Facebook received 110,634 government requests for user data in the second half of 2018, up 7% from 103,815 in the first half of 2018, according to its latest Transparency Report, which was released Thursday.The social network said the uptick in the second half of last year was normal compared with previous reporting periods.The most requests came from the U.S., followed by India, the U.K., Germany and France.Vice president and deputy general counsel Chris Sonderby said in a Newsroom post that requests from the U.S. were actually down 3% from the first half of 2018, adding that 58% of those included nondisclosure orders, which prohibited Facebook from notifying the affected users.Sonderby also detailed an error in Facebook’s accounting methods for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act content requests, saying that it resulted in “a significant undercounting of the number of accounts specified in those requests, as well as overcounting of the number of requests in one half,” dating back to 2015.The previous and revised numbers are available in the report.
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Preterm birth (PTB) -- defined as birth before the 37th week of gestation -- is the leading complication of pregnancy.If doctors had a simple, accurate and inexpensive way to identify women at risk for the condition, they could develop better prevention strategies.Now researchers have created a 3D-printed microchip electrophoresis device that can sensitively detect three serum biomarkers of PTB.Preterm infants can suffer complications such as neurological, respiratory and cardiac problems and, in some cases, even death.Scientists have previously identified biomarker peptides and proteins in maternal serum that can fairly accurately predict PTB at 28 weeks of gestation.However, existing methods for detecting the biomarkers are laborious or not very sensitive.
Wearable electronics that adhere to skin are an emerging trend in health sensor technology for their ability to monitor a variety of human activities, from heart rate to step count.Now, a team of researchers reports the development of a graphene-based adhesive biosensor inspired by octopus "suckers."For a wearable sensor to be truly effective, it must be flexible and adhere fully to both wet and dry skin but still remain comfortable for the user.Thus, the choice of substrate, the material that the sensing compounds rest upon, is crucial.Typical yarns and threads are also vulnerable to wet environments.Adhesives can lose their grip underwater, and in dry environments they can be so sticky that they can be painful when peeled off.
WASHINGTON, May 22,2019 -- Journalists may now apply for press credentials for the American Chemical Society (ACS) Fall 2019 National Meeting & Exposition, one of the largest scientific conferences of the year, at https://xpressreg.net/register/acsf0819/media/reginfo.asp.The meeting will be held August 25-29, 2019, in San Diego.Thousands of scientists and other attendees are expected to gather for more than 9,500 presentations on topics that include food and nutrition, medicine, health, energy, the environment and other fields where chemistry plays a central role.Some of the presentations will connect with the meeting's theme of "Chemistry & Water."ACS will operate a press center with press conferences, a news media workroom fully staffed to assist in arranging interviews and free Wi-Fi, computers and refreshments.Embargoed copies of press releases and a press conference schedule will be available in mid-August.
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'Statistical significance' is one of the most widely misunderstood phrases in science, according to a 2013 Scientific American article.Probability values (p-values) have been used as a way to measure the significance of research studies since the 1920s, with thousands of researchers relying on them since.This misunderstanding is what the latest episode of the How Researchers Changed the World podcast explores, in conversation with statistician Ron Wasserstein.In particular, the podcast focuses on Ron's research into the misuse of p-values as a measure of statistical significance, which culminated in his 2016 paper: 'The American Statistical Association's statement on P-values: Context, Process and Purpose.'So, Ron was tasked with leading the creation of a framework outlining how p-values should be used in research, which would be published as a statement by the American Statistical Association , a leading authority in the statistics world.It wasn't a simple task, but although the debate regarding p-values continues, the statement has had an impact on the research world beyond what Ron could ever have imagined...
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Facebook Monday introduced three types of maps to aid nonprofit organizations and universities working on public health in their efforts to stay ahead of diseases outbreaks and more efficiently reach vulnerable communities.Facebook Data for Good policy lead Laura McGorman and research manager Alex Pompe explained in a Newsroom post, “When planning public health campaigns or responding to disease outbreaks, health organizations need information on where intended beneficiaries live, as well as real-time insights from the field.However, in much of the world, information from the most recent census is often out of date, and timely insights from remote communities are scarce.”The three types of maps the social network unveiled are population density maps (complete with demographic estimates), movement maps and network coverage maps.The high-resolution population density maps estimate the number of people living within 30-meter grid tiles, as well as providing insights on demographics such as the number of children under the age of five, the number of women of reproductive age and young and elderly populations.McGorman and Pompe said the maps are not build using Facebook data, instead relying on machine vision artificial intelligence, satellite imagery and census information, adding, “By combining these publicly and commercially available datasets with Facebook’s AI capabilities, we have created population maps that are three times more detailed than any other source.”
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Facebook removed a total of 265 accounts, pages, groups and events for coordinated inauthentic behavior, saying that they originated in Israel but focused on Nigeria, Senegal, Togo, Angola, Niger and Tunisia, with some activity geared toward Latin America and Southeast Asia.Head of cybersecurity policy Nathaniel Gleicher said in a Newsroom post that the people behind the network used fake accounts to run pages, spread content and artificially increase engagement.They also misrepresented themselves as local citizens and local news organizations, publishing allegedly leaked information about politicians, along with political news on topics including elections, candidate views and criticism of political opponents.Gleicher said Facebook’s investigation found that some of the activity was tied to Israeli commercial entity Archimedes Group, which has been banned from its platform and issued a cease-and-desist letter for repeated violations of the social network’s policies on misrepresentation and other offenses.This week’s removals covered 65 Facebook accounts, 161 pages, 23 groups, 12 events and four Instagram accounts.Gleicher said roughly 2.8 million Facebook accounts followed one or more of the pages, while some 5,500 joined at least one of the groups and about 920 followed one or more of the Instagram accounts.
Chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg promised tighter restrictions on Facebook Live in late March, in reaction to the spreading of videos of the terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, earlier that month.The social network took steps to make good on that promise this week.Vice president of integrity Guy Rosen said in a Newsroom post that the social network’s livestreaming feature will now operate under a one-strike policy, adding that the company is teaming up with three universities to study how to better identify media that is manipulated in order to avoid detection.Rosen said a one-strike policy is now being applied to a broader range of offenses that apply specifically to Facebook Live, and anyone who violates the most series policies will be banned from using the feature for a set period of time—for example, 30 days after the first offense.Sharing a link to a statement from a terrorist group with no context is one example of a violation that would trigger action on Facebook’s part.Rosen said the social network will extend similar restrictions to other areas of its platform over the coming weeks, starting with preventing violators from creating ads.
WASHINGTON, May 2, 2019 - Whether it's walking down a dark street at night or fighting off grizzly bears on the trail, pepper spray is an effective tool to fend off an attacker and get safely away.But have you ever thought about what gives this personal-defense-in-a-can its bite - is it just weaponized hot sauce?This week on Reactions, we're taking a look at what's in these little canisters and why it inflicts so much pain.And for those times when you accidentally spray yourself, we'll also give you some tips on what to do: https://youtu.be/QFPxj4CcXp0.Reactions is a video series produced by the American Chemical Society and PBS Digital Studios.Subscribe to Reactions at http://bit.ly/ACSReactions, and follow us on Twitter @ACSreactions.
OurPact argued that its app should be reinstated and should be allowed to use technology that enables parents to control what their children access on their Apple devices.A report in The New York Times from Saturday said that in the past year, Apple has targeted 11 of the 17 most downloaded third-party apps designed to help phone users limit screen time or oversee their children's phone use.Apple on Sunday published a statement in its newsroom, saying it recently removed several parental-control apps from the App Store because "they put users' privacy and security at risk."Over the past year, Apple said, it became aware that several of the apps utilized mobile device management (MDM) software.This "gives a third party control and access over a device and its most sensitive information including user location, app use, email accounts, camera permissions and browsing history."Apple said it was a violation of App Store guidelines.
Many people fondly remember playing with toys known as Shrinky Dinks -- sheets of polystyrene plastic with shapes that kids can color, cut out and heat in an oven, where they shrink into thicker pieces of plastic.Now, researchers have repurposed shrink films for an unexpected use: making strong, durable grippers that could someday encapsulate materials or be incorporated into soft robotics.They report their results in ACS Applied Polymer Materials.Watch it in action here.Shrinky Dinks undergo their dramatic transformation because they are shape-memory polymers.Manufacturers pre-stretch the sheets of polystyrene so that when heated above 217 F, they shrink back to their former size.
Long before scientists test new medicines in animals or people, they study the effects of the substances on cells growing in Petri dishes.Now, researchers reporting in the ACS journal Nano Letters have used a 3D printer to make paper organs, complete with artificial blood vessels, that they can populate with cells.In the body, tissues with similar functions are grouped together in organs, such as the brain, heart or stomach.Organs also contain supporting cells, including nerves, blood vessels and connective tissues.An organ's 3D architecture provides biological, structural and mechanical support to cells that influences how they grow and respond to external stimuli, such as medicines.Yu Shrike Zhang and colleagues wanted to see whether they could combine 3D printing and bacterial cellulose to make supports for artificial organs that they could then fill with cells.
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Told you about who made it back, who's kinda gone and who's really gone.Because this is where I tell you how those people get those things (that's the super-clever code name we used in the very spoiler-sensitive CNET newsroom for our colleagues who haven't yet caught Infinity War's sequel).They've also been advised not to talk to their past selves or bet on any sports events.Present-day Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) visits the Sanctum Sanctorum looking for Doctor Strange and his Time Stone.Hulk clearly should have checked out our article on how to watch every Marvel movie and TV show in the perfect order.In the end, it's as simple as telling the wizard that Doctor Strange actually volunteered it to Thanos because it was the only way.
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A Saturday report in the Times said that in the past year, Apple has targeted 11 of the 17 most downloaded third-party apps designed to help phone users limit screen time or oversee their children's phone use.Apple either removed the apps from the App Store outright or restricted them in some way, the Times said.But Apple on Sunday published a rare statement in its newsroom titled, "The facts about parental control apps."Over the past year Apple said it became aware that several of the apps utilized mobile device management software, which "gives a third party control and access over a device and its most sensitive information including user location, app use, email accounts, camera permissions and browsing history."MDM software is often used by businesses to easily manage and control their employees' devices, but Apple said that in mid-2017 it updated its guidelines about the use of MDM for non-enterprise purposes."It is incredibly risky -- and a clear violation of App Store policies -- for a private, consumer-focused app business to install MDM control over a customer's device," Apple said.
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Told you about who made it back, who's kinda gone and who's really gone.Because this is where I tell you how those people get those things (that's the super-clever code name we used in the very spoiler-sensitive CNET newsroom for our colleagues who haven't yet caught Infinity War's sequel).They've also been advised not to talk to their past selves or bet on any sports events.Present-day Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) visits the Sanctum Sanctorum looking for Doctor Strange and his Time Stone.Hulk clearly should have checked out our article on how to watch every Marvel movie and TV show in the perfect order.In the end, it's as simple as telling the wizard that Doctor Strange actually volunteered it to Thanos because it was the only way.
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The army of the dead has arrived at Winterfell.The third episode of the final season of Game of Thrones will finally bring the big battle for life and death we've been expecting since season 1, and it's sure to be a nerve-racking episode.We know we're going to lose some of our beloved characters, but who do you think will die?I think it's too soon in the season to lose Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen or Bran Stark, and I also think Arya has a good chance of surviving.After some conversations around the CNET newsroom, I made a list of the characters my colleagues and I think might switch to the army of the dead sooner rather than later.Vote in our poll below to let us know who you think will be among the first casualties, and jump in the comments to vent about the show or share your theories.
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Polymers that change their appearance in response to mechanical forces can warn of damage developing in a material before the stress causes structural failure.Researchers now report in ACS Central Science that they've developed a first-of-its-kind elastic polymer blend that displays white fluorescence when deformed and then goes dark after relaxing back to its original shape.A general approach to create such stress-sensing polymers is to integrate sensor molecules that change their optical properties when activated by mechanical force.In most previous types of these polymers, however, activation is irreversible because it breaks covalent bonds in the sensors.To do this, they built upon their previous work, published last year, in which they reported a polyurethane containing stress-sensing rotaxane consisting of ring-shaped fluorescent molecules threaded on dumbbell-shaped molecules featuring quencher groups at their center.In the relaxed polymer, the quenchers were near the fluorescent rings and prevented them from glowing under ultraviolet light.
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People who believe Instagram is more careful with their personal information than its parent company might want to think again.Facebook revealed last month that account passwords for hundreds of millions of users were stored on its internal servers in plain text, and today, it quietly updated its Newsroom post from March to report its discovery of millions of Instagram passwords suffering a similar fate.The company would not specify how many Instagram users were impacted, only saying that the total was less than the hundreds of millions from Facebook Lite and the tens of millions from Facebook that were disclosed last month.All impacted Instagram users will be notified, Facebook added.According to the social media giant, since last month’s disclosure, it discovered additional Instagram passwords that were stored on its servers in a readable format.The company originally believed the total to be in the tens of thousands, as it stated in March, but it upped that estimate to the millions.
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Back in March, Facebook revealed that it had been storing passwords from a number of its products in plain text.Though it didn’t give a precise amount, Facebook said that hundreds of millions of passwords were stored improperly across Facebook Lite, Facebook proper, and Instagram.At the time, it said that only “tens of thousands of Instagram users,” were affected by this mishap (Facebook said it intended for its login system to make user passwords unreadable), but today, we’re finding out that the damage as it concerns Instagram is much worse.Facebook updated its original article today to say that it has discovered “additional logs of Instagram passwords being stored in a readable format.” Again, it doesn’t give any specific numbers, but now it estimates that “millions” of Instagram users had their passwords stored improperly.It’s worth pointing out that there wasn’t a separate article published to the Facebook Newsroom about this today.Instead, Facebook simply updated its original post that broke news of this problem four weeks ago.
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WASHINGTON, April 18, 2019 -- Knowing the do's and don'ts of washing your clothes can be difficult, but chemistry has got your back.With a quick lesson in textile chemistry, you'll be able to understand the different fabrics that make up your clothes.This week on Reactions, we'll explore whether it's safe to wash your favorite new shirt at home or if you really need to take it to the dry cleaner's: https://youtu.be/FFhBaBXJEuk.Reactions is a video series produced by the American Chemical Society and PBS Digital Studios.Subscribe to Reactions at http://bit.ly/ACSReactions, and follow us on Twitter @ACSreactions.The American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society, is a not-for-profit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress.
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