In the spotlight
Facebook ‘labels’ posts by hand, posing privacy questions
The workers categorize items according to five “dimensions,” as Facebook calls them. These include the subject of the post – is it food, for example, or a selfie or an animal? What is the occasion – an everyday activity or major life event? And what is the author’s intention – to plan an event, to….
I’ll just take your card details: eight scams to watch out for
It can be hard to tell if an email or call is from a legitimate company or a fraudster so you need to keep your wits about you at all times. If anyone other than people you are actually related to or who you have known since you were five asks you to transfer money to them via unusual channels, think long and hard about it.
What is privacy in the age of digital transformation?
What does privacy mean? Short answer: not much—at least not in our current state of digital transformation. Indeed, while I love technology and everything we’re now able to do to learn more about our customers through personalization, the cold hard truth is that there is no way to guarantee privacy in today’s digitized world.
Big tech must get its house in order or risk stronger regulation
Two years ago, it seemed clear that a combination of factors would lead to increased calls to regulate technology companies, especially the big tech giants Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google. When that happens, I argued at the time , regulatory policy would have to strike a sensible balance between….
Agriculture & Environment
Biodiversity loss means as much as climate change, a definitive UN-backed report warns
They are the tireless stewards of the air, water and land from which we live. But the millions of species whose toil underpins our prosperity are gravely endangered by human activity, scientists say — and is as big a threat to humans as climate change, said UN biodiversity chief Robert Watson last….
Rethinking digital service design could reduce their environmental impact
Digital technology companies could reduce the carbon footprint of services like YouTube by changing how they are designed, experts say. Human-Computer Interaction researchers from the University of Bristol looked at how much electric energy was used to provide YouTube videos to people globally in….
Transport & Energy
Artificial Intelligence improves power transmission
To integrate the usually volatile renewable sources into energy supply, capacities of the power grid have to be increased. The need for new lines can be reduced by better utilization of existing lines as a function of weather conditions. To this end, researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology….
Synthetic fuel can be produced from air-conditioning systems: Study
Researchers have proposed an innovative method that enables air conditioning and ventilation systems to produce synthetic fuels, crowd oil, from carbon dioxide (CO2) and water from the ambient air. According to the study published in Nature Communications compact plants are to separate CO2 from the….
How tech culture has changed since the GDPR
As we approach the one-year anniversary of the GDPR which went into effect on 25 May 2018, we can now review the benefits and pitfalls of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation. While many businesses, primarily Google, have been fined a total of €56 million for GDPR breaches out of over….
Why a European policy framework for the Internet of Things matters
Few think of Europe as a frontrunner in the internet age. Yet, as the digital transformation of societies and economies gathers pace, a window of opportunity has opened for Europe to re-establish itself as a global technology leader.
Top lessons from cyber attacks
“Organisations need to ensure that they understand their core businesses processes, systems and applications,” he said. “From there, you can get the criticality of them and how to protect and secure them.” This requires a balance between preventative and recovery measures, said Woodcock.
Food & Health
Evidence supporting claims that homeopathic remedies offer an effective alternative to the measles vaccine can be summarised in a single word: zero. There is no study by any reputable organisation to suggest that treatments which claim to offer resistance to this disease by building “natural immunity” provide any proper protection.
Adverse events during initial years of life may affect future mental health: study
The study claims that the timing of adverse experiences, including poverty, family and financial instability, and abuse, has more powerful effects than the number of such experiences or whether they took place recently. According to the researchers, one of the major unanswered questions….
Boosting nutrients in crops to beat ‘hidden hunger’ of poor diet
Boosting the levels of micronutrients like zinc in popular grain crops could help to reduce a ‘hidden hunger’ experienced by millions of people across Europe and around the world. More than two billion children and adults globally are estimated to suffer from deficiencies of crucial vitamins and minerals due to poor diet.
Alternative medicine practitioners may market bogus celiac tests, treatments
Looking online for alternative medicine providers to diagnose or treat celiac disease is a bad idea because many websites market unproven or ineffective tests and treatments, researchers say. “We know that complementary and alternative medicine is widespread, and people seek out….
Science policy & Communication
Inside Facebook’s war room: the battle to protect EU elections
Less than three years ago, the Facebook chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, dismissed as “crazy” the idea that fake news on his platform could have influenced the election of Donald Trump as US president. Today the company admits it is under siege from billions of fake accounts trying to game its….
A study analyzes the academic repercussions of institutional scientific dissemination
UC3M and UV research Communicating research results to the public generates a range of positive effects on the careers of university professors, according to a study carried out by researchers at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) and the Universidad de Valencia (UV), which analyzed the….
An overwhelming majority of Europeans are concerned about the loss of biodiversity and support stronger EU action to protect nature
The Eurobarometer survey reveals awareness is generally increasing on the meaning of biodiversity, its importance, threats and measures to protect it. Citizens’ opinions are in line with the goals of the EU biodiversity strategy to 2020 that aims to halt the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem….