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Research has revealed that technology is a literal pain in the neck

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Researchers have revealed that technology is changing the bones in our necks and skulls, which is setting people up for a lifetime of pain.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This comes from device overuse, as it can cause posture problems.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Researchers at the University of the Sunshine Coast have found something unusual that tends to go unnoticed.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">They used a sample of more than 1,200 people aged between 18 and 30. They discovered that 41 percent of the participants had grown a bony lump on the back of their skull.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The horn-like spurs were between 10 to 30 millimetres thick.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We suspect the reason for this bone spur formation is because they carry their head forward,” University of the Sunshine Coast’s David Shahar said to </span><a href="https://thewest.com.au/news/health/researchers-reveal-technology-is-proving-a-pain-in-the-neck-ng-b881234805z"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The West.</span></a></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The sustained stress on the skull is creating bone de-position which usually takes years.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The simple solution? Lift your head.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Bringing the weight of the head back to rest on the bones and not on the muscles,” Dr Shahar said. </span></p>

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Israel Folau breaks his silence after raking in $2 million : "For those that have criticised me..."

<p>Israel Folau has broken his silence after his fundraising campaign was shut down this week, saying he has “no ill will” towards those who criticised the rugby player’s statement on homosexuality.</p> <p>Folau’s new crowdfunding page, hosted by the Australian Christian Lobby, has raised more than $1.7 million to support his legal defence against Rugby Australia’s decision to terminate his contract in May.</p> <p>And the rugby player has spoken out by sharing a message on his personal Instagram account on Wednesday morning. </p> <p><span>Folau wrote: “I am humbled by the support I have received from so many of you since Rugby Australia terminated my employment contract after I shared a religious message on social media. To those who have criticised me, I bear no ill will towards you. You have every right to express your own beliefs and opinions. </span></p> <p><span>“I am incredibly thankful for the Australian Christian Lobby, which has not only come to my defence in the media, but generously established a website to receive donations on my behalf.”</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BzJrqzInvNK/" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BzJrqzInvNK/" target="_blank">I am humbled by the support I have received from so many of you since Rugby Australia terminated my employment contract after I shared a religious message on social media. To those who have criticised me, I bear no ill will towards you. You have every right to express your own beliefs and opinions. To the thousands of you who donated to my GoFundMe campaign, I am forever grateful. GoFundMe’s decision to shut down my campaign proves the importance of my case; whether you share my faith or believe in my right to express it, attempts to sanction what we believe is a threat to all Australians. I am incredibly thankful for the Australian Christian Lobby, which has not only come to my defence in the media, but generously established a website to receive donations on my behalf. For those not in a position to donate, your support and prayers will make more of a difference than anything else. God bless!</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/izzyfolau/" target="_blank"> Israel Folau</a> (@izzyfolau) on Jun 25, 2019 at 4:32pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The 30-year-old’s first fundraiser on GoFundMe was shut down on Monday after it was flagged of being “<a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/sport/sports-life/magda-szubanski-opens-up-on-israel-folau-and-her-new-gofundme-campaign/news-story/47dd913891a8db584e446bbed4c2cffa" target="_blank">at risk</a>” of violating the company’s policies.</p> <p>The ACL’s managing director Martyn Iles said he could “not go into detail” about where the rest of the donations would go once the $3 million mark has been achieved.</p> <p>“It will go to different causes that are completely consistent with the intentions of the original donors,” Iles told Deborah Knight on the <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/sport/sports-life/what-will-the-acl-do-with-the-excess-money-raised-for-israel-folau/news-story/864d07f1417c5dd58e5ebed65e3c82ca" target="_blank"><em>Today</em></a><em> </em>show on Wednesday morning. </p> <p>“I am not able to go into the detail at this stage.”</p> <p>Iles denied that the money would be used for personal purposes. </p> <p>“Absolutely not personal use, absolutely not the ACL,” he said.</p> <p>“[The donors] bought into Israel because they see him as somebody they want to champion. They see him as somebody they identify with, and there is a great deal of trust built up there.</p> <p>“That is not misplaced at all. This money will be used well and will actually end up making a difference regardless of where it goes.”</p> <p>Earlier this month, Folau announced that he had launched legal proceedings with the Fair Work Commissions against Rugby Australia and NSW Rugby for breach of contract.</p> <p>His lawyers said in a statement that Folau is seeking “substantial remedies from his former employers should they be found to have breached the Fair Work Act in terminating his employment”.</p> <p>In May, Folau’s contract was ripped up after a Rugby Australia panel found him guilty of a “<a rel="noopener" href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-05-17/israel-folau-sacked-over-social-media-posts/11090938" target="_blank">high-level breach</a>” of the players’ code of conduct over his controversial Instagram posts, including one claiming “hell awaits” gay people.</p> <p>“Rugby Australia did not choose to be in this situation, but Rugby Australia’s position remains that Israel, through his actions, left us with no choice but to pursue the course of action resulting in [this] outcome,” said Rugby Australia’s chief executive Raelene Castle at the time.</p> <p>“People need to feel safe and welcomed in the game, regardless of their race, background or sexuality.”</p>

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Spooky: Can you spot what’s wrong with this photo of Kate Langbroek?

<p>Kate Langbroek may be living the dream on her family “gap year” in Italy, but a recent snap seems to tell a different story.</p> <p>The Hit Network radio host recently moved into an 800-year-old home in Bologna earlier this year and took to Instagram to share a selfie from one of its ancient rooms.</p> <p>But shortly after, Kate’s followers noticed something unusual in the background … can you spot it?</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BzDyScvgS_Y/" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BzDyScvgS_Y/" target="_blank">People who are following our family’s move to Italy may know of our waiting waiting waiting (Italian style) to move onto our permanent apartment - so when @davoandy and @tashprendergast blew into bologna, we took them on a tour to check on its progress. It’s in an old palazzo... some of it built in the 1300s, and there are three giant mirrors in the lounge, apparently from the 1700s. So much age. I said to Tash “I always think if I turn around really quickly, I’ll be able to see the past in this mirror...” So we were laughing, and decided to take a selfie to see if anything would appear. Look over my head. WTF is that??? Also, I hope if that white apparition is a ghost that it at least pitches in with the renos so we can finally move in.🙏 👻 #wescreamed #withlaughter #sixtakeitaly❤️🇮🇹💚 #possiblyseven #romewasntbuiltinaday</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/katelangbroek/" target="_blank"> Kate Langbroek</a> (@katelangbroek) on Jun 23, 2019 at 9:34am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>It may look like any other selfie, but fans were quick to point out that a ghostly figure photobombed the image, resulting in an eerie background.</p> <p>The spooky spirit wore a white cloak and had black circles for eyes. Alongside it stood a second, shorter creature covered in a black hood.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="/media/7828047/kate.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/a4b7d217b55f405abd9b775f0493db56" /></p> <p>They were both shown in the dusty mirror behind the pair, gazing directly into the camera.</p> <p>It was only when Kate went back to look at the photo that she noticed she was not alone.</p> <p>“Look over my head … WTF is that???” she wrote in the caption.</p> <p>“OMG is that for freaking real?!” commented one user.</p> <p>Another person said, “There is definitely two [ghosts] … the figure closest to the window looks like a nun with rosary beads around her neck.”</p> <p>One person commented: “I can see a statue of the Holy Mary.”</p>

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“Criminal”: Apple faces backlash after unveiling $1,400 computer stand and $7,000 screen

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Apple has been slammed as “criminal” and “flat-out delusional” for announcing a computer screen stand that costs $1,400.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">They showed off the stand at the Worldwide Developers Conference 2019 keynote, as well as unveiling the new Mac Pro.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The new Mac has been dubbed the “most powerful Mac Ever” and starts at $8,570. It can be purchased alongside a new high-spec computer monitor, which will set consumers back an additional $7,140.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">To top off the purchase, you can purchase a new aluminium “stand” for the monitor, which is an extra $1,426.</span></p> <p><a href="https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2019/6/3/18651208/apple-mac-pro-how-much-top-spec-price-estimate-ballpark"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Verge</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> has estimated that a top spec Mac Pro could cost $48,187 all up.</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">There was an audible reaction in the whole audience when <a href="https://twitter.com/Apple?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Apple</a> announced that they are charging $999 for the Mac Pro Display “stand”....like not including that for $4999 is just criminal. 😒<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AppleKeynote?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AppleKeynote</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WWD2019?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WWD2019</a></p> — Jean François Loza (@GlitchComputer) <a href="https://twitter.com/GlitchComputer/status/1135809665084809216?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">4 June 2019</a></blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Twitter user, @John_nguyen0 said: “Can’t tell if Apple is trolling people with the $US1,000 monitor stand or are just flat out delusional.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">@MOTE_Games said: “If Apple wants to sell me a stand for $US999 it damn better be able to stop time or something.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It's unclear why Apple are charging this much for a computer stand, which can often be found for as little as $36 online.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, if you do purchase the new Mac Pro, you’re unable to use a third party stand unless you purchase a VESA Mount Adapter, which is conveniently offered by Apple for $284.</span></p>

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The gene therapy revolution is here – but what does that mean for us?

<p>Gene therapy – for so long something that belonged to the future – has just hit the streets.</p> <p>A couple of weeks back, you might have picked up a headline alerting us to the most expensive drug in history – a one off gene therapy cure for spinal muscular atrophy. Novartis have priced the drug<span> </span><a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-05-25/worlds-most-expensive-drug-spinal-muscular-dystrophy/11149788">Zolgensma</a><span> </span>at A$3 million (US$2.1 million).</p> <p>Traditionally a parent of a baby with spinal muscular atrophy was told: take your baby home and love her or him. Have no false hope, the baby will die paralysed and unable to eat or talk by the age of two.</p> <p>What’s the narrative going to be now? There is a cure but it costs A$3 million.</p> <p>I think we are in for some poignant dilemmas.</p> <p><strong>'Heads up' from a mother</strong></p> <p>The person who gave me a recent “heads up” on the gene therapy revolution was not a scientist. She is the mother of two sick children.</p> <p>I met Megan Donnell last August 29th at a Melbourne startup conference called “<a href="https://www.bluechilli.com/blog/be-above-all-human/">Above All Human</a>”.</p> <p>Megan Donnell is a person who strikes you with her vibrancy and charisma. What you can’t immediately see is her life’s greatest tragedy and her life’s greatest mission.</p> <p>Both of her children suffer from the rare genetic illness<span> </span><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4664539/">Sanfilippo syndrome</a>. They lack a gene for breaking down heparin sulphate, a sugar that holds proteins in place in the matrix between cells. The high levels of the sugar poison the organs, particularly the brain. In the normal course of the disease, the children die in their teens, paralysed, unable to talk or eat.</p> <p>When Megan Donnell’s kids were diagnosed at the ages of four and two, she was told “do not have false hope”.<span> </span><a href="https://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2019/march/1551445200/elizabeth-finkel/chasing-miracle-gene-therapy">She didn’t listen</a>.</p> <p>The one time IT business manager started the<span> </span><a href="https://www.sanfilippo.org.au/">Sanfilippo Childrens’ Foundation</a>, raised a million dollars and invested in a start-up based in Ohio that was trialling gene therapy to treat the disease. Part of the deal was that the company would conduct trials in Australia as well as in the US and Spain. So far 14 children have been treated worldwide.</p> <p><strong>I'd missed a revolution</strong></p> <p>Megan Donnell’s story stunned me.</p> <p>I’d written two books about coming medical revolutions: one on stem cells, the other on genomics. But when a medical revolution actually arrived, I’d missed it. It was all the more remarkable because for six years I’d been the editor of a popular science magazine –<span> </span><a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/">Cosmos</a>.</p> <p>We scanned the media releases for hot papers each week but gene therapy never came up on our radar.</p> <p>Probably because we’d been dazzled by<span> </span><a href="https://theconversation.com/what-is-crispr-gene-editing-and-how-does-it-work-84591">CRISPR</a><span> </span>– the powerful technique that can edit the DNA of everything from mosquitoes to man. But CRISPR has barely entered clinical trials.</p> <p>Meanwhile there are already five gene therapy products on the market. And with 750 working their way through the pipeline, the US Federal Drug Administration (FDA) predicts that<span> </span><a href="https://www.technologyreview.com/s/613576/gene-therapy-may-have-its-first-blockbuster/">by 2025 between 10-20 gene therapy treatments</a><span> </span>will be added to the market each year.</p> <p>Some of the gene therapies are having incredible effects.</p> <p>The star example is the<span> </span><a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-05-25/worlds-most-expensive-drug-spinal-muscular-dystrophy/11149788">Novartis treatment</a><span> </span>for spinal muscular atrophy. Untreated babies die paralysed by the age of two. But those treated with Zolgensma have now reached the age of four and some are walking and dancing.</p> <p>In 2017, the FDA approved<span> </span><a href="https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-novel-gene-therapy-treat-patients-rare-form-inherited-vision-loss">Luxturna</a>, now marketed by Roche. This gene therapy can restore sight to children suffering from a form of retinal blindness that begins months after birth.</p> <p>For the first time I can recall, medical researchers are using a four letter word for some diseases: cure.</p> <p>These treatments appear to have fixed the underlying conditions. Especially when they are given early. Indeed spinal muscular atrophy treatment is being offered to babies a few month old – before their motor neurons have started to wither.</p> <p><strong>30 years in the making</strong></p> <p>These gene therapy treatments have been over thirty years in the making. And the saga of their journey to the clinic, I suspect, reveals some common plot lines.</p> <p>The potential of gene therapy, was obvious as soon Marshall Nirenberg cracked the genetic code back in the 1960s.</p> <p>The<span> </span><a href="https://profiles.nlm.nih.gov/ps/retrieve/Narrative/JJ/p-nid/24">New York Times opined</a>: “The science of biology has reached a new frontier”, leading to “a revolution far greater in its potential significance than the atomic or hydrogen bomb.”</p> <p>In a 1967 editorial for Science,<span> </span><a href="https://science.sciencemag.org/content/sci/157/3789/633.full.pdf">Nirenberg wrote</a>:</p> <p><em>This knowledge will greatly influence man’s future, for man then will have the power to shape his own biological destiny.</em></p> <p>But if the end goal was obvious, the pitfalls were not.</p> <p>What made the dream of gene therapy possible was viruses. They’ve evolved to invade our cells and sneak their DNA in next to our own, so they can be propagated by our cellular machinery.</p> <p>Throughout the 1980s, genetic engineers learned to splice human DNA into the viruses.</p> <p>Like tiny space ships, they carried the human DNA as part of their payload.</p> <p>By 1990, researchers attempted the first gene therapy trial in a human. It was to treat two children with a dysfunctional immune system, a disease known as severe combined immunodeficiency (<a href="https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=severe-combined-immunodeficiency-scid-90-P01706">SCID</a>).</p> <p>The results were hardly miraculous but they were promising. Researchers raced to bring more potent viruses to the clinic.</p> <p><strong>Children have died</strong></p> <p>In 1999, 18 year old<span> </span><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC81135/">Jesse Gelsinger paid the price</a>.</p> <p>He had volunteered to try gene therapy for his inherited condition: ornithine transcarbamylase deficiency. It meant he couldn’t break down ammonia, a waste product of dietary protein. But his condition was largely under control through medication and watching his diet.</p> <p>Four days after his treatment at the University of Pennsylvania, Jesse was dead – a result of a massive immune reaction to the trillions of adenovirus particles introduced into his body. These are the same viruses that cause the common cold.</p> <p>Tragedy struck again in 2003. This one involved so-called “bubble boys”.</p> <p>They too carried an immune deficiency, X-SCID, which saw them confined to sterile bubble; a common cold can be fatal. This time round the gene therapy appeared far more effective. But within a few years of treatment, five of 20 boys<span> </span><a href="https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080807175438.htm">developed leukaemia</a>. The virus (gamma retrovirus) had activated a cancer-causing gene.</p> <p>The two tragedies set the field back. Many researchers found it very hard to get funding.</p> <p>But the huge clinical potential kept others going.</p> <p>The key was to keep re-engineering the viral vectors.</p> <p>It was a project that reminds me of the evolution of powered flight. From the biplanes that the Wright brothers flew in 1903 to the epic Apollo 11 flight in 1963, took 60 years.</p> <p>The virus engineers have been a lot faster.</p> <p><strong>Use engineered viruses</strong></p> <p>Ten years after the disaster of the leukaemia-causing viruses, researchers had re-engineered so-called<span> </span><a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/biochemistry-genetics-and-molecular-biology/lentiviruses">lenti viruses</a><span> </span>not to activate cancer genes. They had also found other viruses that did not provoke catastrophic immune responses.</p> <p>Instead of the adenovirus, they discovered its mild-mannered partner – known as adeno associated virus (<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5548848/">AAV</a>). There’s a whole zoo of these AAVs and some species are particularly good at targeting specific organs.</p> <p>It is this new generation of vectors that are responsible for the results we are witnessing now. The AAV 9 vector for instance can<span> </span><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5802612/">cross into the brain</a>, and that’s the one used to treat spinal muscular atrophy.</p> <p>Turning the table on viruses, and hacking into their code: this is the bit that particularly fascinates me in telling the story of gene therapy.</p> <p>But another intriguing aspect is that, contrary to long held wisdom, we are seeing big pharma galloping in to treat rare diseases.</p> <p>In the US, the spinal muscular atrophy market is probably around 400 babies per year. Luxturna might treat 2,000 cases of blindness a year.</p> <p>It’s not the sort of market size that would bring joy to investors. But clearly the companies think it’s worth their while.</p> <p>For one thing, the FDA has provided incentives for rare, so-called “<a href="https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-information-consumers/orphan-products-hope-people-rare-diseases">orphan diseases</a>” – fast-tracking their passage thought the tangled regulatory maze.</p> <p>And there is a convincing business case. If gene therapy is a one shot cure then it really may end up saving health systems money.</p> <p>That justifies, they say, some of the most extraordinary prices for a drug you’ve ever heard of.</p> <p>Of course, all this relies on the treatments being one time cures.</p> <p>And though the patients seem to be cured, whether or not the treatments last a lifetime remains to be seen.</p> <p><strong>The situation in Australia</strong></p> <p>Historically, this country has been a world leader when it comes to bargaining down exorbitantly priced cures.</p> <p>In 2013 when the drugs for curing Hepatitis C first came out, the price was around<span> </span><a href="https://theconversation.com/weekly-dose-sofosbuvir-whats-the-price-of-a-hepatitis-c-cure-63208">A$100,000 for a 12 week course</a>. But in Australia,<span> </span><a href="https://theconversation.com/australia-leads-the-world-in-hepatitis-c-treatment-whats-behind-its-success-81760">all 230,000 of those living with Hepatitis C will be treated</a><span> </span>for the lowest price in the world. Prices are<span> </span><a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/hepatitis-c/treatment-costs#1">much higher</a><span> </span>in the US.</p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/greg-dore-190651">Greg Dore</a><span> </span>at the Kirby Institute of NSW participated in Australia’s Hepatitis C pricing discussions, and believes our model will work for the new gene therapy drugs – notwithstanding their eye-popping price tags – and the fact that the patient populations for these rare genetic diseases will be tiny.</p> <p>However, the real reason companies are getting into gene therapy is not just to treat rare disease. It’s because they realise this technology will be a game changer for medicine.</p> <p>They have already entered the field of cancer with a gene therapy approved for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia – CAR-T cells. Health Minister Greg Hunt<span> </span><a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-25/peter-maccallum-cancer-centre-treatment-funding/10935308">announced this year</a>the government will pay the cost (around A$500,000 per treatment).</p> <p>But after cancer, what then?</p> <p>If you have a vector than can take a gene to the brain and cure spinal muscular atrophy, what else could you cure. Alzheimer’s disease, strokes?</p> <p>Australian researchers are jostling to be part of the gene therapy revolution.</p> <p>Paediatrician Ian Alexander<span> </span><a href="https://www.cmri.org.au/Research/Research-Units/Translational-Vectorology/Our-People">together with virologist Leszek Lisowksi</a><span> </span>are engineering the next generation of vectors in their labs at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Sydney. They are designing them to home efficiently to specific organs and produce therapeutic levels of proteins.</p> <p>Curiously it turns out that a major bottleneck is scaling up the production of these exquisitely engineered viruses. Who’d have thought there’d be a problem churning out the most abundant organism on the planet?</p> <p>Researcher<span> </span><a href="https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/08/180802102344.htm">David Parsons in Adelaide</a><span> </span>is refining methods to deliver vectors across the viscous mucus of children with cystic fibrosis.</p> <p>Scientist John Rasco in Sydney is a pioneer when it comes to<span> </span><a href="https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/doctors-find-cure-for-thalassaemia/9674634">treating patients with gene therapy</a>, having been a part of international trials treating patients with beta thalassemia.</p> <p>Medical researcher Elizabeth Rakoczy in Perth is developing a<span> </span><a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-06/florey-medal-winner-professor-rakoczy-speaks/9232318">treatment for macular degeneration</a>.</p> <p>And Alan Trounson, who spent six years at the helm of the world biggest stem cell institute, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, is<span> </span><a href="https://cartherics.com/">advancing a technology</a><span> </span>to develop off the shelf, universally compatible, CAR-T cells, to attack ovarian cancer.</p> <p>One thing is for sure: medicine is set for a major disruption from the arrival of gene therapy.</p> <p>As we enter an era, where once incurable diseases become curable; be prepared for some challenging debates about how to pay for gene therapy and the value of a human life.</p> <p><em>Written by Elizabeth Finkel. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-gene-therapy-revolution-is-here-medicine-is-scrambling-to-keep-pace-118329">The Conversation</a>.</em></p>

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High-profile crimes: The problem with electronic monitoring bracelets

<p>The man arrested after a<span> </span><a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-06-04/darwin-shooting-people-police-arrest-gunman/11179136">deadly gun attack in Darwin</a><span> </span>recently is<span> </span><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/jun/04/police-say-they-have-reports-of-up-to-four-people-dead-in-darwin-shooting">reported</a><span> </span>to have been on parole and wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet.</p> <p>This leads to the same reaction we see following any high-profile crime. How could such a thing happen?</p> <p>People may speculate that the criminal justice agencies involved have somehow dropped the ball. The offender was on their radar, after all.</p> <p>While this finger-pointing may serve a cathartic function, it is important we also question our expectations before assuming a failure occurred.</p> <p>We need to understand what electronic monitoring intends to achieve, how it works, and what are its capabilities and limitations.</p> <p><strong>Electronic tagging</strong></p> <p>In the context of the corrections system, electronic monitoring refers to the tagging of a person as a form of surveillance, usually in the form of a GPS-enabled ankle bracelet.</p> <p><a href="https://aic.gov.au/publications/tandi/tandi254">In Australia</a>, each state and territory uses electronic monitoring differently, guided by their own legislative frameworks.</p> <p>Practices vary considerably between jurisdictions. For example, in some places, certain offenders are targeted (high-risk recidivists, those who repeatedly reoffend, for example). In others, specific types of offences are the focus (such as child sex offences).</p> <p>The application of electronic monitoring even differs between offenders, as the supervising agency uses it for reasons specific to each person.</p> <p>A police department might use electronic monitoring to ensure a domestic violence perpetrator does not visit the victim before a trial. A probation officer might require an offender to wear a bracelet for 12 months to ensure they are attending treatment and meeting their curfew. A parole officer could place the GPS tracking condition on an offender for the first three months following release from prison to better understand how the parolee spends his or her time.</p> <p>Each of these experiences will be quite different, as each is intended to fulfil a unique aim.</p> <p>Ordinarily, electronic monitoring is used as a tool of incapacitation and deterrence.</p> <p>In the first instance, an offender may be told to follow a particular rule – for example, to be home by 8pm, to stay away from the victim, to attend a treatment program, or not to go within 1km of a school. Electronic monitoring allows authorities to monitor the person’s compliance with such a condition.</p> <p>In the latter instance, an offender may be deterred from certain behaviour if they believe their actions are likely to be detected through electronic monitoring.</p> <p><strong>Monitoring actions</strong></p> <p>When an offender is subject to electronic monitoring, a computer database is updated with information about the rules he or she has been instructed to follow. Each jurisdiction and each agency may have their own database, so where the offender appears in the database will depend on who is supervising the electronic monitoring order.</p> <p>The database is then monitored by enforcement authorities, although this is sometimes outsourced to private providers or overseas companies. While the data is generally sent from the offender’s GPS device to the monitoring agency in real time, there can be delays in how long it takes for that information to be passed to police or corrective services.</p> <p>What occurs when an offender breaches one of the rules and a computer alert is generated depends on factors such as legislation and the priority of a case influencing the response. The database includes information about what to do in the event of specific kinds of breaches with specific offenders.</p> <p>In some cases, an alarm on the device may go off or, very rarely, the police may be immediately notified.</p> <p>Most often, for routine cases and ordinary breaches, the monitoring agency will notify the offender’s supervisor (such as a parole officer or a local police department), who will then determine how to proceed.</p> <p>There may be a lag of several days during this process. For example, if a low-risk offender misses their home curfew on Friday night (as determined by the GPS bracelet), the parole officer will not receive notification of this breach until Monday morning.</p> <p><strong>The pros and cons of tagging</strong></p> <p>There are a range of<span> </span><a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/2066220317697658" title="Electronic monitoring: The experience in Australia">benefits and disadvantages</a><span> </span>to the electronic monitoring of offenders.</p> <p>It can be effective in holding offenders accountable, protecting victims and enhancing community safety and preventing crimes. These come with important cost savings, particularly when offenders can be safety monitored in the community in lieu of imprisonment or as a mechanism of early release from prison.</p> <p>But some of the downfalls are that offenders can tamper with their devices, and there can be GPS dead zones – particularly in a geographically vast country such as Australia. There may also be human error in using the systems, such as improper monitoring or unreasonable decision-making after an alert.</p> <p>Yet collectively, the research evidence highlights that electronic monitoring can be an effective tool for discouraging recidivism. But it is only that: a tool.</p> <p>The most effective practices for<span> </span><a href="https://au.sagepub.com/en-gb/oce/environmental-corrections/book248663" title="Environmental Corrections: A New Paradigm for Supervising Offenders in the Community">supervising offenders in the community</a><span> </span>include those that identify and reduce a person’s risks for continued criminal behaviour.</p> <p>Electronic monitoring will be most effective when it is used to support supervision that limits a person’s access to chances to commit crime. Such supervision should help them redesign their routines so that any risky settings are avoided and are replaced with more positive influences.</p> <p>Thus, rather than simply giving offenders a long list of rules for what<span> </span><em>not</em><span> </span>to do, effective probation and parole strategies help offenders lead productive lives.</p> <p>More broadly, it is imperative that correctional authorities provide rehabilitative interventions that address the underlying factors that contribute toward a person’s criminal behaviour. The<span> </span><a href="https://nicic.gov/implementing-evidence-based-practice-community-corrections-principles-effective-intervention">most effective approaches</a><span> </span>use cognitive-behavioural techniques to give offenders skills that encourage good decision-making.</p> <p>Yet electronic monitoring cannot “fix” an offender’s impulsivity, lack of empathy, or any other underlying crime-conducive traits. Thus we should not confuse a technological aid with meaningful treatment.</p> <p><em>Written by Lacey Schaefer. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/electronic-monitoring-bracelets-are-only-crime-deterrence-tools-they-cant-fix-offenders-118335">The Conversation.</a></em></p>

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The new smartphone app that has the ability to diagnose respiratory diseases

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A new smartphone app that was developed by University of Queensland researchers has the ability to analyse a person’s cough. This could help diagnose respiratory disorders quickly and easily in patients who lack access to doctors.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">UQ biomedical engineer Associate Professor Udantha Abeyratne and his team have developed the diagnostic technology that uses smartphones to instantly identify common respiratory diseases.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">These include asthma, croup, pneumonia, lower respiratory tract disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and bronchiolitis.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Dr Abeyratne said that respiratory disease was the third leading cause of death, which means that the potential global health and economic impact of this technology is phenomenal.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Coughs can be described as wet or dry, brassy or raspy, ringing or barking; they can whistle, whoop or wheeze; but experts cannot always agree on the description or how to use cough sounds for diagnosis,” Dr Abeyratne said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Our approach is to introduce signal processing, and machine classification and learning technologies to extract useful diagnostic characteristics from coughs, removing the subjective elements for characterising them.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"> “We believe the technology can lead to earlier diagnosis and better patient outcomes throughout the world, including in remote locations with limited access to doctors.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A clinical study on childhood respiratory diseases found that the technology has an accuracy between 81 and 97 percent.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Corresponding author, Paediatrician Dr Paul Porter from Joondalup Health Campus in Western Australia has said that it could be difficult to differentiate between respiratory disorders in children. This is the case for even experienced doctors in modern hospital facilities.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“This study demonstrates how new technology, mathematical concepts, machine learning and clinical medicine can be successfully combined to produce completely new diagnostic tests using the expertise of several disciplines,” Dr Porter said.</span></p> <p>How the technology was developed</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The technology was developed by UQ researchers using trained algorithms to recognise features of coughs which are characteristic of five different respiratory diseases.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The technology also allows users to report other noticeable systems to ensure that the diagnosis was as accurate as possible.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The researchers the categorised the coughs of 585 children aged between 29 days and 12 years.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The accuracy of the analyser was determined by comparing its diagnosis to one that was reached by a panel of paediatricians that had reviewed hospital charts and conducted all available clinical investigations.</span></p>

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The “criminal” Android apps that are draining your battery

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Researchers from security firm Sophos have found 22 apps that drain your battery life and could land you with a big phone bill.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The “click fraud” apps pretend to be normal apps on the Google Play Store but secretly perform criminal actions out of sight.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The 22 apps have been collectively downloaded over 22 million times.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">One app includes an illicit flashlight app that racked up one million downloads – before being taken down from Google’s Play Store.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The apps create invisible ads and trick advertisers into thinking that users are clicking on them.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The ads never actually appear for the user and appear in a hidden browser window instead.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The malware then stimulates a user interacting with the ad, which tricks the ad into thinking the interaction is legitimate.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Despite it sounding like a bad deal for the advertisers who have spent money on the advertisements, it’s also bad news for the users as well.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The researchers explained to </span><a href="https://www.news.com.au/technology/gadgets/mobile-phones/22-criminal-android-apps-draining-your-battery/news-story/2c90a4a58991118d37d53208d251a26d"><span style="font-weight: 400;">news.com.au</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">:</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“From the user’s perspective, these apps drain their phone’s battery and may cause data overawes as the apps are constantly running and communicating with servers in the background.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Normal users without technical knowledge would be hard-pressed to find out whether or not the apps were amiss.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The warning signs would be increased data usage and fast-draining battery life but pinning this on the apps alone would be hard.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">User reviews gave nothing away either. Many of the dodgy apps had any negative comments as they didn’t know anything was wrong. This means that many are more likely to download the app in future as many users use app reviews to decide whether an app is worth downloading or not.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The only affects a user might notice is that the apps would use a significantly greater amount of data, at all times, and consume the phone’s battery power at a more rapid rate than the phone would otherwise require,” researchers explained.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Because consumers would not be able to correlate these effects to the apps themselves, their Play Market reviews for these apps showed few negative comments.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The dodgy apps have since been removed from the Google Play Store, but they can still operate if you’ve got them installed.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A list of the apps can be seen below.</span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sparkle FlashLight – com.sparkle.flashlight</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Snake Attack – com.mobilebt.snakefight</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Math Solver – com.mobilebt.mathsolver</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">ShapeSorter – com.mobilebt.shapesorter</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Tak A Trip – com.takatrip.android</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Magnifeye – com.magnifeye.android</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Join Up – com.pesrepi.joinup</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Zombie Killer – com.pesrepi.zombiekiller</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Space Rocket – com.pesrepi.spacerocket</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Neon Pong – com.pesrepi.neonpong</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Just Flashlight – app.mobile.justflashlight</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Table Soccer – com.mobile.tablesoccer</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Cliff Diver – com.mobile.cliffdiver</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Box Stack – com.mobile.boxstack</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Jelly Slice – net.kanmobi.jellyslice</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">AK Blackjack – com.maragona.akblackjack</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Color Tiles – com.maragona.colortiles</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Animal Match – com.beacon.animalmatch</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Roulette Mania – com.beacon.roulettemania</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">HexaFall – com.atry.hexafall</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">HexaBlocks – com.atry.hexablocks</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">PairZap – com.atry.pairzap</span></li> </ul>

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Donald Trump mocked over embarrassing gaffe about Prince Charles

<p>Last year, Donald Trump made headlines for <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/president-trump-committed-a-royal-faux-pas-during-his-visit-with-the-queen/" target="_blank">his gaffe when visiting Queen Elizabeth II</a> at Windsor Castle.</p> <p>Now the US president has made another faux pas with a British royal.</p> <p>Trump misspelt Prince Charles’s official title in a Twitter post on Thursday, calling him the “Prince of Whales”. He mentioned Charles and the Queen as part of his argument that he should not be obliged to divulge details of discussions with foreign parties to the FBI.</p> <p>“I meet and talk to ‘foreign governments’ every day. I just met with the Queen of England (U.K.), the Prince of Whales, the P.M. of the United Kingdom, the P.M. of Ireland, the President of France and the President of Poland. We talked about ‘Everything!’” he wrote.</p> <p>“Should I immediately call the FBI about these calls and meetings? How ridiculous!”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">The Internet remembers things better than you do. <a href="https://t.co/P9hb3bOYwq">pic.twitter.com/P9hb3bOYwq</a></p> — Doktor Zoom (@DoktorZoom) <a href="https://twitter.com/DoktorZoom/status/1139161824161517568?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 13, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>The president immediately removed the post and replaced it with the correct spelling, but Twitter users had caught wind of the typo.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">The Prince of Whales, pictured earlier today <a href="https://t.co/GmnAiQuzwx">pic.twitter.com/GmnAiQuzwx</a></p> — Graeme Demianyk (@GraemeDemianyk) <a href="https://twitter.com/GraemeDemianyk/status/1139158896789065729?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 13, 2019</a></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">😂 <a href="https://t.co/qGtuHxddSh">pic.twitter.com/qGtuHxddSh</a></p> — Sven Henrich (@NorthmanTrader) <a href="https://twitter.com/NorthmanTrader/status/1139157866252787712?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 13, 2019</a></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">"I DEMAND TO SPEAK TO THE PRINCE OF WHALES!" <a href="https://t.co/gGrXNF6wa1">pic.twitter.com/gGrXNF6wa1</a></p> — Born Miserable (@bornmiserable) <a href="https://twitter.com/bornmiserable/status/1139227322773463040?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 13, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>Trump’s Twitter post came after his interview with <a rel="noopener" href="https://redirect.viglink.com/?format=go&amp;jsonp=vglnk_156047124889410&amp;key=a426d7531bff1ca375d5930dea560b93&amp;libId=jwvc0jue0102i8oq000DLbltkki33&amp;loc=https%3A%2F%2Fedition.cnn.com%2F2019%2F06%2F12%2Fpolitics%2Fdonald-trump-abc-political-dirt-foreign-country-rivals%2Findex.html&amp;v=1&amp;out=https%3A%2F%2Fabcnews.go.com%2FPolitics%2Fid-exclusive-interview-trump-listen-foreigners-offered-dirt%2Fstory%3Fid%3D63669304%26cid%3Dclicksource_4380645_null&amp;ref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F&amp;title=ABC%20interview%3A%20Trump%20says%20he%20would%20accept%20foreign%20dirt%20on%20rivals%20-%20CNNPolitics&amp;txt=Trump%20said%20in%20an%20interview%20with%20ABC%20News" target="_blank">ABC News</a>, where he said he would accept damaging information on a political rival from a foreign government.</p> <p>“I think you might want to listen, there isn’t anything wrong with listening,” said Trump. “If somebody called from a country, Norway, [and said] ‘we have information on your opponent’, I think I’d want to hear it.”</p> <p>He denied that such foreign assistance would amount to election interference. </p> <p>“It’s not an interference, they have information – I think I'd take it," Trump said. </p> <p>“If I thought there was something wrong, I’d go maybe to the FBI.”</p> <p>The current <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-is-open-to-accepting-dirt-on-his-opponents-from-foreign-governments-is-that-against-the-law/" target="_blank">US campaign finance law</a> prohibits political candidates from receiving campaign contributions from another country, which may include sensitive information “of value”.</p> <p>Trump’s statement has been criticised by politicians across the board.</p> <p>“Foreign influence in our elections is growing, not lessening, and we don’t want to send a signal to encourage it,” said Republican Senator Lindsey Graham.</p> <p>“Donald Trump has made it clear that he will engage in any action, no matter how unethical or unpatriotic, that he will go right up to the line of what’s legal and indeed it looks like he crossed that line many times,” said House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff.</p>

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Heads up! City bans pedestrians from texting while crossing the street

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A new state law in New York would slap stiff fines on pedestrians who text and email on their phones while crossing the street.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“There will be a green light and people will still be texting in the middle of the street,” cabbie Carlos Rodriguez complained to </span><a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Post</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> while waiting near New York’s Penn Station.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I stop so I don’t hit the person, then I get a $US110 ($AUD160) ticket for stopping at a green light. I’m sick of it!” </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The new law is looking to impose fines of $US25 ($AUD36) to $US50 ($AUD 73) on first-time offenders, while death-wish texters who stride right back into the pedestrian crossing and repeat the offence within 18 months would be hit with fines as high as $US250 ($A364).</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, backlash is already in the works as pedestrians believe that texting in traffic is their right.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“What a dumb proposal,” scoffed Chris Werner, 36, who barely looked up from his phone as he crossed West 32nd Street.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I’m still going to text while crossing.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Alejandro Cerda, 29, agreed as he texted his way across Seventh Avenue at 27th Street.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Can we vote these politicians out of office since they’re brain dead?” said the Lower East Side resident.</span></p>

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Oops! Canadian fugitive caught after revealing his location on Facebook

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A Canadian fugitive has made a major mistake that has led to his arrest as he invited police right to his doorstep.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Jessie Dean Kowalchuk, 27, was wanted in westernmost British Columbia province for violating his probation which was related to three separate crimes in 2015, according to </span><a href="https://www.sbs.com.au/news/oops-canadian-fugitive-caught-after-facebook-location-reveal"><span style="font-weight: 400;">SBS.</span></a></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When he spotted his photo on the website of television station</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> CFJC Today</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> in Kamloops, he sent a Facebook message to taunt the news show’s producers and revealed that he was in the capital of Alberta.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"News flash morons I'm in Edmonton and not coming back," Kowalchuk wrote, according to the station.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, despite Kowalchuk declaring he wasn’t coming back, he was unaware that the police could go to him. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Police are pleased with the arrest.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"We're just really pleased that he sent the message advising where he was living in Alberta and that we were able to extend the warrants to Alberta so that we could bring him back here to face charges," federal police Corporal Jodi Shelkie told public broadcaster </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">CBC</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"You've got to face up to your actions at some point and you know it doesn't matter where you go - sooner or later, the police are going to find you," she said late on Tuesday.</span></p>

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San Francisco becomes first US state to ban facial recognition technology

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">San Francisco officials have voted 8 to 1 to ban the purchase and use of facial recognition technology by the city personnel. This is in response to a move that regulates tools that Silicon Valley companies helped develop.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The ordinance requires city departments to submit surveillance technology policies for public vetting. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The action puts San Francisco at the forefront of discontent throughout the United States over the use of facial recognition software.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Although the technology has been used for years by government agencies, it has recently become more powerful with the rise of cloud computing and artificial intelligence technologies.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"We have a fundamental duty to safeguard the public from potential abuses," Aaron Peskin, the city supervisor who championed the ban said before the board's vote to </span><a href="https://www.sbs.com.au/news/san-francisco-votes-to-ban-city-use-of-facial-recognition-technology"><span style="font-weight: 400;">SBS</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The aim is to protect “marginalised groups” that could be harmed by the technology.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While communities are moving to limit facial recognition, police have increased their use of the software, using it to spot potential suspects in known offender databases after a crime has occurred.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The technology is also being used by US customs agents who are vetting foreign travellers at airports with facial recognition.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Daniel Castro, vice president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation said that concerns were “overblown”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Concerns that the U.S. government would use face identification for mass surveillance, like China has, were overblown.” He said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">San Francisco's "ban on facial recognition will make it frozen in time with outdated technology," he said.</span></p>

Technology

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Online tools can help people in disasters – but are they for everyone?

<p>With natural hazard and climate-related<span> </span><a href="https://theconversation.com/explainer-are-natural-disasters-on-the-rise-39232">disasters on the rise</a>, online tools such as<span> </span><a href="https://theconversation.com/crowdsourced-crisis-mapping-how-it-works-and-why-it-matters-7014">crowdsourced mapping</a><span> </span>and<span> </span><a href="https://theconversation.com/the-role-of-social-media-as-cyclones-batter-australia-37835">social media</a><span> </span>can help people understand and respond to a crisis. They enable people to share their location and contribute information.</p> <p>But are these tools useful for everyone, or are some people marginalised? It is vital these tools include information provided from all sections of a community at risk.</p> <p>Current evidence suggests that is not always the case.</p> <p><strong>Online tools let people help in disasters</strong></p> <p>Social media played an important role in coordinating response to the<span> </span><a href="https://www.jcu.edu.au/news/releases/2019/may/residents-turned-to-facebook-during-february-floods">2019 Queensland floods</a><span> </span>and the<span> </span><a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-01-14/community-action-proved-key-in-bushfire-response/4464464">2013 Tasmania bushfires</a>. Community members used Facebook to coordinate sharing of resources such as food and water.</p> <p>Crowdsourced mapping helped in response to the humanitarian crisis after the<span> </span><a href="https://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2016/10/02/495795717/when-disaster-strikes-he-creates-a-crisis-map-that-helps-save-lives">2010 Haiti earthquake</a>. Some of the most useful information came from public contributions.</p> <p>Twitter provided similar critical insights during<span> </span><a href="https://www.folio.ca/twitter-may-provide-valuable-insights-for-better-faster-disaster-response-study/">Hurricane Irma</a><span> </span>in South Florida in 2017.</p> <p><a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/317487173_Implications_of_Volunteered_Geographic_Information_for_Disaster_Management_and_GIScience_A_More_Complex_World_of_Volunteered_Geography">Research</a><span> </span>shows these public contributions can help in<span> </span><a href="https://www.unisdr.org/who-we-are/what-is-drr">disaster risk reduction</a>, but they also have limitations.</p> <p>In the rush to develop new disaster mitigation tools, it is important to consider whether they will help or harm the people most vulnerable in a disaster.</p> <p><strong>Who is vulnerable?</strong></p> <p>Extreme natural events, such as earthquakes and bushfires, are not<span> </span><a href="https://www.nonaturaldisasters.com/useful-information">considered</a><span> </span>disasters until vulnerable people are exposed to the hazard.</p> <p>To determine people’s level of vulnerability we need to know:</p> <ol> <li>the level of individual and community exposure to a physical threat</li> <li>their access to resources that affect their capacity to cope when threats materialise.</li> </ol> <p>Some groups in society will be<span> </span><a href="https://theconversation.com/natural-disasters-are-affecting-some-of-australias-most-disadvantaged-communities-68165">more vulnerable to disaster</a><span> </span>than others. This includes people with immobility issues, caring roles, or limited access to resources such as money, information or support networks.</p> <p>When disaster strikes,<span> </span><a href="https://items.ssrc.org/theres-no-such-thing-as-a-natural-disaster/">the pressure</a><span> </span>on some groups is often magnified.</p> <p>The devastating scenes in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria in 2017 revealed<span> </span><a href="https://theconversation.com/hurricane-kids-what-katrina-taught-us-about-saving-puerto-ricos-youngest-storm-victims-101509">the vulnerability of children</a><span> </span>in such disasters.</p> <p>Unfortunately, emergency management can exacerbate the vulnerability of marginalised groups. For example, a<span> </span><a href="https://academic.oup.com/socpro/advance-article/doi/10.1093/socpro/spy016/5074453" title="Damages Done: The Longitudinal Impacts of Natural Hazards on Wealth Inequality in the United States">US study last year</a><span> </span>showed that in the years after disasters, wealth increased for white people and declined for people of colour. The authors suggest this is linked to inequitable distribution of emergency and redevelopment aid.</p> <p>Policies and practice have until recently mainly been written by, and for, the<span> </span><a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2017-28300-002" title="White male power and privilege: The relationship between White supremacy and social class.">most predominant groups</a><span> </span>in<span> </span><a href="https://theconversation.com/twelve-charts-on-race-and-racism-in-australia-105961">our society</a>, especially heterosexual<span> </span><a href="https://www.uts.edu.au/about/uts-business-school/management/news/white-male-privilege-and-future-democracy">white men</a>.</p> <p>Research shows how this can create<span> </span><a href="https://knowledge.aidr.org.au/resources/national-gender-and-emergency-management-guidelines/">gender inequities</a><span> </span>or exclude the needs of<span> </span><a href="https://www.pmc.gov.au/sites/default/files/religious-freedom-submissions/5877.pdf" title="Emergency management response and recovery plans in relation to sexual and gender minorities in NEW South Wales, Australia">LGBTIQ communities</a>,<span> </span><a href="https://knowledge.aidr.org.au/resources/ajem-april-2019-people-from-refugee-backgrounds-contribute-to-a-disaster-resilient-illawarra/">former refugees and migrants</a><span> </span>or<span> </span><a href="https://ajem.infoservices.com.au/items/AJEM-28-02-09" title="The hidden disaster: domestic violence in the aftermath of natural disaster">domestic violence victims</a>.</p> <p>We need to ask: do new forms of disaster response help everyone in a community, or do they reproduce existing power imbalances?</p> <p><strong>Unequal access to digital technologies</strong></p> <p><a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/feart.2018.00183/full" title="The Good, the Bad, and the Uncertain: Contributions of Volunteered Geographic Information to Community Disaster Resilience">Research</a><span> </span>has assessed the “<a href="https://bpr.berkeley.edu/2017/11/16/the-dangers-of-techno-optimism/" title="The Dangers of Techno-Optimism">techno-optimism</a>” – a belief that technologies will solve our problems – associated with people using online tools to share information for disaster management.</p> <p>These technologies inherently discriminate if access to them discriminates.</p> <p>In Australia, the<span> </span><a href="https://theconversation.com/australias-digital-divide-is-not-going-away-91834">digital divide</a><span> </span>remains largely unchanged in recent years. In<span> </span><a href="http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/8146.0Main+Features12016-17?OpenDocument">2016-17</a><span> </span>nearly 1.3 million households had no internet connection.</p> <p>Lower digital inclusion is seen in already vulnerable groups, including the unemployed, migrants and<span> </span><a href="https://theconversation.com/digital-inclusion-in-tasmania-has-improved-in-line-with-nbn-rollout-will-the-other-states-follow-102257">the elderly</a>.</p> <p>Global<span> </span><a href="https://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm">internet penetration rates</a><span> </span>show uneven access between economically poorer parts of the world, such as Africa and Asia, and wealthier Western regions.</p> <p>Representations of communities are<span> </span><a href="https://www.smartinsights.com/social-media-marketing/social-media-strategy/new-global-social-media-research/">skewed</a><span> </span>on the internet. Particular groups participate with varying degrees on social media and in crowdsourcing activities. For example,<span> </span><a href="https://www.theverge.com/2016/9/8/12854476/internet-access-marginalized-ethnic-groups-digital-divide">some ethnic minorities</a><span> </span>have poorer internet access than other groups even in the same country.</p> <p>For crowdsourced mapping on platforms such as<span> </span><a href="https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=5/-28.153/133.275">OpenStreetMap</a>, studies find<span> </span><a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10708-013-9492-z" title="Gender and the GeoWeb: divisions in the production of user-generated cartographic information">participation biases relating to gender</a>. Men map<span> </span><a href="https://www.citylab.com/equity/2018/03/who-maps-the-world/555272/">far more</a><span> </span>than women at local and global scales.</p> <p><a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/308535661_Assessing_the_application_and_value_of_participatory_mapping_for_community_bushfire_preparation">Research</a><span> </span>shows participation biases in community mapping activities towards older, more affluent men.</p> <p><strong>Protect the vulnerable</strong></p> <p>Persecuted minorities, including<span> </span><a href="https://ro.uow.edu.au/sspapers/3337/" title="Queering disasters: On the need to account for LGBTI experiences in natural disaster contexts">LGBTIQ communities</a><span> </span>and<span> </span><a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/ewelinaochab/2018/01/26/religious-persecution-the-ever-growing-threat-to-us-all/">religious minorities</a>, are often more vulnerable in disasters. Digital technologies, which<span> </span><a href="https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2464599" title="Tweeting Up a Storm: The Promise and Perils of Crisis Mapping">expose</a><span> </span>people’s identities and fail to protect<span> </span><a href="http://lgbtq.hkspublications.org/2013/10/21/social-media-ethics-and-exposing-private-information-about-lgbt-users/">privacy</a>, might increase that vulnerability.</p> <p>Unequal participation means those who can participate may become<span> </span><a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/feart.2018.00183/full#h4" title="The Good: Potential for VGI to Enhance Community Resilience">further empowered</a>, with more access to information and resources. As a result, gaps between privileged and marginalised people grow wider.</p> <p>For example, local Kreyòl-speaking Haitians from poorer neighbourhoods contributed information via SMS for use on crowdsourced maps during the<span> </span><a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10708-014-9597-z" title="The limits of crisis data: analytical and ethical challenges of using social and mobile data to understand disasters">2010 Haiti earthquake response</a>.</p> <p>But the information was translated and mapped in English for Western humanitarians. As they didn’t speak English, vulnerable Haitians were further marginalised by being unable to directly use and benefit from maps resulting from their own contributions.</p> <p><a href="https://www.gislounge.com/gender-gis-workforce/">Participation patterns in mapping</a><span> </span>do not reflect the true makeup of our<span> </span><a href="http://meipokwan.org/Paper/Annals_2002.pdf">diverse societies</a>. But they do reflect where power lies – usually with<span> </span><a href="https://parkerziegler.com/radio-and-sound-design#/those-other-maps-feminist-gis-and-cartography/">dominant groups</a>.</p> <p>Any<span> </span><a href="https://reliefweb.int/report/world/raising-voices-end-male-dominated-power-dynamics-underpinning-violence-bias-everyone-s">power imbalances</a><span> </span>that come from unequal online participation are pertinent to disaster risk reduction. They can amplify community tensions, social divides and marginalisation, and exacerbate vulnerability and risk.</p> <p>With greater access to the benefits of online tools, and improved representation of diverse and marginalised people, we can better understand societies and reduce disaster impacts.</p> <p>We must remain acutely aware of digital divides and participation biases. We must continually consider how these technologies can better include, value and elevate marginalised groups.</p> <p><em>Written by Billy Tusker Haworth, Christine Eriksen and Scott McKinnon. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/online-tools-can-help-people-in-disasters-but-do-they-represent-everyone-116810">The Conversation.</a></em></p>

Technology

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Apple's major announcement: The changes coming to your iPhone, iPad and MacBooks

<p>Major changes are coming to iPhones, iPads and MacBooks, the company revealed at its annual conference.</p> <p>Apple announced a range of new changes and updates to its devices at the Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in California on Monday.</p> <p>As part of its new iOS 13 software, Apple is introducing new features on iPhone, including a Dark Mode, as well as new ways to edit photos, use the virtual assistant Siri, sign in to apps and websites, and navigate the world with a new map.</p> <p>With the new “Sign in with Apple” feature, users can sign into apps and websites without sharing their email address. It also allows users to show their location to any app just once instead of continually.</p> <p>Apple Maps is also set to receive a makeover, with more precise addresses and 3D street-level imagery similar to Google Maps. While the new map is currently limited to select cities and states in the US, it is expected to roll out to other countries next year.</p> <p>Voice assistant Siri will also be updated with a new, “more natural” voice and ability to read messages aloud to AirPods.</p> <p>According to the tech giant’s executives, iOS 13 will also open apps faster and include a Face ID system that will let users unlock their phones 30 per cent faster.</p> <p>Other offerings in the new software are the QuickPath keyboard – which makes it possible to type by sliding through the keyboard – and ‘Find My’ app to track missing gadgets and other people’s devices.</p> <p>The iOS 13 software is expected to be released later this year, with observers predicting it to launch with the new iPhones in <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.techradar.com/au/news/ios-13-features" target="_blank">mid-September</a>.</p> <p>The company also confirmed that it will remove the iTunes service and replace it with three separate apps: Music, TV and Podcasts. </p> <p>"The future of iTunes is not one app, but three,” said senior vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi. iTunes has been phased out from mobile devices such as iPhone and iPad, and now it is set to be withdrawn from Macs and personal computers.</p> <p>For Apple smart watch users, the App Store will be available to allow apps to download on the wearable device, including independent apps that do not rely on iPhones.</p> <p>Apple also unveiled a new version of its professional desktop computer MacPro, whose design has been likened to a cheese grater. Prices will start at US$6,000 (AU$8,600).</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">New Mac Pro looks like a cheese grater cuz is gonna shred all the funds in ur bank account <br />(🥁bu-dun-ski🥁)<br />...yes I’ll leave now... <a href="https://t.co/Q4Pzv4Xfkl">pic.twitter.com/Q4Pzv4Xfkl</a></p> — Dillon Francis (@DillonFrancis) <a href="https://twitter.com/DillonFrancis/status/1135647605747212288?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 3, 2019</a></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">Apple serving us GRATEness with their new Mac pro which has1.5 Terabyte 👏👏 <a href="https://t.co/1avn3zsx0X">pic.twitter.com/1avn3zsx0X</a></p> — KACHI❤ (@j_butney) <a href="https://twitter.com/j_butney/status/1135664375040282630?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 3, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>Computer users can also benefit from the new app Sidecar, which allows them to use an iPad as a second display.</p>

Technology

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World’s first laptop unveiled with foldable display

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The first laptop with a foldable computer screen could be yours as early as next year thanks to Lenovo.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After intense development for more than three years, they’re proud to announce ThinkPad X1, which will be launched in 2020.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Lenovo are aiming to make the device to a laptop standard instead of being a regular secondary computer like an iPad.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">One of the appeals of the new foldable laptop is portability.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After the trials and errors with the folding phone from Samsung, ThinkPad has been designed for users to make a full-sized object smaller instead of the other way around.</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">We came, we saw, we unveiled a wild &amp; bright vision for the workplace of the future. That's a wrap on <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LenovoAccelerate?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LenovoAccelerate</a>.<br /><br />Learn More: <a href="https://t.co/wYIimDzM6t">https://t.co/wYIimDzM6t</a> <a href="https://t.co/dvcj6N5S0f">pic.twitter.com/dvcj6N5S0f</a></p> — Lenovo (@Lenovo) <a href="https://twitter.com/Lenovo/status/1129365266666860544?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">17 May 2019</a></blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The 13.3-inch 2K OLED display folds into the size of a regular hardback book and is said to weigh less than a kilogram.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Initial reviews of the product have been good, although a lot of work needs to be done in regard to the software and making the folding mechanism sturdier. These were the same issues that were faced with Samsung and their foldable phone. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Verge</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> were thrilled with the foldable feature, saying that’s where the real size savings are.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I got to try out a functional prototype, but there’s not a lot to see at this stage,” said Chaim Gartenberg from </span><a href="https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2019/5/13/18537302/lenovo-foldable-pc-thinkpad-x1-prototype-hands-on-folding-screen"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Verge.</span></a></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The screen does fold, as advertised, and Windows worked well enough as a touch interface. But the real magic here — if it happens at all — will come with software and optimizing things to run on the unique form factors that a folding screen can provide.”</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="/media/7827346/lenovo-book.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/586cb3f21ce5490381319448970ceb93" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">The foldable ThinkPad compared to a regular 13-inch laptop</span></em></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Photo credit: </span><a href="https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2019/5/13/18537302/lenovo-foldable-pc-thinkpad-x1-prototype-hands-on-folding-screen"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Verge</span></a></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Reviewers were asked not to take close up photos of the hinge mechanism for the device just yet.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Lenovo is also well aware of the issues that happened with Samsung’s foldable phone and have been doubling the amount of testing for their laptop hinge.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As of yet, there is no official release date for the ThinkPad X1.</span></p>

Technology

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Facebook restricts “Facebook Live” feature following Christchurch attacks

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After the horrific Christchurch attacks that saw a lone gunman kill 51 people in two mosques whilst streaming it via Facebook Live, the social media giant has decided to take action.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Facebook has said in a </span><a href="https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2019/05/protecting-live-from-abuse/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">statement</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> that it’s introducing a “one-strike” policy for use of Facebook Live. The policy will temporarily restrict access for people who have faced disciplinary action for breaking the company’s rules anywhere on the site.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">First time offenders will be suspended from using Facebook Live for a set period of time and Facebook is also broadening the range of offences that will qualify for one-strike suspensions.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, Facebook did not specify what offences were eligible for the one-strike policy or how long suspensions will last.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Today we are tightening the rules that apply specifically to Live,” the statement read. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We will now apply a ‘one strike’ policy to Live in connection with a broader range of offenses. From now on, anyone who violates our most serious policies will be restricted from using Live for set periods of time – for example 30 days – starting on their first offense. For instance, someone who shares a link to a statement from a terrorist group with no context will now be immediately blocked from using Live for a set period of time.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A spokeswoman for Facebook pointed out that “it would have not been possible for the shooter to use Live on his account under the new rules”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The company plans to extend the new restrictions to other areas of the site over the coming weeks and it plans to start with preventing the same people from creating ads on Facebook.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">There are also plans for Facebook to fund research at three universities on techniques to detect manipulated media, which Facebook’s systems still struggle with. This was proven after the attacks as manipulated media was everywhere on the platform.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Facebook has said it removed 1.5 million videos globally that contained footage of the attack in the first 24 hours after it occurred. It said in a blog post in late March that it had identified more than 900 different versions of the video.</span></p>

Technology

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Prepare for a healthy holiday with this A-to-E guide

<p>So your well-earned holiday is finally here. But before you pack your swim gear, magazines and camera, take a moment to think about your health.</p> <p>Experiencing an illness in a foreign destination can be very challenging. Obviously it will reduce the quality of your trip, but it can also leave travellers with unexpected costs and exposed to a foreign medical system. On occasion, serious complications can follow.</p> <p>More than <a href="http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/products/961B6B53B87C130ACA2574030010BD05">nine million Australians</a> travel internationally per year, with most trips undertaken by people between the ages of 25 and 55. The top ten <a href="http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/products/961B6B53B87C130ACA2574030010BD05">most popular destinations</a>for Australians are New Zealand, Indonesia, the USA, UK, Thailand, China, Singapore, Japan, Fiji and India.</p> <p>A range of new health problems can be encountered during travel, and existing health problems can be exacerbated. Staying healthy is all about being informed, prepared and sensible.</p> <p>The <a href="http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/15/11/09-1147_article">leading causes</a> of infection-related illness during travel are <a href="http://www.bmj.com/content/353/bmj.i1937">travellers’ diarrhoea</a>, <a href="http://www.mja.com.au/journal/2002/177/4/9-infections-returned-traveller">respiratory infections and infections transmitted by mosquitoes</a>.</p> <p>Minimise your chances of experiencing these by following a simple ABCDE.</p> <p><strong>A: Allow time to prepare</strong></p> <p>Around popular holiday periods, it pays to allow plenty of time to book an appointment at a travel clinic, or a local medical clinic that offers travel vaccinations.</p> <p>Some vaccinations have two or three doses and may need four weeks for the course to be completed. Examples include vaccines for <a href="https://theconversation.com/zika-dengue-yellow-fever-what-are-flaviviruses-53969">Japanese encephalitis</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/explainer-the-rabies-virus-28654">rabies</a>.</p> <p>If travelling as a family, several visits may be required for preparing children for travel certain destinations.</p> <p>Keep in mind that your travel medicine practitioner may need detailed information about your exact itinerary, your past childhood vaccinations, your medical history and medications. If you have all this information readily available, you can get the most out of your travel consultation.</p> <p>If you have an existing medical condition, get checked out to make sure it’s being managed as expected. For example, blood pressure medications may need to be adjusted if your blood pressure is either too high or too low.</p> <p>Yellow fever immunisations and other live vaccines – those that contain active components – should be avoided if you are on medications that reduce your immunity, such as steroids like <a href="http://www.nps.org.au/medicines/hormonal-and-metabolic-system/corticosteroids-oral-and-injectable/prednisolone-corticosteroids-oral-and-injectable">prednisolone</a>. You may need alterations to immunosuppressive medications some weeks before you travel, or an official letter exempting you from a vaccine that is necessary for entry into certain countries (as is the case with yellow fever vaccine).</p> <p><strong>B: Behaviour - think about it</strong></p> <p>Holiday makers often seek to get out of their comfort zones. But it’s worth avoiding the temptation to completely let your hair down: behaviours you would never entertain in the home setting should be avoided in a foreign setting as well. You may also need to alter some of your daily living behaviours.</p> <p>Traveller’s diarrhoea can largely be avoided by using bottled water in any setting that you consume water, including staying hydrated, brushing your teeth, washing fruit and salads, and making ice blocks and other drinks.</p> <p>Eat food from venues that appear to adhere to good food hygiene standards – although this can be difficult to judge. Avoid hawker food or street food where items may have been left for long periods at temperatures where bacteria can multiply. When uncertain of hygiene standards, selecting packaged food is the safest choice.</p> <p>Respiratory infections are common in travellers. If you find yourself in a crowded setting where someone appears unwell and is coughing, create a distance to reduce the risk of being infected. Alcohol-based hand gels are useful to maintain hand hygiene and may protect you from infection due to common colds and other viruses that linger on surfaces.</p> <p>Smart packing is also important. You should travel with sunscreen and clothes that protect you from sun exposure, and repellent that has an active component to repel insects if travelling to an area where mosquitoes can transmit infections such as <a href="https://theconversation.com/zika-dengue-yellow-fever-what-are-flaviviruses-53969">dengue</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/does-zika-virus-pose-a-threat-to-australia-53557">Zika</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-the-world-can-cut-malaria-cases-by-90-in-the-next-15-years-47146">malaria</a>.</p> <p>Avoid acquiring a sexually transmitted infection by using barrier protection (condoms) for sexual intercourse.</p> <p><strong>C: Check safety, and have a check up</strong></p> <p>Review travel warnings at a reputable website, such as <a href="http://smartraveller.gov.au/Pages/default.aspx">SmartTraveller</a>.</p> <p>A general check up is advised to ensure your health is stable. Health conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes or a lowered immune system may put you at greater risk of travellers’ diarrhoea. Cancer or recent operations can increase risk of developing a <a href="http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2297171">blood clot</a>.</p> <p>Check ups are also a good opportunity to ensure that your vaccinations are up-to-date (see below).</p> <p><strong>D: Drugs (medications) and vaccines are vital</strong></p> <p>Medications that can reduce the time or severity of travellers’ diarrhoea are recommended for almost any destination, but particularly when travelling to developing countries where food hygiene standards can be variable. Examples include antibiotics such as azithromycin that treat bacterial causes of diarrhoea, and drugs such as tinidazole to treat parasitic causes of diarrhoea.</p> <p>Medications such as doxycycline or malarone that protect against being infected with malaria are recommended in <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/malaria/about/distribution.html">some regions</a> within Africa, Asia, South America and the Pacific.</p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/zika-a-rare-benign-virus-suddenly-turns-nasty-and-heads-for-the-us-52792">Zika virus</a> infection generally causes a mild illness or no symptoms at all. Pregnant female travellers are advised to avoid travel to a Zika endemic area. Couples planning a pregnancy in the near future should seek advice from a health professional if travelling to a Zika endemic country.</p> <p>If you’re travelling to destinations that are above 2500 metres (such Cusco in Peru), talk to your doctor about medications that help prevent or manage altitude sickness.</p> <p>The normal schedule of vaccinations provided to Australians may not cover you for illnesses found in your holiday destination. Extra vaccinations are necessary for certain destinations.</p> <p>For example, <a href="https://theconversation.com/zika-dengue-yellow-fever-what-are-flaviviruses-53969">yellow fever</a> is transmitted by mosquitoes and can cause anything from mild fevers to a severe illness involving multiple organs. Vaccination against yellow fever is required for entry into countries with known yellow fever transmission, and for returning back to Australia if visiting an area of known transmission.</p> <p>Australians may consider vaccinations against the following diseases before travel to popular holiday destinations:</p> <ul> <li>Hepatitis A</li> <li>Hepatitis B</li> <li>Influenza</li> <li>Japanese encephalitis</li> <li>Meningococcal disease</li> <li>Rabies</li> <li>Tuberculosis</li> <li>Typhoid</li> <li>Varicella (Chickenpox)</li> <li>Yellow fever</li> <li>Cholera</li> <li>Measles</li> <li>Polio</li> <li>Tetanus</li> </ul> <p>A full <a href="https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list/">list of countries and recommended vaccinations</a> has been compiled by the USA’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.</p> <p>Even if you’re previously been vaccinated for some of these conditions, as time passes you may require boosters to strengthen your immunity.</p> <p><strong>E: Enjoy your trip!</strong></p> <p><em>Written by Irani Thevarajan. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/prepare-for-a-healthy-holiday-with-this-a-to-e-guide-69552"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>.</em></p>

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Coles issues urgent product recall over electrocution fears

<p>Coles has issued a recall over a potentially dangerous household item over fears that it could cause electrocution.</p> <p>The supermarket made the announcement on Tuesday saying it was pulling its own brand of Mobile USB Wall Chargers due to safety concerns.</p> <p>According to the company, any five-watt single USB models purchased from July 2017 onwards are affected by the recall.</p> <p>“Testing has found that the enclosure of the charger may separate and expose live parts,” Coles said.</p> <p>“As a result, this product has the potential to cause electric shock.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet tw-align-center" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">Urgent recall of Coles USB wall charger, which may cause electrocution. Return it for a refund. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FIVEaaNews?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FIVEaaNews</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AdelaideNews?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AdelaideNews</a> <a href="https://t.co/yYE97HPLmE">pic.twitter.com/yYE97HPLmE</a></p> — Matthew Pantelis 🎙 (@MatthewPantelis) <a href="https://twitter.com/MatthewPantelis/status/1133295753911103488?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 28, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>The product can be found at Coles supermarkets, Coles Express and Coles Online.</p> <p>Consumers have been advised to discard the wall charger “immediately” and return the item to their nearest Coles for a full refund.</p> <p>They have issued an apology for the inconvenience caused.</p>

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ANZ customers warned of elaborate new email scam

<p>ANZ customers have been warned to be vigilant about an elaborate email scam impersonating the bank.</p> <p>The email is disguised to appear as though it has been sent from an official ANZ email and tells customers that their online banking account “has been temporarily locked” due to an “unauthorised” transaction.</p> <p>According to <a rel="noopener" href="https://finance.nine.com.au/business-news/anz-email-scam-internet-banking-email-warning-for-customers/2a03f102-cda3-4fef-9645-1b42759fdfd6" target="_blank"><em>9Finance</em></a>, the message claims $300 had been paid to “Energy PRO Australia LTD” before providing a link to “regain access” to their account.</p> <p>The link redirects customers to a phishing page mirroring the financial institution’s website and prompts them to fill out their banking data, including username, password and answers to secret questions.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">ANZ customers warned of very convincing scam <a href="https://t.co/N2sFKXLuQF">https://t.co/N2sFKXLuQF</a> <a href="https://t.co/6YDF1NAJbn">pic.twitter.com/6YDF1NAJbn</a></p> — news.com.au (@newscomauHQ) <a href="https://twitter.com/newscomauHQ/status/902658322981163011?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 29, 2017</a></blockquote> <p>After handing in their login details, customers are then faced with a page that simulates a blocked account scenario with three challenge questions to be answered. Once customers provide the answers, they are informed that their responses are incorrect.</p> <p>“This sole purpose of this elaborate phishing scam is to harvest the login credentials of ANZ customers so the criminals behind this scam can break into their bank accounts,” said Akankasha Dewan, social media manager at web and email security company <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.mailguard.com.au/blog/anz-phishing-email-scam-tells-users-their-security-challenge-answers-are-incorrect" target="_blank">MailGuard</a>.</p> <p>“By typing in your account number and password, you’re handing this sensitive account information to cybercriminals.”</p> <p>The email also attempts to appear more authentic by advising customers to contact the bank if they have any questions, with the official ANZ phone numbers provided in the message.</p> <p>“If you have any questions about your account, please call us on 13 13 14 or International 61 3 8699 6943. We’re here to help.”</p> <p>The bank advises that it will never send any email asking for account details or personal information. It also recommends looking out for signs of suspicious emails, including misspellings, poor grammar, failure to address the customer by name, strange email address, and patchy graphics or design.</p> <p>This is the latest scam to affect the bank. In March, ANZ warned its customers of a scam looking to confirm their “<a rel="noopener" href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/new-scam-warning-for-anz-bank-customers-beware-of-this-email/" target="_blank">challenge questions</a>” to purportedly protect customers and improve banking security.</p>

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The future of milk? New technology keeps milk fresh for 60 days

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In a world-first breakthrough, a Queensland company has discovered a new way to keep milk fresh for at least 60 days.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The technology, which is said to be the biggest breakthrough in the global milk industry since pasteurisation in 1864, has been unveiled by Naturo </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">– </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">an Australian food technology company based in Coolum.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Their new processing technique keeps natural milk safe for human consumption for more than two months.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The process has been approved by Dairy Food Safety Victoria and is said to ensure no additives or preservatives have been added as well as keeping to the natural colour and taste.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Naturo boss Jeff Hastings is thrilled about the technology. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Our milk tastes like milk straight from the cow,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It is safer, better for you and lasts longer. The primary difference between our milk and pasteurised milk is the fact that we don’t “cook” the milk to make it safe for human consumption.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Our milk is much closer to milk in its original state and is independently proven to be nutritionally superior.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Despite the technology and the process only being applied to cow’s milk, it has the potential to expand to other forms of milk, which include goat, camel and sheep’s milk.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Hastings also explained the difference between pasteurised milk and their technology.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Another issue with pasteurised milk is that while heating makes it safer, it destroys some of the goodness in the milk, specifically it kills all alkaline phosphatase activity, an essential enzyme for liver function and bone development, and reduces the Vitamin B2 and B12 levels,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“These are particularly essential vitamins for children.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Our patented process is the only known method that kills bacillus cereus, a common but unwanted spore forming bacterium in milk that produces toxins causing vomiting or diarrhoea. Our process makes our milk really safe.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Put simply, our technology kills more of the bugs and has a significantly superior shelf life.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With the technology receiving $250,000 in funding from the Queensland Government in support of the technology, it’s safe to say that people are on board.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With the milk lasting for 91 days in one test, Hastings has big plans.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Our milk can be shipped to all parts of the world that have limited or no access to fresh milk,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“There is also massive potential for the development of a wide range of dairy products and use by industries where unpasteurised milk is desired, such as cheese making.”</span></p>

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