Science & Technology

Facebook's Face-ID Database Could Be the Biggest in the World. Yes, It Should Worry Us.

July 14, 2019

Every day, Facebook users upload hundreds of millions of photos to the social network. If they haven’t opted out, the software scans those photos in search of faces it recognizes. As users either agree or disagree with the recommendations of who should be tagged, Facebook’s algorithms get better. The company’s research suggests that Facebook holds “the largest facial dataset to date”--powered by DeepFace, Facebook’s deep-learning facial recognition system.

US-China Space Race: Amazon and SpaceX to Launch 7,661 5G and 6G Satellites

July 14, 2019

The U.S.-China space race accelerated with Amazon applying to launch 3,236 5G and 6G satellites into orbit, following the U.S. Federal Commission Communication’s (FCC’s) approval for SpaceX launching 4,425 satellites. President Trump responded in February to China beating America to launch the first 5G broadband networks, in the same manner President John F. Kennedy responded to the Soviet Union’s beating America to launch the first Sputnik satellite. Trump declared an all-out space race to dominate the future for 5th and 6th generation mobile technology.

UCLA Professor Faces 200+ Year Sentence for Smuggling Tech to China

July 14, 2019

Former University of California professor Yi-Chi Shih has been found guilty on 18 federal charges for funneling American military technology to China. The 64-year-old electrical engineer has been found guilty of handing stolen U.S. military technology to the Chinese government. Now he faces several lifetimes’ worth of time in a federal prison. Shih’s co-defendant, Kiet Ahn Mai, already pleaded guilty to smuggling charges in December 2018.

US risks its leading role in tech by leaving regulations to the EU

July 11, 2019

In the 30 years since Tim Berners Lee first documented his vision for what would become the World Wide Web, the US has been the primary leader in innovative infrastructure and products that are now core to everyday life. This innovation mostly occurred with startups shielded from legal constraints. That time is coming to a halt, with Europe positioned to overtake Silicon Valley as the ideological heart of the tech industry.

Top House Republican wants internet users to own their data

July 11, 2019

A top House Republican wants internet users to own data that they generate online to give them more control over what information is collected about them by internet companies. Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), the ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee, released a set of internet privacy principles on Wednesday he said will guide legislation that he plans to release in the coming months.

Light therapy could replace opioids as main treatment for cancer treatment side effect

July 10, 2019

Worldwide research coalition offers new guidelines for healing oral mucositis in head, neck cancer patients

BUFFALO, N.Y. — A worldwide coalition of researchers and clinicians has agreed that light therapy is among the most effective interventions for the prevention of oral mucositis, painful ulcers in the mouth resulting from cancer therapy.

The new guidelines from the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC) and International Society of Oral Oncology (ISOO), published on July 9 in the journal Supportive Care in Cancer, present a significant upgrade in care guidelines for adult cancer patients worldwide. The guidelines recommend photobiomodulation therapy, a form of low-dose light therapy, for the prevention of oral mucositis caused by radiation therapy for head and neck cancer or stem cell transplantation.

 “Many cancer patients can now benefit from this treatment, said Praveen Arany, DDS, PhD, co-corresponding author on the paper and assistant professor of oral biology at the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine.

“The staggering breadth of clinical application for photobiomodulation therapy has been both a boon and a bane for the field. Several anecdotal clinical reports have been plagued with inconsistent outcomes and questionable rationales, often relegating this treatment to a pseudoscience.

“However, recent advancements are enabling rigorous validation of clinical protocols. This is a major milestone for the field and we are confident it will set a clear path for several exciting clinical applications for photobiomodulation therapy from concussions and wound healing to exciting new work with regenerative medicine and stem cells,” said Arany, also president of the World Association for photobiomoduLation Therapy (WALT).

Multiple studies have found that patients report oral mucositis as the worst side effect of their cancer treatment. Pain from the condition can slow or delay cancer treatment, and in severe cases require hospitalization.

Light therapies have existed for decades, but improvements in the technology have made the treatment more affordable for wider use. At a high power, light, often in the form of a laser, is used in medicine to cut or destroy tissue. But at a low power, it has the ability to relieve pain or inflammation and promote healing.

The treatment is rising in use across Europe, Brazil, India, Canada and several other nations. The findings provide an upgrade to previous guidelines published in 2013, which noted the effectiveness of light therapy and recommended, based on relatively limited evidence at that time, the intervention as an optional therapy in specific cancer patient populations and settings.
The review was led by Zadik Yehuda, DMD, senior lecturer at the Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Dental Medicine in Jerusalem, Israel; and Sharon Elad, DMD, chair of the MASCC/ISOO Mucositis Study Group. Along with 14 other global experts, they triaged hundreds of research papers published on photobiomodulation therapy for oral mucositis.
“These updated guidelines will provide health care professionals with better tools to deliver care for cancer patients, said Elad, also professor at Eastman Institute for Oral Health at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

 “But even with the best evidence-based interventions, we don’t yet have an ultimate guideline for mucositis in all clinical settings. We look forward to future research to help shape a more universal implementation of photobiomodulation therapy as well as identify additional effective and validated protocols.”

Among other findings, the investigators identified five new protocols, recommending light therapy for the prevention of oral mucositis in stem cell transplant patients, and head and neck cancer patients receiving radiation therapy with or without chemotherapy. No major short-term side effects of light therapy were reported.

The therapy could potentially serve as an alternative to opioids, often prescribed to alleviate the symptoms of oral mucositis, says Arany.

Light therapy was also the subject of a recent congressional hearing before the House Science, Space and Technology Committee in Washington, D.C. The briefing, held in October 2018, invited a panel of international experts to discuss the potential of photobiomodulation to improve health care and lower dependence on opioids.  

Future studies are needed to verify the effectiveness of light therapy in managing oral mucositis in pediatric cancer patients and in adult cancer patients receiving only chemotherapy.

Majority of conservatives don't trust Facebook to treat everyone equally, study says

July 10, 2019

A whopping 76.7 of conservatives don’t trust that Facebook treats all of its user equally, regardless of political beliefs, according to a new poll. The Media Research Center’s TechWatch published findings of the poll, conducted by McLaughlin and Associates, on Tuesday. “More than three-fourths of conservatives don’t trust Facebook,” TechWatch’s Corinne Weaver wrote.

Blackburn says China building 'spy network' through Huawei technology

July 10, 2019

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) on Sunday accused China of building a “spy network” through the use of telecommunications group Huawei around the world and said it would be dangerous to allow Huawei access to U.S. fifth generation (5G) wireless networks. “We do not need to let Huawei get into building out these 5G networks, not for us and not for any of our allies because of the dangers there,"...

Huawei staff share deep links with Chinese military, new study claims

July 10, 2019

A new analysis of CVs of Huawei staff appeared to reveal deeper links between the technology giant and China’s military and intelligence bodies than had been previously acknowledged by the firm. The paper, which looks at employment records of Huawei employees, concluded that “key mid-level technical personnel employed by Huawei have strong backgrounds in work closely associated with intelligence gathering and military activities.”

Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak says most people should 'figure out a way to get off Facebook'

July 09, 2019

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has stressed the company's focus on privacy in recent months, particularly during its developers conference. But Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak isn't convinced that Facebook is keeping our personal interactions confidential. He recently suggested that "most people" should "figure out a way to get off Facebook"

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