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Ransomware attacks leave customers powerless, companies ignore cyber threat

FB..NotPetya ransomware attack spreads around the world it’s making clear how important it is for everyone – and particularly corporations – to take cybersecurity seriously. The companies affected by this malware include power utilities, banks and technology firms. Their customers are now left without power and other crucial services, in part because the companiesdid not take action and make the investments necessary to better protect themselves from these cyberattacks.

Cybersecurity is becoming another facet of the growing movement demanding corporate social responsibility. This broad effort has already made progress toward getting workers paid a living wage, encouraging companies to operate zero-waste production plantsand practice cradle-to-cradle manufacturing – and even getting them to donate products to people in need.

The overall idea is that companies should make corporate decisions that reflect obligations not just to owners and shareholders, customers and employees, but to society at large and the natural environment. As a scholar of cybersecurity law and policy and READ MORE

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Indians prefer free content over paid services like Netflix, Amazon: Survey

Indians prefer to stream free content offered by the likes of YouTube over paid services like Netflix and Amazon, according to a study.Boston-based Jana, which claims to be the largest provider of free internet in emerging markets through its mCent browser, conducted the study titled ‘Video Streaming Services Report’ by surveying nearly 2,000 mCent users in India to determine consumer sentiment and trends across the streaming video landscape.

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The study indicates that nearly 30 per cent of Indian consumers in a sample survey plan to cancel paid video subscriptions over free content, with YouTube being the dominant platform of choice, according to hollywoodreporter.com.

As per the report, 63.7 percent of surveyed users said they only stream free content from platforms like YouTube, MXPlayer and Fox’s Star India network-backed digital platform Hotstar, which also offers a free ad-sponsored service in addition to a paid service which costs $13.87 per year. Only 7.5 per cent of users said they streamed more paid content than free content, while 9 per cent said they streamed paid and READ FULL ARTICLE HERE ON – BS / BUSINESS STANDARD

E-cigarettes negatively impacts wound healing

According to a new study, e-cigarette vaping negatively affects skin wound healing, causing damage similar to that of traditional cigarette smoking.A recent research, led by a team from Boston Medical Center (BMC), found that exposure to both e-cigarette vaping and traditional cigarettes in experimental models resulted in increased tissue death, which delays wound healing. These findings are published in the Journal of JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery.

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The adverse effects of traditional cigarette smoking on wound healing has been well established in the surgical field. Surgeons recommend that patients quit smoking for several months prior to surgery, whenever possible. However, alternative options to traditional smoking, such as electronic cigarette vaping are gaining popularity, and there has not yet been significant research done about whether it is a safer alternative to traditional smoking, particularly in the pre-operative period.In this study, the researchers exposed experimental models to one of the following: traditional cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, or to no cigarettes. They checked serum cotinine levels, a biomarker for exposure to tobacco smoke, in both positive control and experimental groups to ensure comparable nicotine exposure was achieved in both these groups.

The researchers then created skin flaps, which were grafted back on each of the models from which it was created, and monitored the grafts daily for viability and wound healing.”Based on our findings, e-cigarettes are not a safe alternative to traditional cigarettes as it relates to timely wound healing. Providers and patients need to understand the risks of both types of smoking so that they can make the best decision to keep the patient as safe as possible before and after surgery,” said Jeffrey Spiegel, study’s corresponding author.After two weeks, the researchers found that the there was a statistically increased rate of tissue death on grafted flaps in groups exposed to either e-cigarettes or traditional cigarettes.

ARTICLE SOURCE- BS / BUSINESS STANDARD

As health apps enter medical mainstream is there a way to bring some order

The heart rate monitor built into the new Apple Watch has sparked sharp debate over its risks and benefits, even though the feature was cleared by the Food and Drug Administration. But out of the spotlight, the FDA has been doing away with regulatory action altogether on many diagnostic health apps targeting consumers, seeking to accelerate digital health adoption by defining many of these as “low risk” medical devices. As the number of mobile health apps surged to a record 325,000 in 2017, app performance is going largely unpoliced, leading to what’s been dubbed a “Wild West” situation.

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Unfortunately for health consumers, the public can’t rely on the research community to play the role of sheriff.

When colleagues and I recently examined the medical literature on direct-to-consumer diagnostic apps in a study published in Diagnosis, we repeatedly found studies marred by bias, technological naïveté or a failure to provide crucial information for consumers. There was also a glaring lack of studies with actual consumers to see how they use these apps and what the impact on individual health, whether for better or worse, might READ FULL ARTICLE HERE ↔ BS / BUSINESS STANDARD

Cyclone Titli: 57 dead, 10 missing, over 57k houses damaged in Odisha

The death toll in Odisha due to Cyclone Titli and subsequent floods have reached 57 due to landslides, wall-collapse incidents, and drowning, the Special Relief Commission (SRC) said on Thursday.The Commission further said that at least 10 people are still missing in the wake of the natural calamity that hit the state.Apart from fatalities, 2,73,425 hectares of crops have been damaged across 17 districts of the state. Furthermore, 60,11,000 people in 8125 villages have been affected and 57,131 houses have been damaged.

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The SRC said, “The Government has announced for providing gratuitous relief for fifteen days at the rate of Rs. 60 per adult and Rs 45 per child per day to all affected families of Ganjam, Gajapati and Gunupur Sub- Division of Rayagada district.

Accordingly, an amount of Rs. 1.02 bn have has been released in favour of the Collectors concerned for payment as advance towards GR (Gajapati- 110 million, Ganjam- 896 million, Rayagada-140 million).”It added that adequate drinking water, health, and veterinary measures are being provided in the affected areas of Odisha.On October 17, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had increased ex-gratia for the kin of the deceased from Rs 400,000 to Rs 10,00,000 each.In the wake of the widespread destruction caused by Cyclone Titli in the state, Patnaik, on October 18, wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to release an interim assistance of Rs 10 bn for relief and restoration work.The Chief Minister, in the letter, stated that the storm and subsequent floods have caused damage and destruction in 17 districts of Odisha, of which Gajapati district is the worst affected.
ARTICLE SOURCE – BUSINESS STANDARD / BS

Rising sea levels could flood many World Heritage sites in future: Study

Dozens of UNESCO Wo Heritagerld sites in the Mediterranean such as Venice, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Medieval City of Rhodes are under severe threat of coastal erosion and flooding due to rising sea levels within the next 100 years, a study has warned.The study, published in the journal Nature, presents a risk index that ranks the sites according to the threat they face from today until the end of the century.The sites featuring highest on this index in current conditions include Venice and its Lagoon, Ferrara, City of the Renaissance, and its Po Delta and the Patriarchal Basilica of Aquileia, according to researchers from Kiel University in Germany.

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All these sites are located along the northern Adriatic Sea in Italy where extreme sea levels are the highest because high storm surges coincide with high regional sea-level rises.The study combines model simulations with world heritage site data to assess the risk of both coastal flooding and erosion due to sea level rise at 49 UNESCO coastal Heritage sites by the end of the century.It found that of the sites, 37 are at risk from a 100-year flood event (a flooding event which has a one per cent chance of happening in any given year) and 42 from coastal erosion today.By the next century flood risk may increase by 50 per cent and erosion risk by 13 per cent across the region, and all but two of the sites (Medina of Tunis and Xanthos-Letoon) will be at risk from either of these hazards, said researchers, including those from the University of Southampton and the University of Sussex in the UK.The Mediterranean region has a high concentration of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, many of which are in coastal locations as human activity has READ FULL ARTICLE ON – BS / BUSINESS STANDARD

Thanks to this app, Pandal-hopping in Kolkata has become safer this year

The West Bengal government is using a citizen utility mobile phone app to help locate Durga puja revellers who get lost during pandal hopping and tackle the issue of human trafficking, West Bengal minister Shashi Panja has said.The city police had last year launched the ‘Bondhu’ app to help people lodge grievances and alert cops at Lalbazar control room in case of any danger by pressing the panic button.

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Several incidents have been reported in the past when people, visiting the city during Durga Puja, were lost in the crowd and later spotted by the police, who helped them return to their families, she said.

“There are instances when people deliberately leave behind their children or old parents by taking advantage of the huge number of people visiting the pandals during Durga Puja,” the Minister of State for Women and Child Development and Social Welfare told PTI.Unattended children are also vulnerable to fall in the trap of human traffickers during the festival, she said.

“Keeping in mind that people do not get lost and fall prey to the human traffickers, we have decided to take help of the Bondhu app to help those lost in the crowd to reunite them with their families,” Panja said.In fact, after an understanding with the Kolkata Police, the department has arranged for eight decorated child-friendly vans in each of the READ FULL ARTICLE HERE – BS/ BUSINESS STANDARD

Soon, cotton could be on your plate and ‘it’ll taste like hummus’

Americans may soon be eating cotton for the first time — not just wearing it — as a new edible variety is poised to enter the market.On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture gave the green light to commercialize a biotech version of the cotton plant whose seeds can be eaten, according to Texas A&M University, which developed it over more than two decades. U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval is still needed, which the university said it expects within months.

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After that, farmers will be able to grow cotton for food as well as for fiber.Texas A&M professor Keerti Rathore started working on the project 23 years ago, and figured out how to silence a gene in the plant that produced a toxin, called gossypol. While gossypol protects the plant from insects, it made the seeds inedible to humans and most animals.“It’ll taste like hummus,” Rathore said. “It’s not at all unpleasant.”It will be several years before farmers can grow it commercially, as seed supplies have to be ramped up starting next season, said Kater Hake, a vice president at Cotton Inc., which does research and marketing for growers and funded the project.

There’s a lot of protein in cottonseeds — enough to meet the daily requirements of 600 million people should all cotton in the world be replaced with edible varieties, Hake said by telephone.As a tree nut, its nutritional value is similar to other nuts, like almonds or walnuts. Food technologists have experimented by making cottonseed milk, crackers, cookies, nut butters and chopped-nut substitutes, Hake said. The protein could also be extracted and made into a powder that can go into energy bars or flours, Rathore said.The industry is also targeting aquaculture, according to Hake, because cottonseeds can be fed to carnivorous fish like salmon and trout that eat ground-up fish. Cotton would be a low-cost alternative that can replace up to half of all fishmeal. It’ll also help farmers, who will be able to sell the seeds, currently considered a near useless byproduct.The discovery “opens up the opportunity that eventually every cotton plant will have this technology in it,” Hake said. “There’s no reason to leave a toxin in a domesticated plant.”

ARTICLE SOURCE- BUSINESS STANDARD / BS