Practical

Practical (11)

Awe Shapes Views of Science

Tuesday, 03 January 2017 11:22 Written by
Awe Shapes Views of Science

In general, we feel awe when in the presence of something that is so big, beautiful, powerful or complex that it is hard to wrap our heads around (e.g. gazing at the stars and contemplating the vastness of the universe, witnessing the destructive force of a natural disaster). We feel it when we are struck dumb by the presence of the mysterious, magical, wondrous or beautiful and its experience drives us to seek explanations. Something has not only defied our expectations about how the world works, but it has made us want to understand, explain and find meaning in what has happened.

Time Management is Ruining Our Lives

Saturday, 24 December 2016 12:01 Written by
Time Management is Ruining Our Lives

Most of us have experienced this creeping sense of being overwhelmed: the feeling not merely that our lives are full of activity – that can be exhilarating – but that time is slipping out of our control. The quest for increased personal productivity – for making the best possible use of your limited time – is a dominant motif of our age. And yet the truth is that more often than not, techniques designed to enhance one’s personal productivity seem to exacerbate the very anxieties they were meant to allay. The better you get at managing time, the less of it you feel that you have. It’s understandable that we respond to the ratcheting demands of modern life by trying to make ourselves more efficient. But what if all this efficiency just makes things worse?

Canada to Decriminalize Recreational Cannabis

Wednesday, 20 April 2016 22:43 Written by
Canada to Decriminalize Recreational Cannabis

Canada’s Liberal government will introduce legislation to decriminalise and regulate recreational marijuana in spring 2017, according to the health minister, Jane Philpott. The prime minister, Justin Trudeau, promised during last year’s election campaign that his government would legalise recreational marijuana, following the US states of Washington and Colorado, but the time frame has been unclear.

Philpott, speaking on Wednesday at a special session of the UN general assembly in New York on drug problems around the world, said the Canadian law will ensure marijuana is kept away from children and will keep criminals from profiting from its sale.

Fasting Diets Are Gaining Acceptance

Tuesday, 08 March 2016 20:41 Written by
Fasting Diets Are Gaining Acceptance

In a culture in which it’s customary to eat three large meals a day while snacking from morning to midnight, the idea of regularly skipping meals may sound extreme. But in recent years intermittent fasting has been gaining popular attention and scientific endorsement.

Across the world, millions of people fast periodically for religious and spiritual reasons. But some are now looking at the practice as a source of health and longevity. Valter Longo, the director of the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California, initially studied fasting in mice that showed that two to five days of fasting each month reduced biomarkers for diabetes, cancer and heart disease. The research has since been expanded to people, and scientists saw a similar reduction in disease risk factors.

DHS Questions Security of ISC

Friday, 11 May 2012 17:32 Written by
DHS Questions Security of ISC

Operators of America’s power, water, and manufacturing facilities use industrial control systems (ICS) to manage them. However, the security of these systems, increasingly linked with Microsoft Windows and the Internet, is now under intense scrutiny because of growing awareness that they could be attacked and cause massive disruptions.

Industrial facility operators are making efforts to follow security procedures, such as using vulnerability-assessment scanning tools to check for needed patches in Windows. That said, ICS environments present special problems, said managers who spoke on the topic at a conference organized by the DHS.

‘Steam Cracker’ Steals User Credentials

Saturday, 21 April 2012 11:44 Written by
‘Steam Cracker’ Steals User Credentials

Users of Valve’s Steam game sales and distribution platform are being targeted by malware peddlers; the lure is a "Steam Cracker." It is being offered on YouTube and on many gamer forums, and it supposedly gives the users access to all games for free.

The scammers offer simple instructions for installing the software: disable antivirus software and firewall, then replace the original steam.exe file with the downloaded, cracked one. "The file in question is a fake Steam client, which uses aspects of the real thing but just falls short of being 100 percent convincing (file size, file, and of course the fact that this file isn’t digitally signed unlike the real Steam executable)," a GFI researcher said.

If the user runs Windows Vista or later versions of the platform, the file runs and shows the fake client that looks legitimate.

Wearable Firewall Stops Pacemaker Hacking

Thursday, 19 April 2012 15:10 Written by
Wearable Firewall Stops Pacemaker Hacking

Researchers from Purdue and Princeton universities have developed a solution to what could be catastrophic problem for millions of people who use insulin pumps, pacemakers, and other personal medical devices that rely on wireless communication to function: MedMon — a signal-jamming personal firewall for medical devices that detects potentially malicious communications going into, or coming from, a wearable or implanted device.

After identifying malicious signals, MedMon employs electronic jamming, similar to technology used in military systems, to prevent any potentially harmful wireless commands from getting through to the device and causing it to falter or accept instructions that could cause its wearer harm.

Human Body Vulnerable to Cyberattack

Thursday, 12 April 2012 17:35 Written by
Human Body Vulnerable to Cyberattack

The next frontier of cybercrime could be the human body, a researcher at the Black Hat Security Conference demonstrated. In his presentation, "Hacking Medical Devices for Fun and Insulin: Breaking the Human SCADA System," Jay Radcliffe showed how a hacker could remotely hack two medical devices used to treat diabetes and trigger them to malfunction — with potentially disastrous results.

"Wireless communication with insulin pumps are not secure, they're not designed to be updated and there's no way of patching them," he told the audience. "It's not like a phone, where you can download a firmware update."

Removing Personal Information from Google

Monday, 26 March 2012 12:28 Written by
Removing Personal Information from Google

Do you know what kind of personal information about you can be found from Internet? Do you know how to remove your name, address, phone number, unwanted pictures, bad publicity, and negative comments from Google and other search results? Do you know how to delete your personal information from online people search database records and the deep web?

Like it or not, Google does not accept complaints for defamatory, inaccurate, or incorrect content in their Search Engine Results. Should you desire to scrub unwanted content from third party websites appearing in Google Web Search Results pages, you must contact the Business Owner of the respective website(s).

Reduce Risk Factors in Children

Friday, 09 December 2011 01:10 Written by
Reduce Risk Factors in Children

Disruptive and aggressive behavior in classrooms as early as the first grade has repeatedly been identified as a risk factor for this spectrum of problems later in life (Kellam et al., 2008).

The Good Behavior Game (GBG), a universal (classroom) behavior management method, was tested in first- and second-grade classrooms in Baltimore beginning in the 1985–1986 school year. Followup at ages 19–21 found significantly lower rates of drug and alcohol use disorders, regular smoking, antisocial personality disorder, delinquency and incarceration for violent crimes, suicide ideation, and use of school-based services among students who had played the GBG.

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