Feds demanded ID of YouTube users who watched certain videos


We’ve all made that joke, “Searching for this in Google is gonna get me on an FBI watch list.” But according to a recent report, that might actually be true if you watched some very specific YouTube videos last year. A United States federal court ordered Google to turn over the identities of tens of thousands of users who watched certain videos in a specific timeframe.

Federal investigators obtained court-approved subpoenas for any YouTube viewers who watched tutorials on mapping via drones and augmented reality software, according to a report from Forbes. The investigators had been communicating with a suspected money launderer undercover, sent them links to the relevant videos, then demanded Google identify anyone who had watched said videos immediately following.

The subpoena included names, addresses, telephone numbers, and browsing history for Google accounts for as many as 30,000 people, tracing traffic to the relevant videos for one week in January 2023. It’s not clear whether Google complied with the demands for user information, though corporations are typically hesitant to fight subpoenas issued by courts.

According to experts from the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project and the Electronic Privacy Information Center interviewed by Forbes, the subpoenas may have violated the US Constitution’s First and Fourth Amendments. These foundational laws protect freedom of speech and restrict unreasonable search and seizure, respectively.

Such potential breaches typically aren’t acted upon unless a victim fights them in court, often resulting in lengthy legal battles that can reach the United States Supreme Court before being resolved.

via PCWorld https://www.pcworld.com

March 25, 2024 at 10:38AM

Pacemaker Powered By Light Eliminates Need For Batteries And Allows The Heart To Function More Naturally


By harnessing light, my colleagues and I designed a wireless, ultrathin pacemaker that operates like a solar panel. This design not only eliminates the need for batteries but also minimizes disruptions to the heart’s natural function by molding to its contours. Our research, recently published in the journal Nature, offers a new approach to treatments that require electrical stimulation, such as heart pacing.

Pacemakers are medical devices implanted in the body to regulate heart rhythms. They’re composed of electronic circuits with batteries and leads anchored to the heart muscle to stimulate it. However, leads can fail and damage tissue. The location of the leads can’t be changed once they’re implanted, limiting access to different heart regions. Because pacemakers use rigid, metallic electrodes, they may also damage tissue when restarting the heart after surgery or regulating arrhythmia.

Our team envisioned a leadless and more flexible pacemaker that could precisely stimulate multiple areas of the heart. So we designed a device that transforms light into bioelectricity, or heart cell-generated electrical signals. Thinner than a human hair, our pacemaker is made of an optic fiber and silicon membrane that the Tian lab and colleagues at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering have spent years developing.

Like solar panels, this pacemaker is powered by light.

Unlike conventional solar cells that are usually designed to collect as much energy as possible, we tweaked our device to generate electricity only at points where light strikes so it can precisely regulate heartbeats. We did this by using a layer of very small pores that can trap light and electrical current. Only cardiac muscles exposed to light-activated pores are stimulated.

Because our device is so small and light, it can be implanted without opening the chest. We were able to successfully implant it in the hearts of rodents and an adult pig, pacing the beats of different heart muscles. Because pig hearts are anatomically similar to human hearts, this accomplishment shows our device’s potential to translate to people.

Why It Matters

Heart disease is the leading cause of death around the world. Annually, over 2 million people undergo open-heart surgery to treat heart problems, including to implant devices that regulate heart rhythms and prevent heart attacks.

Our ultralight device gently conforms to the surface of the heart, enabling less invasive stimulation and improved pacing and synchronized contraction. To reduce postoperative trauma and recovery time, our device can be implanted with a minimally invasive technique.

What Still Isn’t Known

Currently, our technology is best first used for urgent heart conditions, including restarting the heart after surgery, heart attack and ventricular defibrillation. We continue to explore its long-term effects and durability in the human body.

The body’s internal environment is rich in fluids that are disturbed by the heart’s constant mechanical motion. This could potentially compromise the device’s functionality over time.

Pacemaker syndrome is a condition that develops from stimulating heart muscles in isolation. Michael Rosengarten BEng, MD.McGill/EKG World Encyclopedia via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA

Moreover, researchers don’t fully understand how the body reacts to prolonged exposure to medical devices. The formation of scar tissue around the device after implantation can diminish its sensitivity. We are developing special surface treatments and biomaterial coatings to decrease the likelihood of rejection.

Although the breakdown of our device results in a nontoxic substance the body can safely absorb called silicic acid, evaluating how the body responds to extended implantation is essential to ensure safety and effectiveness.

What’s Next

To achieve long-term implantation and tailor the device to each patient, we are refining the rate at which it dissolves naturally in the body. We are exploring enhancements to make the device compatible as a wearable pacemaker. This involves integrating a wireless light-emitting diode, or LED, beneath the skin that is connected to the device via an optical fiber.

Our ultimate goal is to broaden the scope of what we call photoelectroceuticals beyond cardiac care. This includes neurostimulation, neuroprostheses and pain management to treat neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s disease.

The Research Brief is a short take on interesting academic work.

Pengju Li is a Ph.D. Candidate in Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering. This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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March 23, 2024 at 09:54AM

Nvidia Wants to Replace Nurses With AI for $9 an Hour


Nvidia announced a collaboration with Hippocratic AI on Monday, a healthcare company that offers generative AI nurses who work for just $9 an hour. Hippocratic promotes how it can undercut real human nurses, who can cost $90 an hour, with its cheap AI agents that offer medical advice to patients over video calls in real-time.

Like It or Not, Your Doctor Will Use AI | AI Unlocked

“Voice-based digital agents powered by generative AI can usher in an age of abundance in healthcare, but only if the technology responds to patients as a human would,” said Kimberly Powell, vice president of Healthcare at NVIDIA in a press release Monday.

Always Available, Real-Time Generative AI Healthcare Agents

Nvidia is powering Hippocratic’s real-time responses over video calls. In a demo posted by Nvidia, a semi-human-looking AI agent named Rachel verbally instructs a patient on how to take penicillin. The agent then tells the patient it will report back all this information to her real human doctor. Rachel is one of many AI nurses that healthcare providers can choose from, according to one of Hippocratic’s product pages. The AI nurses range in specialties from “Colonoscopy Screening” to “Breast Cancer Care Manager,” all for less than minimum wage.

Hippocratic directly promotes how it can undercut the living wages of real nurses as a feature, not a bug. One page of the company’s website compares a human nurse’s $90 per hour salary to an AI agent’s $9 an-hour running costs. Hippocratic claims its AI nurses outperform human nurses regarding bedside manner, education, and narrowly miss on satisfaction, according to a survey.

Hippocratic’s About page.
Screenshot: Hippocratic AI

The introduction of AI healthcare agents comes at a tumultuous time for the nursing industry. Over 32,000 nurses went on strikes around the country in 2023, representing a quarter of all major strikes in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nurses are dealing with worker shortages, that predate the covid-19 pandemic, which Hippocratic seeks to address.

The Hippocratic collaboration was one of many announcements from Nvidia’s 2024 GTC Conference, but this AI development was perhaps the most dystopian. Hippocratic says its AI nurses were tested by thousands of human nurses and hundreds of human doctors. The company’s technology is being tested by over 40 healthcare providers around the country.

“With Generative AI, the incremental cost of healthcare access and interventions is trending to zero,” says Hippocratic on its About page. “LLMs are the only scalable way to close this gap,” referring to the difference in healthcare supply and demand.

The AI company working with Nvidia says its generative AI nurses are not sufficient to make diagnoses. The AI healthcare agent is trained to engage a human when appropriate. Hippocratic’s name is inspired by The Hippocratic Oath, a code of ethics that physicians adhere to that means to “first, do no harm.”

The Hippocratic collaboration was small compared to many of Nvidia’s other partnerships and announcements on Monday. The company released new AI chips, Blackwell, that will undoubtedly propel the AI community forward with faster training of LLMs. Nvidia also expanded partnerships with several partners, including Google Cloud, solidifying its role as an industry leader in AI.

via Gizmodo https://gizmodo.com

March 19, 2024 at 08:27AM

India’s Chandrayaan-3 lunar lander barely kicked up any moon dust. Here’s why that matters


India’s Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft, which aced its historic landing near the moon’s south pole last August, barely kicked up any moon dust during descent thanks to a unique configuration of engines, a new study reveals. As a result, its cameras got clear views of the landing region during the critical minutes prior to touchdown, therefore capturing images that helped the spacecraft avoid hazardous craters and ultimately land safely.

"When you’re heading [to the south pole], the scientifically interesting areas are always the hazardous regions," said Suresh K, a scientist with the Space Applications Centre (SAC), a research institution of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in Gujarat, India.

Speaking on Monday (March 11) at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LSPC), which is being held this week in Texas, K shared with scientists pre- and post-landing images from the mission, which operated on the moon for two weeks before succumbing, as expected, to frigid lunar night temperatures

Related: India’s Chandrayaan-3 moon lander kicked up a ‘halo’ of dust visible from space

During descent, spacecraft fire their engines to reduce their speeds in preparation for a soft landing. The exhaust from these engines then strikes the moon’s surface, whose powder-like regolith typically blows into a large plume thanks to the moon’s low gravity and lack of atmosphere. 

Cameras onboard the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft, however, detected the resultant dust plume beginning at just 59 feet (18 meters) above the moon’s surface. This marks the least amount of moon dust ever kicked up during a moon landing among missions including NASA’s Apollo ones and China’s Chang’e-3 endeavors, K said.

He and his colleagues analyzed pre- and post-landing images of the touchdown area clicked by the lander named Vikram (Sanskrit for "valor") as well as by a high-resolution camera onboard the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter, which has continued to circle the moon since its lander-rover duo crashed during touchdown in 2019. The sprayed dust stemming from Vikram’s touchdown settled down into about 1,561 square feet (145 square meters) around the lander, as confirmed by a camera onboard the rover Pragyan (Sanskrit for "wisdom"). This is higher than previous estimates of 1,167 square feet (108 square meters), meaning the spacecraft would have displaced much more than 4,500 pounds (2 metric tons) of lunar regolith.

The first image of the lunar surface beamed back from ISRO’s Chandrayaan-3 moon lander. (Image credit: ISRO via Twitter)

Presenting the new findings at LPSC on Monday, K attributed the intriguingly short dust plume to the lack of a central engine on the spacecraft, which resulted in a lower engine thrust during descent. Starting its “rough braking phase” at an orbit of 18.6 miles (30 kilometers) above the lunar surface, when the spacecraft reached 0.4 miles (0.8 kilometers) above its targeted landing area, it switched off two of its four 800-newton engines such that two diagonal engines remained operational all the way until touchdown. The mission used the "least powerful engine till date," K said. "We’ve observed very less disturbance on the surface."

In addition to the diagonal positioning of the operating engines, the plume’s height was influenced by the spacecraft’s mass as well as local properties of the regolith. The Chandrayaan-3 mission team is still analyzing the data on that front and expects to make it public in two months, K told scientists at LPSC on Monday.

Vikram and Pragyan notched several milestones during their two operating weeks at the landing site, which Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi named the Shiv Shakti Point (Sanskrit for "Shiva" and "power" respectively). The name is yet to be approved by the International Astronomical Union (IAU), the organization responsible for officially naming celestial bodies and their features.

By lunar nightfall, the Pragyan rover had traversed 331 feet (101 meters) on the lunar surface, detected sulfur on the moon, rerouted after coming across a potentially deadly crater and sampled lunar regolith at seven or eight locations, said Pratim Das, the director of the science program office at ISRO in Bengaluru.

Chandrayaan-3’s landing site before landing (left) and after (right), with a composite showing the ejecta halo surrounding the Vikram lander. (Image credit: ISRO via Twitter)

The seismometer onboard Vikram also sensed several "naturally occurring events" on the moon, including moonquakes and micrometeorite impacts, whose analysis is ongoing, he said. An onboard thermal probe for the first time shallowly sank about 4 inches (10 centimeters) into the surface, capturing the temperature of lunar soil at different depths.

With the Chandrayaan-3 mission now in rearview, India is planning its next moon mission, Chandrayaan-4, which is tentatively scheduled to lift off in 2028 and aims to bring moon rocks to Earth. Modi previously said the country should aim to put an astronaut on the moon by 2040, but neither ISRO nor its partner institutions have shared details about how they plan to achieve that vision. 

via Space https://www.space.com

March 18, 2024 at 07:02AM

Microsoft Office 2024 will release as a one-time purchase


The rumors have now become facts. This follows speculation that Microsoft would offer the latest version of Office (officially Microsoft 365) not only as a subscription, but also as a one-off purchase again. Well, Microsoft has made it official!

The next version of Microsoft 365 (aka Microsoft Office) will be released later in 2024. In addition to Microsoft offering it as a one-off purchase, there will also be a Mac version of the program and it will support both 32- and 64-bit versions. Here’s what we know about it:

iDrive adds unlimited cloud-to-cloud backup of Microsoft 365

Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium ESD

In a blog post about the upcoming preview of Microsoft Office LTSC 2024, the company emphasizes that you can buy Microsoft Office 365 2024 and use it permanently. Of course, this only makes sense until the end of support after five years. Once support ends, you will no longer receive any security updates for Microsoft Office 2024, making it unsafe to use.

This statement only applies to Office LTSC, i.e. a variant of Microsoft Office that is intended for commercial customers and public authorities. For private users, however, the question of whether Microsoft will release Office 2024 as a non-subscription version is much more exciting. And the blog post does indeed address this:

“We also plan to release a new version of Office for home users later this year, Office 2024, which will also be supported for five years with the traditional ‘one-time purchase’ model. We have no plans to change the price of these products at the time of release. We will provide more details on the new features in Office 2024 shortly before general availability.”

Here’s what you can expect from the latest Microsoft Office 364:

  • The next version of Microsoft Office 364 for home users will launch in 2024 as Office 2024
  • Microsoft will provide updates for the next five years
  • You can purchase Microsoft Office 365 as a one-off payment
  • Office 2024 will also be released for macOS
  • Office 2024 supports Windows 10, except on ARM devices
  • Office 2024 supports 32-bit
  • The price remains unchanged

Microsoft Office Home and Business 2021, price comparison

If you’re in favor of the subscription model with annual costs or the variant with a one-off payment and no follow-up cost, the new functions are only available for the subscription model, the one-off payment version only receives security and repair updates.

The preview of Microsoft Office LTSC 2024 will be available for testers in April 2024. Microsoft is discontinuing Microsoft Publisher and Teams is missing because the company is making Teams available for download separately.

This article first appeared on PCWelt and has been translated from German to English.

via PCWorld https://www.pcworld.com

March 18, 2024 at 01:31PM

From anxiety to cancer, the evidence against ultra-processed food piles up


Ultra-processed foods contain substances you wouldn

Americans consume more than half their daily calories from ultra-processed food. A new study finds consuming lots of this food is linked to a higher risk of many diseases.

(Image credit: Dan Kitwood)

via NPR Topics: News https://ift.tt/sIUlMeB

March 18, 2024 at 04:49AM