA.The CDC said as of Friday, it confirmed 227 cases of cyclosporiasis in people in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan who consumed now-recalled Del Monte vegetable trays. Del Monte recalled the trays in early June, the FDA says, and the agency says the Del Monte outbreak is not related to the one involving McDonald’s.Sickness caused by Cyclospora is “relatively rare in the U.S.” according to NPR’s Michaeleen Doucleff. “Most food poisonings here are caused by bacteria or viruses, like E. coli and norovirus. In contrast, Cyclospora is a protozoan, which typically hangs out in tropical and subtropical regions.”Standard treatment of sulfa drugs can “wipe out the infection quickly,” Doucleff notes. The CDC says most people with healthy immune systems will recover from Cyclospora infection without treatment, though health officials recommend anyone with diarrhea that has lasted more than three days to contact a health care provider. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit read more

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Uber Could Bring You a Car Full of Puppies Next Week

first_img Assistant Editor, Contributed Content Updated at 3:50 p.m. ET with comments from Uber.Uber is going to the dogs. Or rather, it’s bringing the dogs to you.On Wednesday, Feb. 3, the ridesharing giant is hosting another one of its UberPuppies events, whereby customers can have drivers deliver puppies to their door for 15 minutes of playtime. The goal is to encourage shelter adoptions.The initiative — timed to celebrate Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl — will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in New York City, according to a memo sent this week by New York-based pet welfare organization Bideawee to its volunteers. The organization, which is providing puppies and volunteers to Uber, will receive a donation for every 15-minute visit booked along with a matching donation from Animal Planet.Related: Uber Has a Creative New Way to Distract Drunk PassengersThe cost to Uber customers is $30 per visit.Over the last few years, UberPuppies programs have taken place in U.S. cities such as Baltimore, Cleveland, Los Angeles and Seattle as well as internationally in Egypt, Taiwan and Canada. Uber also has an UberKittens initiative which began in 2013 on National Cat Day, October 29.The events have proven effective: More than 100 dogs were adopted from last year’s Puppy Bowl event, and more than 300 kittens were adopted in 40 cities on Kitten Day, according to Uber spokeswoman Sarah Maxwell.Customers can’t adopt puppies on the spot. The process of adoption is the same as usual for the shelters, meaning it can take some time.Puppies very busy cuddling near Koramangala 🙁 @Uber_BLR #uberPUPPIES— SchmeksaySammy (@SchmeksaySammy) December 28, 2015 For some customers, the experience can be heartbreaking. “One girl last year in L.A. literally cried when she had to let the dog go,” Maxwell recalls.Bidawee and Animal Planet did not respond to Entrepreneur’s request for comment.Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated the date of the latest UberPuppies event. It will occur on Wednesday, Feb. 3. Related: Business Travelers Are Now Using Uber More Than Rental Cars  –shares January 28, 2016 Add to Queue Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Ubercenter_img 2 min read Carly Okyle Uber Could Bring You a Car Full of Puppies Next Week Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Next Article Register Now »last_img read more

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Scientists introduce binocular visual simulator to evaluate visual quality before surgery

first_img Source: Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 8 2019The details regarding the validation of this new device are published in the latest issue of Scientific Reports.Multifocal lenses are used in cataract surgeries – to replace the crystalline when it has lost its transparency – or to correct for presbyopia. There are different lens designs in the market, and choosing one or another depends on each patient’s tolerance and preference.”The possibility of the patient experimenting vision with a multifocal lens before the surgery is very attractive to reduce uncertainty and to manage expectations”, ensures CSIC researcher Susana Marcos, who works at the Institute of Optics. Her team at the Visual Optics and Biophotonics Laboratory has spent years developing technologies of simultaneous vision simulation aiming at evaluating visual quality with new designs of multifocal lenses before they are implanted or even manufactured.Related StoriesBordeaux University Hospital uses 3D printing to improve kidney tumor removal surgeryResearchers use AI to develop early gastric cancer endoscopic diagnosis systemNew therapy shows promise in preventing brain damage after traumatic brain injuryNow, they are introducing SimVis, a lightweight binocular visual simulator which is autonomous and wearable in helmets. In the article, scientists show the equivalence between the vision provided by their device and the intraocular lenses. In other words, lenses are depicted in the simulator.A realistic experience”Visual simulators are an ideal technique to provide patients with a new realistic experience of multifocality before the implantation of a new intraocular lens. In addition, if the simulator is miniaturized and has a more practical design than the ones currently available in the market, benefits could multiply”, adds Marcos.Researchers validated the simulator’s realism in a group of patients by comparing the visual acuity obtained at different distances through a commercial trifocal lens – with focal points for close, intermediate and long focal distances – and through the same lens simulated by a spatial light modulator (another simulating technology) and by SimVis . “The response to multifocality depends on the subjects, but the real trifocal lens and the simulated one offered the same visual response through-focus in each patient”, concludes CSIC researcher María Viñas, first author of the article.The new simulator can be wirelessly controlled by a mobile application or a tablet. With this program it is possible not just controlling the device’s lenses, but also to track the functional tests conducted on each patient wherever they are.The technology developed by this group of CSIC scientists is protected by four patents – one of them received the award “Premio a la Mejor Patente del Año” from the Madrid+d Foundation – owned by CSIC, and licensed to the company 2EyesVision S.L., a spin-off founded, among others, by some of the study researchers.last_img read more

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Protein Clumps In ALS Neurons Provide Potential Target For New Therapies

first_imgALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, affects more than 20,000 Americans. Currently, there are no effective treatments for ALS, largely due to poor understanding of how the disease initiates and progresses at the molecular level. The disease is invariably fatal. Source:University of California – San DiegoJournal reference:Fang, M. et al. (2019) Small-Molecule Modulation of TDP-43 Recruitment to Stress Granules Prevents Persistent TDP-43 Accumulation in ALS/FTD. Neuron. While these findings still need to be tested in model organisms and there is more work to do before a potential therapy could one day be tested in patients, these compounds already expand our toolbox for unraveling the relationship between RNA-protein aggregations and neurological disease.”Mark Fang, PhD, Study First Author, UC San Diego Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jul 2 2019Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurological condition that affects motor neurons — the nerve cells that control breathing and muscles. Under a microscope, researchers have noticed that the motor neurons of patients with ALS contain excessive aggregation of a protein called TDP-43. Since TDP-43 proteins stuck in these aggregates can’t perform their normal function, the scientists believe this build-up contributes to motor neuron degeneration, the hallmark of ALS.In a study publishing July 1, 2019 in Neuron, UC San Diego School of Medicine researchers discovered that prolonged cellular stress, such as exposure to toxins, triggers TDP-43 clumping in the cytoplasm of human motor neurons grown in a laboratory dish. Even after the stress is relieved, TDP-43 clumping persists in ALS motor neurons, but not in healthy neurons.The team then screened and identified chemical compounds (potential precursors to therapeutic drugs) that prevent this stress-induced, persistent TDP-43 accumulation. These compounds also increased the survival time of neurons with TDP-43 proteins containing an ALS-associated mutation.”These compounds could provide a starting point for new ALS therapeutics,” said senior author Gene Yeo, PhD, professor at UC San Diego School of Medicine and faculty member in the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine.Yeo and team, including first author Mark Fang, PhD, who was a graduate student in Yeo’s lab at the time, generated motor neurons from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) that had been converted from human skin cells. To mimic cellular aspects of ALS, they exposed these laboratory motor neurons to toxins such as puromycin, which stressed the cells and led to TDP-43 clumps.Related StoriesScientists discover hundreds of protein-pairs through coevolution studyNew protein target for deadly ovarian cancerQuorn protein stimulates muscle building to a greater extent than milk proteinNormally, TDP-43 proteins help process molecules called messenger RNA, which serve as the genetic blueprints for making proteins. But when they clump outside the nucleus, TDP-43 proteins can’t perform their normal duty, and that can have a profound effect on many cellular functions.The researchers tested thousands of chemical compounds for their effects on RNA-protein aggregation. They were surprised to find compounds that not only reduced the overall amount of clumping by up to 75 percent, but also varied clump size and number per cell.Some of the compounds tested were molecules with extended planar aromatic moieties — arms that allow them to insert themselves in nucleic acids, such as DNA and RNA. TDP-43 must bind RNA in order to join ALS-associated clumps. Thus, according to Yeo, it makes sense that a compound that interacts with RNA would prevent TDP-43 from clumping.last_img read more

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Stocks rise as bond yields buoy financials but oil drops

first_imgMSCI’s gauge of global stocks gained 0.24% as U.S. stocks mostly moved higher.”Financial stocks are fine today as we’re getting ready to enter the earnings season for banking,” said Jamie Cox, managing partner at Harris Financial Group in Richmond, Virginia. “The 30-year Treasury auction is steepening the (yield) curve a bit.””The pharma space is having a bad day,” he added. “The market would be quite a bit higher if it weren’t for that.”Oil prices retreated from early gains after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries forecast less demand for its crude next year. Earlier in the session, they had hit their highest levels in more than a month.U.S. crude futures settled 23 cents lower, or 0.38%, at $60.20 a barrel. Brent crude futures settled down 49 cents, or 0.73%, at $66.52 a barrel.On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 227.88 points, or 0.85%, to 27,088.08, the S&P 500 gained 6.84 points, or 0.23%, to 2,999.91 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 6.49 points, or 0.08%, to 8,196.04.U.S. shares had previously hit record highs after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell confirmed the U.S. central bank stood ready to “act as appropriate” in response to risks to the U.S. economy, including disappointing factory activity, tame inflation and a simmering trade war with China.Powell spoke before the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday following similar testimony before the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee on Wednesday.”The Fed news is baked into the market now. The next big news is earnings,” said Stephen Massocca, senior vice president at Wedbush Securities in San Francisco.U.S. corporate earnings season begins in earnest next week, with large banks such as Citigroup Inc and JPMorgan Chase & Co reporting results.In fixed-income markets, benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury notes last fell 22/32 in price to yield 2.1361%, from 2.061% late on Wednesday.Data showing the biggest gain in U.S. underlying consumer prices in 1-1/2 years also contributed to gains in Treasury yields. The data did not change expectations for a rate cut from the Fed, however.The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, dipped slightly amid prospects for a Fed rate cut, though the strong U.S. inflation data capped its losses. It was last down 0.04%.The Japanese yen and the euro were near flat against the dollar.Spot gold fell 0.90% to $1,406.04 an ounce on stronger-than-expected U.S. inflation data. – Reuters Tags / Keywords: Markets 10 Jul 2019 S&P 500 ekes out gain though profit worries weigh Economy 11 Jul 2019 Wall Street touches new highs after comments by Fed’s Powell Markets 09 Jul 2019 Wall St drops as Apple falls, Fed eyed Related Newscenter_img Markets Related News NEW YORK: A broad index of stocks around the world rose on Thursday as financial shares helped Wall Street’s benchmark index advance, while oil prices fell on a forecast for weaker demand.The U.S. benchmark S&P 500 stock index notched a record closing high just shy of the 3,000 mark as financial shares were boosted by a jump in bond yields following soft demand in an auction of $16 billion in 30-year Treasuries.A fall in biotech and pharmaceutical shares pulled down the Nasdaq, however, as the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew a rule that would have required health insurers to pass on rebates from drugmakers.But the withdrawal of the rule benefited shares of insurers, including UnitedHealth Group Inc, which boosted the Dow Jones Industrial Average above the 27,000 mark for the first time. {{category}} {{time}} {{title}}last_img read more

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Write to Justin Worland at justin. a progressive group with one million members. “Our volunteers and contributors are clearly committed to electing Donald J. “It’s only when you have a prima facie case and you are convinced that you can obtain conviction that you would go to court. Mr Babajide Koku (SAN). said no fewer than 50 villagers, Assad Breir, worrisome and demoralizing to us as students. 1860. His comments arent about sexual desire.

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