An engineer, a finance teacher and now a fiction writer, Dr Rajiv Seth is a man of many fields. This ardent lover of science does not believe in restricting himself to only one domain. In his book Never Say Goodbye, he entwines a love story with science. Read on to discover what sowed the first seed for his book, his views on technological innovation and its possible aftermath… Your book Never Say Goodbye is a love story in which the character attempts to transcend the law of nature through science to make her love eternal. Since it is your first book, how did it happen? What was the source of inspiration for you? And tell me something more about the book. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Many years ago, human beings experimented with Dolly the sheep – the first attempt at cloning an animal. It fascinated me, and just like many others, I wondered if it would ever lead to human cloning. I followed the many debates which have taken place, and I guess that is what sowed the first seed of the story of my book.Never Say Goodbye is about two doctors, Anjali and Aakash, each satisfied in their own worlds, but each yearning to do much more in life. And so when they meet, it is as if the synergies propel them into new areas of work. They work together, pushing each other to realise their potential. Emotional and physical attachments naturally follow – but complications arise because Anjali is married and Aakash is not. Initially Aakash lectures Anjali on marriage being sacrosanct, while Anjali is rebellious. Aakash pushes Anjali to get into the world of genetics and Anjali enjoys every bit of it, setting up a funded research lab in India. But then Anjali has a child from Aakash, and then the roles are reversed, with Aakash becoming so frustrated with Anjali and his child not being able to be with him, that in a state of depression he ends his life. Anjali is so taken aback, that, while thus far she was opposed to human cloning, she now pulls out a source of Aakash’s DNA and decides to take the plunge and create a clone of Aakash. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix You have taken up the issue of human cloning and therapeutic cloning in your book. The opponents of the technology use the notion of human dignity against it because of which either it is banned or a highly regulated field, what is your view on this technology?While therapeutic clwoning is being done, and the benefits of that are widely known, it is human cloning which has drawn-in the aspect of ethics into it. Can we play God? Won’t it lead to many chaotic situations? As I have mentioned in my book, what if someone could find the DNA and create multiple clones of Adolf Hitler? But then this happens with most technology. Scientists discover and create new things.How we use them is what determines the fate of the human race. Nuclear fission, for example, can be used for the good of mankind, but at the same time can destroy generations. So my opinion is that while the field of genetics will definitely benefit mankind, its misuse can lead to chaos.Technology has its share of bane and boon. Do you think putting a ban on further advances of some technology as being morally right? Don’t you think banning new technology only ensures that our society become stagnant? For instance, ban on genetically modified crops in India?Human beings wouldn’t be where they are, if it were not for scientific advancements. What is therefore required is a good regulatory framework where the use of technology or scientific discoveries are regulated in a correct and ethical manner. Above all, I think increased education and awareness levels would help us all to self-regulate!What is your passion? Is it science, finance, teaching or writing?Science definitely! There are so many fascinating things being discovered and created around us all the time, that the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ which little kids take along with them all the time, are still alive in me – and I do hope they never die.But then, being a typical Gemini, I have always wanted to dabble in many other things too. So Finance is what I got into for my doctoral research. Teaching and writing are natural corollaries. And today, what gives me the biggest high is to be in a class-full of young, questioning minds!Do you plan to write another book? Would it be a sequel to your first book because of its open ending?A lot of people who have read the book have actually felt that a sequel would be very interesting. Yes, Never Say Goodbye ends with many questions left unanswered in the readers’ minds – but then that was the intention. I get a thrill when those who have read the book write to me to say that they spent hours thinking after they finished with the book. So I have actually been toying with the idea of a sequel where the clone of Aakash takes birth, with Anjali not having a relationship of any sort with him, but still having a bond which is unshakeable. It would be interesting for the cloned Aakash to go through life in a society which is yet to come to terms with even genetically modified food!
The weekend witnessed a cultural treat at the all the three Dilli Haats in the Capital. The second week of the weekend festival Dilli Haat Utsav marked the next level of entertainment and fun. Artistes from diverse backgrounds geared up to deliver a captivating performance at the three Dilli Haats that engrossed everyone. Dilli Haat, Janak Puri witnesses the Bhangra and Gidda dance performaces organised by Punjabi Academy on Saturday and Sunday’s evening was marked by the musical performance of Ashok Mastie (Glassi Fame). Dilli Haat, Pitampura saw the Maithli/Bhojpuri performances that captivated the audience. Dilli Haat, INA featured Urdu’s Poet Meet (Mushaira) by Urdu Academy on Saturday. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The six shayars of the meet were – Saleem Kashif, Sarfaraz Ahmed Sarfaraz, Sartaj Amrohvi, Samar Noorpuri, Qasir Sehswani and Rashid Baqui. Sunday witnessed performances by All Assamese Student’s Association, where folk songs and Assamese remix melodies delighted the audience.Delhi, often termed as mini-India has found an expression to its heritage with these series of weekly festivals at all three Dilli Haats till 31 March, 2015. Delicious and delectable food items from various cuisines in the country are being served at your platter. An elaborate presentation and sale of handicraft and handlooms items will be accompanying to satisfy your shopping appetite. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixDelhi Tourism and Department of Art, Culture and Languages, Government of Delhi have jointly brought this series of weekend festivals. Institutions like Sahitya Kala Parishad, Hindi Academy, Urdu Academy, Punjabi Academy etc. will be hosting cultural shows, that include celebrity performance, Mushaira (Urdu Poet’s Meet), musical performances, Kavi Sammela and dance shows. The utsav that started on 13 September attracted a large number of audiences at all three venues. The first week of the festival featured qawali show oranised by Urdu Academy and folk dances from Rajasthan that engrossed the audience present there. This initiative by Delhi Tourism is to make every weekend a happening weekend and also gives a platform to new and seasoned artistes to showcase their talent.
Kolkata: A team of KMC officials visiting B R Singh Hospital and a construction site in Central Kolkata found Aedes Agypti larvae in both the premises on Saturday.The team led by Atin Ghosh, Member, Mayor-in-Council (Health) visited the hospital premises and the construction site on Saturday afternoon as a part of the anti-larvae drive. It may be mentioned that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has directed the civic bodies to conduct anti-larvae drives throughout the year. The civic officials found Aedes Aegypti pupa at the canteen building of BR Singh Hospital. Aedes Aegypti pupa and Anopheles pupa were found on the accumulated water on the roof of the new building and inside four water tanks whose covers were missing. Culex larvae were found in the drain beside the canteen. Aedes Aegypti pupa was found in the accumulated water on the parapet wall. The report has been submitted to the hospital authorities. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedAedes Aegypti pupa and larvae were found at the site of Ideal Construction. The garbage had not been cleared for quite some time. There is accumulated water on the balcony and the cover of the water tank has not been kept properly. The KMC officials informed the officials at the site to take immediate steps and gave a written report of the findings. If the owner fails to comply, then the KMC will file a case with the Municipal Court where the quantum of the fine could be anything between Rs 10,000 and Rs 1 lakh.
Kolkata:The Special Task Force of the Kolkata Police seized 60 semi-finished improvised firearms, ammunition and arms making equipment and arrested nine persons during two separate raids, an official said on Tuesday. The raids were conducted in Kolkata and North 24 Parganas district in West Bengal, a senior officer said. While three arms dealers were arrested with semi finished guns and Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) from Kolkata’s Maidan area during a raid on Monday, another six persons were arrested from an illegal arms factory in North 24 Parganas district’s Jagatdal later on that day, police said. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life “The anti-FICN team of the Special Task Force arrested three persons named Suku Seikh, Md. Azimuddin and Md. Shamim from near the Kolkata Police Paddock in Maidan area on Monday. Forty semi-finished improvised firearms were seized from them,” the officer said. “Apart from the guns, a bundle of fake Rs 500 notes of the value of Rs 1 lakh was also seized from the three accused,” he added. Acting on a tip-off from one of the arrested accused, the STF team then raided an illegal arms factory at Choto Sreerampur village in Jagatdal area and arrested another six persons working in the factory. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed “Twenty pieces of semi finished fire arms, one lathe machine, two drilling machines and several parts of improvised firearms were seized from the factory. Six persons working in the illegal workshop were arrested,” the officer said. According to STF, seven of the nine arrested persons are from Bihar while two others are from Maharashtra and Bengal, respectively. “All the arrested accused have been prosecuted under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 489B,C (possession of counterfeit currency) and various sections of the arms act. They will be presented in the court today (Tuesday),” the officer added.
Kolkata: In a unique move New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) has installed an outdoor exercise equipment for the residents as a part of the green and happy city initiative.This is for the first time in Bengal when such equipment has been installed for the public. It may be mentioned that in Bhutan, open air outdoor equipment have been installed for visitors and local people to use as a part of the implementation of the wellness concept. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has also decided to set up outdoor gymnasiums in its parts and squares.The leg press machine has been installed near the Nazrul Tirtha bus stand. People across ages throng the bus stop and some of them have already started working out using the machine. The concept behind installing the equipment is staying fit while waiting for buses.The leg press machine is very useful as it stimulates the quads, glutes and hamstrings to their maximum potential. As many elderly people suffer from knee problems, using the machine can give them relief.All sportsmen, athletes, swimmers and cyclists use similar machines to increase the strength of their leg muscles.If successful, NKDA will install other such equipment for the public. New Town is fast coming up as a green and happy city. Steps have already been taken to increase the green cover. It is the first area where air-conditioned electric buses have been introduced.
Kolkata: The pressure of goods vehicles has increased in Jessore Road after the collapse of Majerhat bridge. According to the police, a section of goods vehicle drivers are using the Belgharia Expressway and Jessore Road to enter Kolkata and to move towards South 24-Parganas.According to police sources, since the collapse of Majerhat bridge, a good number of heavy goods vehicles have been using Jessore Road as their entry point. Due to this, traffic congestion has also increased in the airport area. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life”As Kolkata Police has imposed some new restrictions, we are using Jessore Road as the entry point to the city. Several drivers are using Eastern Metropolitan Bypass to travel to South 24-Parganas. The distance is getting a bit high,but we can move smoothly using this route,” said a truck driver.”We have noticed that the movement of goods vehicles has increased recently. As a result of excessive pressure of traffic, it is taking a long time to clear the congestion,” said an official of Bidhannagar Police. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedDue to the increasing number of goods vehicles, Jessore Road is also getting damaged. The stretch between airport 3 number gate and airport 1 number gate is in a mess. Due to bad weather since the last few months, a section of road has been heavily damaged. The pressure of goods vehicles on the road is damaging it further. As a result, normal vehicular traffic flow is getting slower, creating congestion.According to daily commuters, the situation worsened due to goods vehicle movement after 9 pm. “After 9 pm, goods vehicles rule the road. Due to that both Kolkata and Barasat bound movement gets slower,” said Sanjib Chakraborty, a resident of Madhyamgram area.
Some of our most popular songs of Independence- composed during India’s struggle for freedom- that were used in Bengali theatre will be presented at a unique musical to be put up by Academy Theatre for its annual show this month. The musical is all about how Bengali theatre, specifically its songs, came to imbibe the spirit of patriotism. With the passage of time, these songs won the pride of place in the nation’s clarion call for freedom during the British rule in India, when the entire country grew restive to free itself from imperialist shackles. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfBengali theatre had naturally accumulated a vast repertoire of mancha-gaan (theatre songs) of patriotic and nationalistic fervour, handed down from generation to generation. The musical which weaves together these patriotic songs has been conceptualised and directed by theatre researcher and singer Devajit Bandyopadhyay.The festival is an attempt to explore the mancha-gaan which swam against the tide during the struggle for Independence to inspire the masses along with a tribute towards the national heroes of India. “It all began with Dinabandhu Mitra’s Neel Darpan, staged in 1872 and Jyorindanath Tagore’s play Sarojini featuring a song by Tagore and moved onto theatre during the Partition of Bengal (1905). Plays by Amritalal Basu, Girish Ghosh, songs by Mukunda Das, Rabindranath Tagore and D L Roy became extremely popular. This was the time when songs like O amar desher mati, Maayer deoa mota kapor, Otho go Bharatlakhhi and Bankim Chandra’s Bande Mataram came to be sung by the masses”, Devajit told Millennium Post. The songs will be presented on stage by Devajit and Riddhi Bandyopadhyay.
Feeding your pooch with raw meat could pose potential health risks as they contain high levels of bacteria, researchers have warned. A study by researchers from the University of Agricultural Sciences in Sweden showed that many raw meat products contain enterobacteriaceae species, which are indicators of faecal contamination and hygiene standards. Such food products can also cause health risks to people, particularly infants, elderly and those with poor immunity, the study said. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfA raw meat-based diet has become increasingly popular with dogs in recent years because it is seen as a “healthier natural alternative” to the widely available commercial products. But unlike commercial feeds, raw meat products are not heat treated or freeze dried to pasteurise, the research team added. For the study, published in the journal Vet Record, researchers took samples from 60 packs of raw meat samples that were analysed for bacteria, including enterobacteriaceae species – clostridium perfringens, salmonella and campylobacter. Nearly 31 samples (52 per cent) contained bacteria levels that exceeded the 5,000 bacteria per gram maximum threshold set by the European Union regulations, said the study. Escherichia coli was found in about a third of the samples. Clostridium perfringens, another marker of faecal contamination and hygiene standards, was found in 18 samples (30 per cent).
Kolkata: Ensuring better service for pilgrims going for Haj this season, the West Bengal State Haj Committee has made special arrangements this year.”The first Haj flight (SV 5425) will take off from Kolkata on July 25, 2019. It will leave at 6.25 pm. All arrangements have been made for pilgrims’ comfort and safety. The Haj pilgrims will have to report West Bengal State Haj Committee on July 23,” Ejaz Ahmed, media coordinator of West Bengal State Haj Committee, told Millennium Post. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThis year, approximately 12,000 Haj pilgrims from Odisha, Bihar, Tripura and West Bengal will be leaving for the pilgrimage from Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport. As many as 8,650 pilgrims are scheduled to make the pilgrimage from West Bengal alone. Like previous year, this year also, chief minister Mamata Banerjee will make arrangements for the breakfast of the pilgrims and special dry fruits packet will be offered to them. West Bengal State Haj Committee chairman Nadimul Haque will see off the pilgrims at the airport. The departure of Haj pilgrims will continue till August 5, 2019. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in state”Haj pilgrims are instructed to report West Bengal State Haj Committee for vaccination and other details three days before their departure,” said Ahmed. At the time of reporting, Haj pilgrims will be asked to furnish their application form along with vaccination paper. The cost incurred in performing Haj is Rs 3,12, 800. To prevent any untoward incidents, ambulance and fire extinguishers will be present at State Haj Committee and Haj Tower. Haj is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is performed in the last month of the Islamic calendar. Muslims are expected to make at least once during their lifetime if they can afford to do so.
U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday will announce a renewed push for cybersecurity legislation after recent headline-grabbing hacks against companies like Sony Pictures and Home Depot.Obama will throw his support behind efforts to give liability protection to companies that quickly share information about attacks, but will require strict protections for personal information, the White House said in a statement.The White House first proposed cyber legislation in 2011. In the last Congress, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed a bill, but the Senate failed to clear legislation.Lawmakers have struggled to balance corporate concerns about liability with consumer fears about privacy, especially following the leak of information about government surveillance programs by former contractor Edward Snowden.The government itself has not been immune from cyber problems. On Monday, social media accounts for the U.S. military command that oversees operations in the Middle East were hacked by people claiming to be allied with Islamic State militants.Obama will meet with congressional leaders at the White House on Tuesday, and is expected to discuss his cybersecurity proposals.In a speech at the Department of Homeland Security’s cybersecurity nerve center slated for 3.10 p.m. ET, Obama also will propose new powers for law enforcement to investigate and prosecute cybercrime, the White House said.His proposal includes measures to allow for the prosecution of the sale of botnets, and would give courts the power to shut down botnets responsible for distributed denial of service attacks.Botnets are typically used to steal financial information, to relay spam messages and to conduct “denial-of-service” attacks against websites by having all the computers try to connect simultaneously.Other measures would be aimed at deterring the sale of spyware and would make selling stolen credit card information overseas a crime, the White House said.Obama also will announce details of a cybersecurity summit slated for Feb. 13, an event that will take place not at the White House, but in Silicon Valley, at Stanford University.Obama’s legislative proposals are part of a preview of his Jan. 20 State of the Union address.On Monday, he announced he wants to work with Congress on a law that would require companies to tell consumers within 30 days from the discovery of a data breach that their personal information has been compromised.He also wants to codify a “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights” that gives consumers more say in how companies use their data.(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Nick Macfie) 3 min read Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Register Now » Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. January 13, 2015 This story originally appeared on Reuters
March 21, 2019 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 5 min read For decades, society and the federal government fixated on how to get girls into technology careers. There have been summits and conferences held, numerous presidential and congressional committees and reports, plus countless articles on the issue. All this activity would indicate that education and inspiring girls to choose tech as a career is the key for long-standing and sustainable female representation in the heavily male-dominated tech industry. However, this approach, which stretches back to the Clinton administration, fails to address a key issue — keeping women in the tech workforce.Related: 6 Inspiring Women Changing Tech and Business This New YearThe female tech talent pool in the U.S. leaks like a sieve and requires immediate attention. Here’s a sobering fact: today, there’s a smaller percentage of women in tech than 25 years ago. Men, and almost exclusively men, design the technologies that individuals use to interact with the world for more than half of their waking hours. It’s staggering how much influence tech has on society and the individual, and how much of that influence is coded by one gender.More than half — 56 percent — of women who enter the tech industry drop out of the workforce midway into their careers. None of the reasons cited are particularly shocking or unknown. The NCWIT report cited reasons including being undervalued — which is demonstrated in lower pay — not being challenged in tasks, not having a seat at the table and seeking a balance in priorities to include their personal life. Women don’t want to walk away from what they love to do, but the male-led tech industry isn’t working for the majority of women.Individuals, businesses and the society-at-large pay an astronomical price in hard and soft costs when women drop out of tech. For the worker, she’s forfeited more than $120,000 to get her degree, and she’s probably paying 4-5 percent in interest with student loans. There’s the cost of certifications, conferences and continuing education as well as the time investment in developing key expertise, building networks and developing intellectual capital.Related: Fellow Women in Tech: Where Do We Go From Here?Financial impacts on businesses can run even more steep in real costs, climbing as high as a million dollars or more. According to The Society of Human Resource Management, it costs six to nine months salary to replace a salaried employee. Hired.com reported in 2017 that the average tech worker in San Francisco made $142,000 a year. So, a company could pay anywhere from $852,000 to $1.3 million to backfill this position. Of course, replacing a salaried woman is on the lower end of this range, thanks to the well-documented wage gap. Keep in mind, this cost does not take into account the loss of productivity, institutional knowledge, and potentially, the industry’s next great idea when a woman leaves tech.Parity is profitable. A 2016 study by Peterson Institute for International Economics compared companies with no female corporate leadership to those with a 30 percent representation and found that the injection of women leadership yielded a 15 percent increase in profitability. This stat just scratches the surface of the missed growth and opportunity in tech without female participation at parity. We know that diversity of thought increases innovation and enhances problem-solving.I urge us to focus our energy equally on keeping women in tech careers and inspiring girls to enter tech. Gender parity in the tech industry is about more than workforce diversity. All of us must shape the virtual worlds in which we operate so these worlds are truly expansive, innovative and disruptive versus hard coding more of the same. But gender parity in tech is an impossible dream unless we stop the drop of women from tech after they start their careers. Awareness is a start, but it doesn’t generate change. Action is needed to move society forward. To energize this much needed change, I am launching the One Woman Challenge to ignite a discussion around this issue and create career supportive actions for women in business.Related: How Tech Conferences Are (Finally) Injecting Gender Balance Into Their Speaker Line-upsAt its core, the campaign is about connecting and contributing to a woman’s career path by pledging to help with one supportive act. This could be anything from reviewing a presentation, to taking a coffee meeting, to making an introduction. These acts create opportunity and change at the individual level, and each individual action creates a swell that together starts to change the tide. The time is now for us all to be change agents for society and a future in tech that will include female.To learn more about the One Woman Challenge, visit MJ Freeway’s social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Enroll Now for Free This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now
Henry T. Casey, Henry T. Casey, on Chromebooks have a reputation for being overly simple, but you can find out more about your particular Chrome OS machine if you know where to poke around. For example, did you know that you can check the health of a Chromebook’s battery, without any other apps and only a few clicks and commands?This trick is super useful for finding out if your Chromebook’s battery is in its last days, or if its short battery life is due to you pushing it to the limits. Also, you get to meet the Chrome terminal, the Crosh — an amazing name. There’s also some optional algebra involved, if you want to see what the results say about your system’s long term life.MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro: Which 13-inch MacBook Is Right For You?Apple’s entry-level MacBook Air and Pro look pretty similar, but our testing proved they differ in crucial ways.Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Which Cheap Tablet Is Best? Amazon Fire 7 vs Walmart Onn02:45关闭选项Automated Captions – en-USAutomated Captions – en-USAutomated Captions – en-US facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.laptopmag.com/articles/check-chromebook-battery-health?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0003:4603:46 1. Hit Ctrl + Alt + t to open the Crosh.2. Type ‘battery test’ and hit Enter.3. Here’s your battery’s health, measured in a percentage out of 100 percent.4. If your Chromebook is unplugged, it will run its battery discharge test, which checks how much of your battery drains in 5 minutes.You can get a speculative battery life estimate (based on whatever action you’re doing on the Chromebook) with that result. For example, I plugged 0.69, the result I got, into the following equation:((100/0.69)*5)/60=And got 12.07 hours of battery life. That being said, this test doesn’t take actual system use into account.5. Type ‘battery_firmware info” into the Crosh and hit Enter.6. Here you’ll see the maximum battery capacity (Design capacity), how of that capacity your battery hit at its last full charge, and how many battery cycles you’ve gone through. So, if my Battery Health is at 96.86 percent, that means I’ve used 3.14 percent of its total life in those 25 cycles. Then, (96.86/3.14) = (X/25), where X = the amount of cycles it will take to deplete the rest of the battery’s health. A simple bit of division and multiplication gets you the answer of approximately 771 cycles being left in your battery, with a total of 796 charges.But I wouldn’t want to rely on long life from a laptop battery once it reaches 400 or more charges. So, if you’re thinking about selling your Chromebook or buying a used one, you’ll want to run these tests to see how its battery is holding up. Congrats, now you’re a lot more informed about your Chromebook’s battery life! Should I Buy a Chromebook? Buying Guide and Advice Henry is a senior writer at Laptop Mag, covering security, Apple and operating systems. Prior to joining Laptop Mag — where he’s the self-described Rare Oreo Expert — he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. You can find him at your local pro wrestling events, and wondering why Apple decided to ditch its MagSafe power adapters. Author Bio by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeKelley Blue Book5 Mid-engine Corvettes That Weren’tKelley Blue BookUndoKelley Blue Book2019’s Honda Clarity Will Make You Love Plug-In Hybrid CarsKelley Blue BookUndoKelley Blue BookSee Our New Favorite Compact Luxury SUV—Kelley Blue BookKelley Blue BookUndoKelley Blue Book25 Best-Selling Cars of 2019…So FarKelley Blue BookUndoKelley Blue BookYou Won’t Believe How Good These Pick-Up Trucks AreKelley Blue BookUndoKelley Blue BookYou Won’t Believe How Affordable These Ford Car Models AreKelley Blue BookUndoAdvertisement
Steam The Discovery Update 2.0 by Martin Brinkmann on November 08, 2016 in Games – 3 commentsValve published a new version of Steam Store today called The Discovery Update 2.0 that is designed to give users “more control” over their browsing experience.When you open the main Steam store site on the Web or in the Steam client software you will notice several changes right away.The left side features a new quick access listing if the width of the Store interface is sufficient for that. It leads to popular and common destinations such as recommendations, top sellers, or recently updated.The featured and recommended section has been updated as well. You do get a list of games in rotation still but Valve added four additional screenshots to each game and more information on top of that. The screenshots are displayed in the main pane when you hover the mouse over them.Information include tags, and why the game is recommended. If you are signed in, you get a small arrow icon in the upper right corner of the screen to add a game to the wishlist, to tell Valve that you are not interested in that particular game, and an option to open your preferences.When you scroll down you get additional new items of interest. The sidebar menu lists recently viewed items for instance, and below the featured sections are offers, games that friends play, and the discovery queue.This is followed by a list of curators and their game suggestions, list of games that you own that were updated recently, and the lists that highlight new, popular and upcoming releases.This list has been updated as well. You get screenshots for the selected item for instance, the same small arrow icon on the game’s thumbnail, and tags listed there for each game.It is debatable whether the new Store Store interface is an improvement over the old user interfac. While it has been certainly designed with an “how do we push sales even more” attitude, some of the new options or changes improve the user experience regardless of that, while others may hamper it.For instance, pushing game updates near the top is a good option for gamers to discover games that they own that got updated.One issue that gamers may have with the store on the other hand is that it is now a lot harder to display the top games listings as you have to scroll down quite a bit to get there.There is also no option to hide certain modules. If you are not interested in the discovery queue, friend recommendations, or offers, you will still have to scroll through them to go to other parts of the Store that you are interested in.One new feature that Valve implemented but has not mentioned explicitly is the new store content’s preferences page. There you may add up to three tags that you want to see less of in the Store, and make certain choices in regards to the products that you want to see.You can use it to disable Virtual Reality (VR), Early Access, Pre-Purchase, Software, or Videos & Movies suggestions for instance, or block products with violent or sexual content.Three tags is not an awful lot, but the option to hide certain recommendations, e.g. VR, is certainly a welcome addition.Now You: What’s your take on the Steam Store updated?SummaryArticle NameSteam The Discovery Update 2.0DescriptionValve published a new version of Steam Store today called The Discovery Update 2.0 that is designed to give users “more control” over their browsing experience.Author Martin BrinkmannPublisher Ghacks Technology NewsLogo Advertisement
Microsoft Windows Security Updates April 2018 release overview by Martin Brinkmann on April 10, 2018 in Microsoft – Last Update: May 08, 2018 – 22 commentsWelcome to our monthly overview of Microsoft’s Windows security updates. We provide you with full details of all released security and non-security updates for Windows and other Microsoft products.Check out the executive summary at the top if you are in a hurry, or go through the list of released updates and click on the links that point to Microsoft’s Knowledgebase to look up additional information.The overview includes the vulnerability distribution per client and server operating system, as well as for Edge and Internet Explorer, the list of patches, download information, and information about Microsoft Office and security advisories.Microsoft planned to release the Windows 10 Spring Creators Update, version 1803 today, but it appears that the release has been delayed.Microsoft Windows Security Updates April 2018You may download the following Excel spreadsheet that lists all published security updates for all Microsoft products on the April 2018 Patch day: Windows Security Updates April 2018Executive SummaryMicrosoft released security updates for all supported client and server versions of the Windows operating system.All client and server versions of Windows are affected by critical vulnerabilities.Other Microsoft products with patches are: Internet Explorer, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Edge, Adobe Flash Player, Microsoft Visual Studio, Microsoft Azure IoT SDK, ChakraCoreMicrosoft lifted the update block restriction for Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and server variants on devices without HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\QualityCompat\cadca5fe-87d3-4b96-b7fb-a231484277cc Registry setting.Operating System DistributionWindows 7: 21 vulnerabilities of which 6 are rated critical, 1 moderate and 14 importantWindows 8.1: 23 vulnerabilities of which 6 are rated critical, 1 moderate and 16 importantWindows 10 version 1607: 25 vulnerabilities of which 6 are rated critical and 19 importantWindows 10 version 1703: 28 vulnerabilities of which 6 are rated critical and 22 importantWindows 10 version 1709: 28 vulnerabilities of which 6 are rated critical and 22 importantWindows Server productsWindows Server 2008 R2: 21 vulnerabilities of which 6 are rated critical, 1 moderate and 14 importantWindows Server 2012 and 2012 R2: 23 vulnerabilities which 6 are rated critical, 1 moderate and 16 importantWindows Server 2016: 27 vulnerabilities of which 6 are rated critical, 1 moderate and 20 importantOther Microsoft ProductsInternet Explorer 11: 13 vulnerabilities, 8 critical, 5 importantMicrosoft Edge: 10 vulnerabilities, 8 critical, 2 importantWindows Security UpdatesMicrosoft released an update for the Microsoft Malware Protection Engine on April 3, 2018.KB4093112 — Windows 10 version 1709Provides support to control usage of Indirect Branch Prediction Barrier (IBPB) within some AMD processors (CPUs).Access violation issue in Internet Explorer.Enterprise Mode redirect issue in IE and Edge.SVG access violation issue when under high load in Internet Explorer.Updated time zone information issues.App-V service may stop working on RDS servers that host many users.User accounts locking issue when moving apps to a shared platform using App-V.ActiveX content printing issue in Internet Explorer.Addresses an issue that causes document.execCommand(“copy”) to always return False in Internet Explorer.Internet Explorer did not identify custom controls correctly in some instances.Security updates to Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Windows kpp platform and frameworks, Microsoft scripting engine, Windows graphics, Windows Server, Windows kernel, Windows datacenter networking, Windows wireless networking, Windows virtualization and Kernel, and Windows Hyper-V.KB4093107 — Windows 10 version 1703Same as KB4093112KB4093119 — Windows 10 version 1607Same as KB4093112KB4093108 — Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 — Security OnlyLifted blocking of updates via Windows Update and WSUS if “antivirus compatibility” Registry key was not set.Stop error when the update from previous month was applied on 32-bit systems with PAE mode disabled.Kernel reliability improvements.Security updates to Internet Explorer, Microsoft scripting engine, Microsoft graphics component, Windows Server, Windows datacenter networking, Windows virtualization and kernel, and Windows app platform and frameworks.KB4093115 — Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2Lifted blocking of updates via Windows Update and WSUS if “antivirus compatibility” Registry key was not set.Security updates to Internet Explorer, Microsoft scripting engine, Microsoft graphics component, Windows Server, Windows kernel, Windows datacenter networking, Windows Hyper-V, Windows virtualization and kernel , and Windows app platform and frameworks.KB4093114 — Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2ActiveX printing issue in IE.SVG rendering issue causing high load issue in IE.Custom controls identifying issue in IE.and all of KB4093115.KB4093118 — Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 — Monthly RollupActiveX printing issue in Internet ExplorerSVG high load rendering issue in Internet Explorer.Issue with identifying custom controls in IE.and all updates of KB4093108KB4093110 — Security update for Adobe Flash Player: April 10, 2018KB4091756 — Windows XP Embedded and Windows Server 2008 — Denial of Server vulnerabilityKB4092946 — Cumulative Security Update for Internet ExplorerKB4093108 — Security Only Quality Update for Windows Embedded Standard 7, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2KB4093118 — Security Monthly Quality Rollup for Windows Embedded Standard 7, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2KB4093123 — Security Monthly Quality Rollup for Windows Embedded 8 Standard and Windows Server 2012KB4093122 — Security Only Quality Update for Windows Embedded 8 Standard and Windows Server 2012KB4093109 — Cumulative Security Update for Windows 10 Version 1511KB4093111 — Cumulative Security Update for Windows 10KB4093223 — Security Update for Windows Server 2008 and Windows XP Embedded — Patches Microsoft graphics remote code execution issue.KB4093224 — Security Update for Windows Server 2008 and Windows XP Embedded — Fixes Microsoft graphics component denial of service vulnerability.KB4093227 — Security Update for Windows Server 2008 — security update for the Windows Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) denial of service vulnerabilityKB4093257 — Security Update Windows Server 2008 and Windows XP Embedded — patches a buffer overflow vulnerability in the Microsoft JET Database engine and an elevation of privilege vulnerability in Windows Adobe Type Manager Font Driver.KB4093478 — Security Update for Windows Server 2008 — patches information disclosure vulnerability.KB4101864 — Security Update for WES09 and POSReady 2009 for x86-based SystemsKnown IssuesWindows 10 version 1709Windows Update History reports that updates did not install because of 0x80070643 even though they did install.Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2SMB Servers may leak memoryStop error on PCs that don’t support SIMD or SSE2Security advisories and updatesADV180007 — April 2018 Adobe Flash Security UpdateNon-security related updatesKB4089848 for Windows 10 version 1709 — non security update that fixes lots of issues.KB4093137 — Update for Windows 10 Version 1607 — Servicing stack update for Windows 10, version 1607KB4093430 — Update for Windows 10 Version 1507 –Servicing stack update for Windows 10, version 1507KB4093432 — Update for Windows 10 Version 1703 — Servicing stack update for Windows 10, version 1703KB4099989 — Windows 10 Version 1709 — Servicing stack update for Windows 10, version 1709KB890830 — Windows Malicious Software Removal ToolMicrosoft Office UpdatesOffice 2016KB4018337 — Excel 2016: security update that patches a remote code execution vulnerability and includes non-security improvements.KB4011628 — Office 2016: patches remote code execution vulnerabilityKB4018319 — Office 2016: patches remote code execution vulnerability and includes non-security improvementsKB4018328 — Office 2016: patches remote code execution vulnerability and includes non-security improvements.KB4018339 — Word 2016: patches remote code execution vulnerability and includes non-security improvements.KB4011667 — Office 2016: fixes crash that occurs when adding an account that has already signed in.KB4018322 — Office 2016: blocks minors from running or obtaining add-ins without parental consent from the online store, and adds translation for the message why an Office add-on cannot be loaded.KB4018329 — Office 2016: update for Office 2016 Language Interface Pack.KB4018326 — Outlook 2016: adds support for Sync Slider, improves some translations, an issue with favorite folders disappearing under certain circumstances, and an issue where the recipients name may be removed from the recipient list if it matches the sender’s display name.KB4011726 — PowerPoint 2016: adds help message for Microsoft Equation 3.0 and translation of the message that informs about the end of support for Microsoft Equation 3.0.KB4018320 — Project 2016: fixes a Project opening issue that results in the error message “Sorry, we were unable to open your project. Please try again. If this happens again, contact your administrator.”. Fixes a crash furthermore, an issue with Change Working Time dialog boxes, and introduces new information to projects saved in XML format.Tip: you can restore simple saving by setting SimpleXmlexport to the value of 1 in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\16.0\MS Project\Options\Save\KB4018323 — Skype for Business 2016 update.Office 2013KB4018347 — Word 2013: patches remote code execution and includes non-security improvements.KB4018350 — Excel 2013: patches remote code execution vulnerability and includes non-security improvements.KB4018330 — Office 2013: patches remote code execution vulnerability and includes non-security fixes.KB4018288 — Office 2013: Patches remote code execution vulnerabilityKB3178636 — Office 2013: fixes a crash in Outlook 2013 when opening messages that contain byte-order mark or zero-width non-breaking space characters in the body.KB4018333 — Office 2013: adds translations of messages that inform users why an Office add-in could not be loaded. Also, minors require parental consent to obtain or run add-ins from the online store.KB4018303 — Outlook 2013: fixes a crash in Outlook, custom forms with Visual Basic Script issue in shared calendars, sent emails appearing in the wrong Sent Items folder, and authentication prompt that were locked behind the main Outlook window.KB4018289 — Powerpoint 2013: same as KB4011726KB4018335 — Project 2013: same as KB4018320KB4018334 — Skype for Business 2015 update.Office 2010KB4018362 — Excel 2010 security updateKB4018359 — Word 2010 security updateKB4018357 — Office 2013 security updateKB4018311 — Office 2013 security updateKB2965234 — PowerPoint 2010: Adds “appropriate help message” for Microsoft Equation 3.0.KB4018312 — same as KB2965234 but for PowerPoint Viewer.KB3128038 — Project 2010: adds new information to saved projects in XML format including name of views, tables, filters, groups, and more.KB4018317 — Outlook 2010: custom forms with Visual Basic Script doesn’t run in shared calendars.Update: Microsoft did release patches for Office 2007, SharePoint Server 2016, SharePoint Server 2013, Project Server 2013, and SharePoint Foundation 2013, and SharePoint Server 2013 as well.How to download and install the April 2018 security updatesMicrosoft distributes updates via Windows Update to consumer systems. All versions of Windows are configured to check for, download and install important updates when they are published.You may run a manual check for updates to pick up the updates as early as possible as the update checking does not happen in realtime.Tap on the Windows-key to open the Start Menu.Type Windows Updates and select the result.Click on the “check for updates” button if the update check is not run automatically.Windows runs a check for updates and will download and install those it finds automatically.Note: It is recommended that you create a backup of the system before you install updates as they may break things.Direct update downloadsUpdates for all supported versions of Windows may also be downloaded from the Microsoft Update Catalog website. Just click on the direct links below to do so.Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP KB4093118— 2018-04 Security Monthly Quality Rollup for Windows 7 KB4093108— 2018-04 Security Only Quality Update for Windows 7Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 KB4093114— 2018-04 Security Monthly Quality Rollup for Windows 8.1 KB4093115— 2018-04 Security Only Quality Update for Windows 8.1Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016 (version 1607) KB4093119— 2018-04 Cumulative Update for Windows 10 Version 1607 and Windows Server 2016Windows 10 (version 1703)KB4093107 — 2018-04 Cumulative Update for Windows 10 Version 1703Windows 10 (version 1709)KB4093112 — 2018-04 Cumulative Update for Windows 10 Version 1709Additional resourcesApril 2018 Security Updates release notesList of software updates for Microsoft productsList of security advisoriesSecurity Updates GuideMicrosoft Update Catalog siteOur in-depth Windows update guideWindows 10 Update HistoryWindows 8.1 Update HistoryWindows 7 Update History SummaryArticle NameMicrosoft Windows Security Updates April 2018 release overviewDescriptionWelcome to our monthly overview of Microsoft’s Windows security updates. We provide you with full details of all released security and non-security updates for Windows and other Microsoft products.Author Martin BrinkmannPublisher Ghacks Technology NewsLogo Advertisement
Automate Mouse and Keyboard Activity with PlayStatic by Martin Brinkmann on November 05, 2018 in Software – 9 commentsPlayStatic is a free program for Microsoft’s Windows operating system to automate mouse and keyboard activity.Automation can be useful at times to complete repetitive tasks faster or without user action. Basic examples include a test scenario where the same set of actions is performed over and over again, or a computer game where you need to repeat the same task over and over again (think Idle games or games that involve a lot of farming).PlayStatic needs to be installed before it can be used. The installer holds no surprises and you get the option to run the program directly after setup completes.Automate Mouse and KeyboardPlayStatic supports two main modes: you can use the recording mode in which all mouse and keyboard activity is recorded automatically, or use manually mode to specify actions individually.Automatic mode is without the shadow of a doubt easier to setup. Activate the Recording tab in the interface and click on the “start recording” button to create a new list of tasks. Check the “hide PlayStatic interface” to hide it automatically when you start a recording.The application records mouse and keyboard activity automatically and displays all recorded events in the interface.Each event is listed with its type, e.g. keydown or mousemove, position on the screen, delay value, and other data. Select “stop recording” when you are done.You get options to manipulate the recording; you may remove items from the listing or modify them individually.Recordings can be saved to the local system and loaded at a later point in time.Manual mode picks up any recording that you loaded or created so that you may add manual actions to the list of tasks.One limitation of the supported manual mode is that you can’t create certain tasks, e.g. mousewheel events. The majority of tasks, key presses, mouse clicks or movement, are supported, however.Select the “run tasks” tab when you are ready to run a recording. You can run recordings once or multiple times. While there is no “run until stop” option, tasks can be repeated up to one million times.PlayStatic supports some options such as hotkeys to start and end recordings, or to run a task automatically on program start.Closing Words and VerdictPlayStatic is a well designed program to record mouse and keyboard activity to replay the recorded list of events automatically and near indefinitely. The program can be useful for a number of scenarios, from the already mentioned test and gaming scenarios to stress tests and any other task that requires the same set of mouse and keyboard actions.Now You: Do you use task automation programs?Summary12345 Author Rating4 based on 5 votes Software Name PlayStaticOperating System WindowsSoftware Category AdministrationLanding Page https://playstatic.weebly.com/ Advertisement
DEAL OF THE DAY Bestseller Wow facts 2Share this videoCopyPausePlay00:00% Buffered0PreviousPausePlayNextLive00:00 / 00:00UnmuteMuteExit fullscreenFullscreenCopy video urlPlay / PauseMute / UnmuteReport a problemLanguageBackMox PlayerDefaultEnglishEspañolУкраїнськаРусскийThe special laser retroreflector that NASA supplied to ISRO is positioned on the Chandrayaan’s Vikram Lander. The new microretroreflector device weighs only 22 grams and can be seen from the lunar orbit. It is similar to the one deployed on the InSight Mars lander.NASA’s Laser ExperimentThe laser ranging retroreflector is a special type of mirror that can always reflect an incoming light beam to the same direction that it came from. The reflector requires no power and is still capable of operating.The first precise measurement of the distance from Earth to the moon was achieved on Aug. 1, 1969, in a landmark experiment involving Lick Observatory astronomers and the Apollo 11 astronauts.At the time, Lick Observatory’s Shane Telescope was the second largest in the world. The 120-inch telescope fired a powerful laser beam at the moon and detected the light that bounced back from retroreflector array placed by Apollo 11 astronauts on the lunar surface.When the laser pulse reached the moon, its light spanned over an area about 2 miles in diameter. The delay between the short pulses of light from the laser and the return signals from the moon was used to calculate the distance between the two bodies with unprecedented accuracy.”It was a big technological feat to detect such a small signal,” said Elinor Gates, staff astronomer at Lick Observatory.The amount of light that came back to the telescope from the reflector array was just a few photons. When a laser beam hits a reflector, scientists at the observatories use sensitive filtering and amplification equipment to detect any return signal. NASA attributes the improvement of measurement of the moon’s distance to better lasers and computing equipment.Chandrayaan’s Mission To The MoonNASA congratulated ISRO on the successful launch of the Chandrayaan-2 on July 22.”We’re proud to support your mission comms using our Deep Space Network and look forward to what you learn about the lunar South pole where we will send astronauts on our #Artemis mission in a few years,” NASA tweeted.The mission experienced a setback when the launch on July 15 was aborted an hour before liftoff due to technical issues. Chandrayaan’s soft landing on the south side of the moon is scheduled on Sept. 7. It will journey for 48 days to reach the moon. TAG Apollo 11, India, Lunar Mission Ads by Amazon ENDS IN Ads by Amazon All Close The laser retroreflector arrays left by the astronauts of Apollo 11 on the lunar surface were instrumental in accurately measuring the distance between moon and Earth. ISRO’s Chandrayaan 2 mission is carrying new laser retroreflectors to its journey to the moon. ( NASA ) In 1969, Apollo 11 astronauts left lunar lasers on the moon. Decades later, the experiment remains active, with India’s Chandrayaan-2 carrying reflectors to its mission to the moon.The original laser reflector experiment onboard the Apollo 11 contained 100 small prisms that scientists on Earth would shoot with laser beams. The array of cubes were placed in an 18-inch-square aluminum panel.Lunar missions that followed suit, Apollo 14 and 15 left more of those prisms. The main objective of the reflectors is to measure the distance between the Earth and the moon. AllVideo On Demand: Rent or BuyClothing & AccessoriesMajor AppliancesArts, Crafts & SewingAutomotiveBaby & NurseryBeauty & GroomingBooks & TextbooksCollectible CoinsCamera & PhotoCell Phones & AccessoriesClassical MusicComputers, Tablets & ComponentsBlu-Ray & DVDElectronic Components & Home AudioEntertainment CollectiblesVideo GamesOther Gift Card BrandsGrocery & Gourmet FoodPatio, Lawn & GardenHealth & HouseholdBusiness & Industrial SuppliesJewelryKindle StoreKitchen & DiningMagazinesMiscellaneousDigital MusicCDs & VinylMusical InstrumentsOffice & School SuppliesPet Food & SuppliesPatio, Lawn & GardenShoes, Handbags, Wallets, SunglassesSoftwareSports CollectiblesSports & FitnessHome ImprovementToys & GamesVHSVideo GamesWatches Search ⓒ 2018 TECHTIMES.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
DisclosureEvery product here is independently selected by Mashable journalists. If you buy something featured, we may earn an affiliate commission which helps support our work.Uber riders now have a minimum rating requirement to use the service.Image: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty ImagesBy Johnny Lieu2018-09-05 03:20:20 UTC It’s long-known that Uber drivers who fall under a certain star rating face getting kicked off the platform, and now that threat will extend to riders.The ride-hailing company announced a new minimum average rating requirement for passengers in Australia and New Zealand, as per its update on its community guidelines.Those changes will go into effect Sept. 19, and riders who veer too close to the minimum will be alerted before they sink below the requirement.Once a rider drops below the minimum rating of 4.0, their account could be deactivated if they fail to improve after multiple notifications. Riders can reactivate their account after taking a “short educational exercise.” Uber said its minimum rating for drivers and riders varies from city to city. For drivers in the U.S., the minimum requirement is 4.6, while for Australian counterparts this is reportedly lower.“This policy is for Australia and New Zealand and will be reflected in our local community guidelines,” an Uber spokesperson told Mashable via email.“Australia/NZ is the second country globally to roll this out, and we think it’s an important update to help ensure every Uber journey is enjoyable and comfortable for both riders and driver-partners.”Actions that could lower your rating include drinking alcohol, damaging the car, not tidying up, and just being a general jerk, according to the community guidelines.Previously, riders with lower ratings (even at 4.23) faced not getting picked up, but weren’t deactivated from the system.Fans of Black Mirror will probably find Uber’s new policy a little too familiar.UPDATE: Sept. 5, 2018, 1:55 p.m. AEST Added comment from Uber.
The results indicated that between 8 and 30 percent of those unassessed plants were at risk, potentially tens of thousands of species. Even more concerning is the fact that conservation efforts might be overlooking many of those plants because of where they live. Plant protection programs tend to favor areas like Europe, where many research institutions happen to be located, or ecological marvels like Madagascar that attract hordes of botanists. Other regions, they found, like the fog-nurtured biome hugging the southern coast of the Arabian peninsula, harbored a large number of potentially threatened species that hadn’t received nearly as much attention. Pleurothallis portillae is one odd-looking orchid. Sporting a small nub of a flower nestled in a long, bulbous leaf that droops like a pair of string beans, it’s considered fashionably drab by collectors. But its true home is in the remote cloud forest of the Ecuadorian Andes—a region where, according to an algorithm, it’s most likely under threat of extinction.Plants have long gotten short shrift in conservation circles. Although perhaps a fifth of the kingdom’s species are at risk, according to the UK’s Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, identifying which ones are on the brink is a somewhat anecdotal business. Less than 10 percent of plant species have been assessed by the IUCN Red List, considered the preeminent global directory of extinction threat. Comprehensive evaluations, which take time and money, end up favoring so-called “charismatic” species, the lions and polar bears that grace glossy donation mailers. That, and the sheer number of known plant species—almost 400,000 of them, spread far across the globe in hard-to-reach places, with thousands more being discovered every year—makes the whole affair a massive, underfunded game of catch-up.But botanists are drowning in data that could potentially help, says Anahí Espíndola, a professor of evolutionary ecology at the University of Maryland. “We wanted to find a way to speed up the process.” In a study appearing Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, she and her co-authors use reams of data to predict the status of 150,000 plant species whose vulnerability is currently unknown.Professors, curators, and citizen scientists have long gone out into the field in search of plants common and rare, returning with meticulous records of their observations that pile up in public databases. Data is available, to varying degrees, for hundreds of thousands of plants. In recent years, all that rough-and-tumble exploring has also generated millions of GPS points referring to locations where individual plants were observed. Espíndola’s team found that if they crunched the numbers available for plants already listed on the IUCN Red List—data on the species’ range, location, and traits, as well as regional climate and geographic indicators—they could build a machine learning model that could predict the status of other species. IUCN ratings aren’t the end-all-be-all of conservation assessment; but they do have bearing on which areas are protected as biodiversity hotspots abroad, and are fed into databases that extractive industries use for reducing threats to endangered species as they work. “Not having plants in those analyses means that people are working with incomplete datasets,” explains Anne Frances, a botanist who coordinates Red List efforts in North America. “We’re determining key biodiversity areas without a big chunk of the biodiversity being taken into account.”That’s especially troubling given the foundational role plants have in ecosystems. Studies have suggested plant species are less adept than animals at responding to changes in habitat and climate. And when they go extinct, their disappearance can cause cascading effects through broader ecological networks. The challenge, Frances says, is one of time and funding. Much of the grunt work of assessing species is carried out by volunteer experts. And by necessity, current conservation strategies tend to focus on large pushes to study a single category of plant–the IUCN recently completed an inventory of the world’s cactuses, for example, and is currently working on trees–or focus on those with salient uses, like medicinal plants and the wild relatives of common food crops.But Espíndola argues those strategies can end up shuttling resources away from plants most in need of conservation. Machine learning predictions aren’t a replacement for those on-the-ground assessments: Our humble orchid, for example, will require a closer look by botanists working in the Andes, who would tally up individuals, sum up local threats, and evaluate the genetic diversity of the wild populations. But they could be a starting point, a quick way for conservationists to identify plants that need more study. The models could also be taken up by regional conservation groups and fleshed out with more data, yielding crisper, more accurate local assessments.Perhaps a similar model could be applied to other creatures, like fungi, kickstarting still-nascent efforts to catalogue an overlooked kingdom, says Espíndola. “There are other groups of organisms that are even less attractive than plants.”More Great WIRED StoriesThe math whiz designing large-scale origami structuresHey, turn off Siri on your lock screenThe languages we still can’t translate onlineCreepy or not, face scans are speeding up airport securityWish List 2018: 48 smart holiday gift ideasLooking for more? Sign up for our daily newsletter and never miss our latest and greatest stories
GAYSTARNEWS- Embroiled in a lengthy legal battle, the English woman known only as QT, is trying to get a dependent visa after her wife got a job in Hong Kong in 2014.The pair married in a England in 2011. But because Hong Kong does not recognize same-sex marriage, QT is not eligible for a dependent visa.In 2017 she won a huge victory against the Immigration Department in the High Court. In September it ruled she should be entitled to a visa.But the Immigration Department quickly appealed the decision. The appeal hearing starts on 5 June.Ahead of the appeal some of the world’s biggest banks, law firms and Amnesty International applied to have a say in favor of the woman during the appeal. Hong Kong’s highest court has dealt a massive blow to a lesbian’s ongoing fight to win a spousal visa.The Court of Final Appeal ruled that some of the world’s biggest banks, law firms and Amnesty International could not contribute to the case and argue in favor of the woman’s visa rights. Major banks get behind gay couple fighting for partner visa in Hong KongBREAKING: Hong Kong court finally rules in favor of same-sex couplesLandmark court case for LGBTI equal rights has started in Hong KongRead the full article on Gaystarnews: :https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/hong-kong-court-denies-lesbian-big-business-support-in-visa-case/ Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) Some of those banks and law firms included; AIG Insurance Hong Kong, Goldman Sachs, Linklaters and Morley Chow Seto.Big business denied a voiceBut on Monday the court decided those businesses and Amnesty International could not contribute to the appeal.Law firm Davis Polk and Wardwell, is representing the coalition of banks and law firms.The firm’s spokesperson said the coalition was ‘disappointed’. But also the decision could have implications on the kind of employment talent Hong Kong attracts.‘Hong Kong faces strong competition from other international financial cities in the region and globally and the current immigration policy risks putting Hong Kong behind other jurisdictions,’ he told South China Morning Post.Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us .