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'I am being used as scapegoat - academic who mined Facebook data'

Ah, the often murky world of collaborations between business and academia.

Aleksandr Kogan, a Moldovan-born researcher from Cambridge University, harvested the personal details of 50 million Facebook users via a personality app he developed.

Kogan told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that he was being unfairly blamed for the scandal. He said: “My view is that I’m being basically used as a scapegoat by both Facebook and Cambridge Analytica. Honestly we thought we were acting perfectly appropriately. We thought we were doing something that was really normal.”

Sure, scraping 50 million Facebook profiles is the new normal.

Kogan said he was told that the scheme was legal but accepts he should have questioned the ethics of the exercise.

Told by whom? The ethics board of Cambridge University, by which every research involving personal data has to be approved, I presume?

Kogan set up Global Science Research (GSR) to carry out Cambridge Analytica’s data research.

Nice. You still have to follow EU data protection directives, pal.

While at Cambridge he accepted a position at St Petersburg State University, and also took Russian government grants for research.

I have so many questions.

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Nicki Minaj Is Reportedly Caught In A Love Triangle With Meek Mill And Nas
#celebritynews #MeekMill, #Nas, #NickiMinaj #Entertainment #celebrities #celebrity #celebrityinsider

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Over the past few years, scientists have faced a problem: They often cannot reproduce the results of experiments done by themselves or their peers.
This “replication crisis” plagues fields from medicine to physics, and likely has many causes. But one is undoubtedly the difficulty of sharing the vast amounts of data collected and analyses performed in so-called “big data” studies. The volume and complexity of the information also can make these scientific endeavors unwieldy when it comes time for researchers to share their data and findings with peers and the public.

Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a set of tools to make one critical area of big data research, that of our central nervous system, easier to share.
In a paper published online March 5 in Nature Communications, the UW team describes an open-access browser they developed to display, analyze and share neurological data collected through a type of magnetic resonance imaging study known as diffusion-weighted MRI.
There has been a lot of talk among researchers about the replication crisis said lead author Jason Yeatman.
But we wanted a tool, ready, widely available and easy to use, that would actually help fight the replication crisis.
Yeatman, who is an assistant professor in the UW Department of Speech & Hearing Sciences and the Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS) is describing AFQ-Browser.
This web browser-based tool, freely available online, is a platform for uploading, visualizing, analyzing and sharing diffusion MRI data in a format that is publicly accessible, improving transparency and data-sharing methods for neurological studies. In addition, since it runs in the web browser, AFQ-Browser is portable, requiring no additional software package or equipment beyond a computer and an internet connection.

One major barrier to data transparency in neuroscience is that so much data collection, storage and analysis occurs on local computers with special software packages said senior author Ariel Rokem a senior data scientist in the UW eScience Institute.
But using AFQ-Browser, we eliminate those requirements and make uploading, sharing and analyzing diffusion-weighted MRI data a simple, straightforward process.
Diffusion-weighted MRI measures the movement of fluid in the brain and spinal cord, revealing the structure and function of white-matter tracts.
These are the connections of the central nervous system, tissue that are made up primarily of axons that transmit long-range signals between neural circuits. Diffusion MRI research on brain connectivity has fundamentally changed the way neuroscientists understand human brain function: The state, organization and layout of white matter tracts are at the core of cognitive functions such as memory, learning and other capabilities.
Data collected using diffusion-weighted MRI can be used to diagnose complex neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Researchers also use diffusion-weighted MRI data to study the neurological underpinnings of conditions such as dyslexia and learning disabilities.
This is a widely-used technique in neuroscience research, and it is particularly amenable to the benefits that can be gleaned from big data, so it became a logical starting point for developing browser-based, open-access tools for the field said Yeatman.

The AFQ-Browser, the AFQ stands for Automated Fiber-tract Quantification can receive diffusion-weighted MRI data and perform tract analysis for each individual subject. The analyses occur via a remote server, again eliminating technical and financial barriers for researchers.
The AFQ-Browser also contains interactive tools to display data for multiple subjects, allowing a researcher to easily visualize how white matter tracts might be similar or different among subjects, identify trends in the data and generate hypotheses for future experiments.
Researchers also can insert additional code to analyze the data, as well as save, upload and share data instantly with fellow researchers.
We wanted this tool to be as generalizable as possible, regardless of research goals said Rokem.
In addition, the format is easy for scientists from a variety of backgrounds to use and understand, so that neuroscientists, statisticians and other researchers can collaborate, view data and share methods toward greater reproducibility.

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#AishwaryaRai #PriyankaChopra and 8 other Bollywood actors who have pledged to donate their organs

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Out of touch much, GOP?


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You wait for one explosion and two come along at once...

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"About 70,000 years ago, during human occupation of the planet, a small, reddish star approached our solar system and gravitationally disturbed comets and asteroids. Astronomers from the Complutense University of Madrid and the University of Cambridge have verified that the movement of some of these objects is still marked by that stellar encounter.

At a time when modern humans were beginning to leave Africa and the Neanderthals still thrived, Scholz's star—named after the German astronomer who discovered it—approached less than a light-year from the sun. Today, it is almost 20 light-years away, but 70,000 years ago, it entered the Oort cloud, a reservoir of trans-Neptunian objects located at the confines of the solar system.

This discovery was made public in 2015 by a team of astronomers led by Professor Eric Mamajek of the University of Rochester (USA). The details of that stellar flyby, the closest documented so far, were presented in The Astrophysical Journal Letters."

Read more at:

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Perfect vision is great. But like any advantage it comes with limitations. Those with ease don’t develop the same unique senses and strengths as someone who must overcome obstacles, people like Lana Awad a neurotech engineer at CTRL-labs in New York, who diagnosed her own degenerative eye disease with a high school science textbook as a teen in Syria and went on to teach at Harvard University.
Though they see themselves as clear leaders, visionaries with all the obvious advantages—like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, for example, can be blind in their way, lacking the context needed to guide if they don’t recognize their counterintuitive limitations. This is problematic for humanity because we’re all relying on them to create the tools that increasingly rule every aspect of our lives. The internet is just the start.
Tools that will meld mind and machine are already a reality.
Neurotech is a huge business with applications being developed for gaming, the military, medicine, social media, and much more to come. Neurotech Report projected in 2016 that the $7.6 billion market could reach $12 billion by 2020. Wired magazine called 2017, “a coming-out year for the brain machine interface (BMI).”
Technologists are already working on projects that sound like stuff 20th century novelists JG Ballard and Philip K. Dick imagined in fictions, with dramatic potential psychological and social impact. The Economist (paywall) on Jan. 4 predicted that BMIs may “change what it means to be human.”
Imagine your mind in constant direct contact with a machine, as if an iPhone lived with your brain and Siri bypassed sight and hearing, sound and screen, whispering sweet nothings and somethings straight into your psyche. It’s going to be an intense relationship with technology, very close and bizarre.
As such, we need many human experiences informing the creation of these tools or our minds will be interfacing with machines made based on assumptions which you and I may not share or even be aware of.

Tomorrow’s sorrows
Silicon Valley tech types are having a crisis of conscience, and retreats to cultivate consciousness are a popular pastime among creators of the flawed programs we already use.
The most beleaguered visionaries, like Zuckerberg, are wondering aloud why their tools of connection are dividing society and admitting mistakes were made, while the most audacious, like Musk, continue to pull stunts such as shooting a car into space.
Both Musk and Zuckerberg are also investing in the neurotech boom and plan to be in your brain soon. Zuckerberg explained in 2016 that direct contact with the mind was the ideal interaction for his social media platform. Now, Facebook neuroscientists are working out how mind-reading will fit into the system, among other nifty innovations. Job postings for this project seek “impatient” futurists.
Are these the guys we want messing with our minds?
But since young Zuckerberg’s impatience led to the creation of a platform that’s apparently easily manipulated by rogue agents who influenced national elections in the UK and US with fake news, he might be better off seeking patient futurists, who would take time to form a cohesive worldview before foisting it upon us.
Or, if his new hires are going to be impatient, perhaps he should look for futurists who will feel urgency about debunking ill-conceived programs rather than just pushing them out for public use.
As for Musk, last year he made a bet on what he called the merger of biological intelligence and machine intelligence starting Neuralink in San Francisco, a company developing ultra high bandwidth BMIs to connect humans and computers.
According to the company’s remarkably spare website, it’s currently seeking exceptional engineers and scientists. The primary criteria is “talent and drive.”
These are unimpeachable qualities when considered superficially. Who doesn’t want talented and driven employees?
But Musk is famously prone to not knowing what he’s talking about, like when he opines on public transit systems, advising massive changes that experts say don’t serve people’s basic needs and actually hurt everyone. And Silicon Valley’s current crisis was at least in part prompted by the creation of supposedly “connective” tools that turned out to be divisive and dangerous.
So it makes sense to ask questions in advance of too much progress and ensure we understand what’s behind the language of our visionaries. What do the words they all use really mean and where do they lead us? Are these the guys we want messing with our minds?

The unlikely scientist
Paradoxically, advantages can be a disadvantage when it comes to making products for all humans. And, conversely, alleged drawbacks, seeming weaknesses, can become great strengths, providing knowledge the supposedly strong can’t access.
No one in Awad’s childhood could have predicted she’d end up in a cutting edge New York neurotech lab. But she’s exactly the kind of person we want working on the future’s tools, because she had to be patient and resilient to get where she is. She’s a more perfect neuroscientist precisely because she has an unusual beginning and a genetic imperfection that gave her direction and made her an unpredictable visionary, with a unique angle on problems and uncommon solutions.
In Hams, the Syrian city where Awad grew up in what is now a war-torn country, girls don’t commonly dream of being great scientists, forget being futuristic engineers. But Awad uncovered something of critical importance to her own future, an ocular condition which would worsen with time and erode her vision, and this just by reading a book carefully, and so became completely enthralled with the possibilities that scientific study presented. Awad dreamt of contributing to the great pursuit of knowledge when she grew up.
While other girls were encouraged to imagine being excellent homemakers, her parents recognized her talent and drive and helped her persist despite teachers who told her it was absurd for a girl to dream big. Still, it wasn’t easy to both excel academically and quell the constant resistance. Awad had to cultivate her own strength and commitment to remain enthusiastic about school even as she was continually discouraged.
Now, she’s busy constructing the future and doesn’t have time to cry about the past. Today, working a cool job, she laughs about her early teachers’ ignorance and low expectations.
CTRL-labs, where Awad works, is the most futuristic of forward-looking tech companies, at the forefront of the bold endeavor to marry machine and mind, forging the new human experience.

You can tell CTRL-labs knows it’s playing with strange ideas with global implications because the company says so right in its name, control, as in mind control, and its slogan, “All your interface are belong to us.”
That’s a wink at deep internet and video game culture, referencing the 1992 cutscene in the European release of a 1989 Japanese arcade video game Zero Wing, which stated, in English, “all your base are belong to us.” The stilted translation became a popular internet meme, which CTRL adapted for its purposes.
If the slogan sounds creepy and a bit off, that’s because it’s occult work, mysterious and esoteric, unifying minds and machines, and whoever masters this will access people with unprecedented intimacy. Awad and her colleagues attempt to eliminate interference between us and our tools so that they interface smoothly with no other intermediary—no mouse, no voice, no fingers clicking on keys, just our thoughts talking to machines and receiving input from them.
Like Zuckerberg and Musk, Awad is crafting the future. But unlike them, her interaction with machines is at the deepest levels, not an abstraction, or a business proposition. It’s her everyday reality. Awad works in a lab, applying her science training to engineering a better mind tool with a team of technologists.
That’s good for the rest of us because we need better tools, and there is evidence that a major problem with current technologies is that they’re often created by people with insufficient context. We’re already dealing with the consequences of relying on tech made by teams who haven’t had contact with lots of people and don’t understand humanity though they want to give us great tools.
The choices made by code reflect the choices of its creators Dave Gershgorn explained in Quartz, and algorithmic bias and false objectivity are now common. For example, the Google workforce is only 2% black, so an algorithm created by the company’s engineers didn’t recognize black people in a photo-reading program. A homogenous workforce led to a deeply flawed product.
It’s not because the employees are racist, necessarily, but because even if they mean well, they clearly lack the context to understand what they see, or awareness of the fact that they don’t see, and therefore cannot alone make a truly smart machine.

Awad points out that in the trenches of BMI, the labs where brain machines are conceived and created, there is also still little diversity. As a woman, a stranger in a strange land that is now hers, and as a person with a degenerative disease she turned into a scientific career, she sees the dangers looming for a complex global society relying on tools informed by a false assumption that all agree on what is common sense. Awad warns that biases like those she has confronted are programmed into our machines and perpetuated. “It scares me to hear that innovative technologies become part of daily life with almost no women working on the core coding and product management level,” she says.
When you’re the odd one out, however, as Awad often is, it’s a little harder to be understood even if you do dare to speak and provide a fresh perspective. That’s why it’s important to have lots of oddballs talking, contributing to discussions about conceiving and making machines: outsiders can offer insiders useful insights they don’t access otherwise, she says.
Beyond shared words, we need common contexts to understand the meaning of language. Take the CTRL-labs slogan, for example, “all your interface are belong to us.” It sounds ridiculous and ignorant unless you get the full context. Then, you understand how very clever it is.
Apply this notion to technology. The more context, the more odd things we know, the more likely it is we’ll appreciate the deep messages hidden in the language and tools presented to us. Likewise, the more strange contexts inform a tool’s creation, the more likely it is to serve humanity well, to cover uncharted territory, and that’s why oddity is a precious commodity, now more than ever in the Information Age and ahead of the tech mind meld.

All the knowledge
Finding a language for speaking across contexts in a global society deluged by information and viewpoints is extremely difficult but not impossible. We can do it by operating counterintuitively. Writer, teacher, and futurist Richard Watson argues that instead of dismissing the odd and offbeat for its incomprehensibility, a thoughtful futurist seeks the unusual out to better understand the world.
Since no one can know everything, the best approach to a comprehensive perspective is a kind of thoughtful randomness.
Common knowledge is common. To handle the complexity of the age, the uncommon is more valuable, and access to a diversity of weird ideas is what Watson considers a treasure. He’s a tech company consultant and teaches London business students how to think about making great products. In an email on March 2, he explained that, in his view, since no one can know everything, the best approach to a comprehensive perspective is a kind of thoughtful randomness.
Travel but take the path untrodden he writes. Watson means it literally and figuratively. His idea of a well-rounded person isn’t someone who read the articles everyone is already quoting, knows all the right things that everyone already knows, and goes to the hot joints, but the weirdos like Lana Awad, who feel their way through unknown territory, who are curious—so thirsty to understand how the world works they go alone and against the odds.
When we, societally, truly understand the greatness of strangeness, and integrate the perspectives of strong oddballs into machines, we may begin to make the technology that will make humanity whole, resilient, empathetic, and constructively rebellious when necessary.
Going with the program and being great in all the common ways is awesome, yes, because it’s always difficult to excel in any system. But people who navigate systems set up against them and still end up at the cutting edge are something else, they’re truly exceptional and have a perspective that could be just what we need if we’re going to meld our minds with machines.

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on March 12, 2018

Estimates by astronomers indicate that there could be more than 100 BILLION Earth-like worlds in the Milky Way that could be home to life. Think that’s a big number? According to astronomers, there are roughly 500 billion galaxies in the known universe, which means there are around 50,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (5×1022) habitable planets. That’s of course if there’s just ONE universe.

In fact, just inside our own Milky Way Galaxy experts now believe are some 400 BILLION STARS, but this number may seem small as some astrophysicists believe that stars in our galaxy could figure the TRILLION. This means that the Milky Way alone could be home to more than 100 BILLION planets.

However, since astronomers aren’t able to see our galaxy from the outside, they can’t really know for sure the number of planets the Milky Way is home to. They can only provide estimates.

To do this, experts calculate our galaxy’s mass and calculate how much of that mass is composed of stars. Based on these calculations scientists believe our galaxy is home to at least 400 billion stars, but as I mentioned above, this number could drastically rise.

There are some calculations which suggest that the Milky Way is home on an average between 800 billion and 3.2 trillion planets, but there are some experts who believe the number could be as high as eight trillion.

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iPhone SE 2
The upcoming affordable iPhone SE 2 would be looking like this; leaked video 📹 says it all....

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#Panda penalties revoked quickly than #Penguin penalties, and vice-versa. Following are the most common reasons that cause #GooglePenalty :

#Google #PandaPenalty #PenguinPenalty #SearchEngineOptimization

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Camera Orion
Image Credit & Copyright: Derrick Lim

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Kyle Busch did not walk off and skip the media center as well, which the fans suspected

Tags: #nascar #nascarcupseries #kylebusch

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Bollywood Actresses From Ugly To Beautiful : Who says these bollywood all actress born beautiful. Below in this article the few pictures of bollywood heroines who are now really look beautiful and gorgeous in comparison with their early looks.

Watch The Video To See All Bollywood Actresses Who Turned Ugly To Beautiful !!!

These actresses are not have really come a long way in terms of their beauty and carrier. We have collected some awesome transform pictures from ugly to beautiful, which we think you will like and share it as well.

#BollywoodActressUglyToBeautiful #BollywoodActressWithoutMakeup #DeepikaPadukone #AishwaryaRai #PriyankaChopra #KatrinaKaif #AnushkaSharma #KareenaKapoor #Sridevi #VidyaBalan #BipashaBasu #BollywoodUpdates #BollywoodNews

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Researchers listen for silent seizures with 'brain stethoscope' that turns brain waves into sound - When a doctor or nurse suspects something is wrong with a patient's heart, there's a simple way to check: put a stethoscope over the heart and listen to the sounds it makes. Doctors and nurses can use the same diagnostic tool to figure out what's going on with the lungs, stomach and more, but not the brain - although that could change with a new device.

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#DancebeeBollywood | Students throng the sets of Super 30 to catch a glimpse of 'Professor Hrithik Roshan'.

#hrithikroshan #super30 #bollywood #onthesets #films #movies #cinema

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Trump loves boasting about his own greatness while belittling anyone similar.

President Donald J. Trump has claimed he won the electoral vote in a “landslide,”
Trump’s Electoral College Victory Ranks 46th in 58 Elections

Just keeping score of the lies...

See the link below for Graphs:

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Former Playboy Model Karen McDougal Is Suing Trump for the Right to Speak About Their Alleged Affair

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Verizon Offers Buy One, Get One Free On Galaxy S9 & S9 Plus

#samsung #galaxys9 #verizon #deals #android
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