Daily Archives: November 27, 2014

Victoria’s Secret unveils new bra with heart rate monitor

Victoria’s Secret has launched a new bra, which comes with a built in heart rate monitor.

According to Wearable Tech Insider, the ‘Incredible by Victoria’s Secret Heart-Rate Monitor Compatible Sport Bra’ has sensors and technology from the Finnish fabric maker Clothing+, and has been prices at about 75 dollars.

The undergarment which has the sensors built into the fabric itself, is actually functional, and can help one keep a track of their heat rate.

IT

Posted by Rohan Kar for Android

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European Parliament backs break-up of Google

The European Parliament voted overwhelmingly for the break-up of Google today in a largely symbolic vote that nevertheless cast another blow in the four-year standoff between Brussels and the US Internet giant.

In a direct challenge to Google, MEPs assembled in Strasbourg approved a resolution calling on the EU to consider ordering search engines to separate their commercial services from their businesses.

While Google is not directly mentioned in the proposal, the California-based search engine is clearly the target. The resolution passed with 384 in favour and only 174 votes against.

The European Parliament has no power to launch the break-up of Google, but the move, introduced by two senior lawmakers, is further indication that the mood towards the company in Europe has soured.

Google has become an increasing source of worry for European officials on issues ranging from privacy to the protection of national publishers.

Since 2010, Google has been under investigation by the European Commission in response to complaints that its search engine, the world’s biggest, was squeezing out competitors in Europe.

Google and Brussels have also clashed over the so-called “right to be forgotten”, in which the EU’s top court ruled last year that people had a right to ask search engines to delete results involving them after a period of time.

In another attack on Google, on Wednesday EU privacy watchdogs issued guidelines calling on the company to apply the right to be forgotten rule to all search results.

The parliament debate falls as the commission, the EU’s executive arm, begins a new five year term, with former Luxembourg premier Jean-Claude Juncker at its helm.

The new competition commissioner, Denmark’s Margrethe Vestager, has said she would look at the sensitive case carefully, but the resolution will be added pressure for her to move quickly.

Weeks before stepping down, Vestager’s predecessor, Joaquin Almunia, sharply criticised the “irrational” response by European politicians to the Brussels investigation of Google.

Google and Almunia had made three attempts to resolve the dispute, but in each case intense pressure by national governments, Internet rivals and privacy advocates scuppered the effort.

In a statement yesterday ahead of the vote, the US mission to the European Union said it had “noted with concern” the parliament resolution.

DH

Posted by Rohan Kar for Android

Phil Hughes passes away after suffering head injury

Phil Hughes passes away after suffering head injury

Sydney, Nov 27: Australia Test opener Phil Hughes passed away today after suffering a severe head injury during a match on Tuesday (November 25).

“We are extremely sad to announce that Phillip Hughes has passed away at the age of 25,” Cricket Australia (CA) wrote on its Twitter page today. He was in St Vincent Hospital in Sydney and had undergone surgery.

Hughes had played 26 Tests, 25 ODIs and 1 T20I for Australia.

Australian Team Doctor Peter Brukner said, “It is my sad duty to inform you that a short time ago Phillip Hughes passed away. He never regained consciousness following his injury on Tuesday. He was not in pain before he passed and was surrounded by his family and close friends.

“As a cricket community we mourn his loss and extend our deepest sympathies to Phillip’s family and friends at this incredibly sad time. Cricket Australia kindly asks that the privacy of the Hughes family, players and staff be respected.”

On Tuesday (November 25), Hughes was struck on the head by a bouncer from Sean Abbott during the Sheffield Shied match between South Australia and New South Wales. He had surgery on the same day and had remained in critical condition.

OI

Posted by Rohan Kar for Android

India To US: Tech Companies Violating Copyright Law

NEW DELHI: For years, the US has blamed lax policing in countries such as India for a boost to piracy. But India has finally managed to get Washington to acknowledge piracy in its backyard after it submitted a list of over 600 websites, including Google, Amazon, Orkut and Flixter, accusing them of violating the copyright law.

After at least three years of debate, the issue finally found a mention in the joint statement issued after the completion of India-US Trade Policy Forum, which talked about cooperation of the shared interest in “creative industries”. US trade representative Michael Froman said piracy issues were being faced by both Hollywood and Bollywood.

For years, Froman’s predecessors had been blaming India for piracy of Hollywood movies, pointing to CDs and DVDs sold at street corners. But it took a while for the US to admit that even the Indian music industry faced privacy-related problems.

When Indian authorities first raised the issue in 2011, the US failed to acknowledge it and said the websites were being handled in other countries, such as Russia. It took some effort from the government to actually convince the US that the sites were being hosted in the US.

It wasn’t until earlier this year that the American authorities finally acknowledged it after some heated exchanges. But so far, little action has been taken as US has at times cited the transfer of an official for a delay in initiating the process. “Earlier, they would always portray India and China as the big villains,” said a source, who did not wish to be identified.

Officials, however, said the recognition of the problem is currently limited to the music industry. Although the film industry has spoken about the issue, it has failed to raise the pitch the way the music industry has done.

As a result, most of the sites listed by Indian authorities are related to the music industry.

TG

Posted by Rohan Kar for Android

Is Your Technology Killing You?

As a New York surgeon detects a new phenomenon known as ‘text-neck’ syndrome, we take a look at some of the other technology-induced health risks

Like it or loathe it, technology is something we cannot live without. From the moment we wake up in the morning (the customised ring of a smart phone’s alarm) until the moment we go to bed at night (a final check of emails), technology is an integral part of modern life.

But just how detrimental is this for our health? We take a look at some of the risks, and how to avoid them.

1. “Text-neck” syndrome

Bending your head down to look at your phone can have serious consequences for your spine, according to a new study.

Kenneth Hansraj, the chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, has found that the increased stress on your spine could lead to “early wear, tear, degeneration and possibly surgeries”.

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The study, which will appear next month in Surgical Technology International, acknowledged that it is “nearly impossible to avoid the technologies that cause these issues”.

However, Dr Hansraj advised that “individuals should make an effort to look at their phones with a neutral spine and avoid spending hours each day hunched over”.

The image below, used in the research paper, illustrates how the weight seen by the spine increases when flexing the neck at varying degrees.

An adult head weighs 10-12 pounds in the neutral position, but as the head tilts forward, the force on the neck surges upwards.

(Dr. Ken Hansraj)

Earlier this year, the United Chiropractic Association said that poor posture arising from over use of smart phones posed as big a health risk as obesity.

2. Obesity

Consultant orthopaedic surgeon Jonathan Dearing said that “text-neck” syndrome was not something he had come across before.

“If you put any part of your body in an unusual position of course it will start to feel uncomfortable,” he said. “We would say just move your neck around and don’t be so daft.”

Mr Dearing, who is a spokesman for the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, said that by far the biggest threat arising from technology is the reduction of physical activity – the fourth biggest cause of death worldwide.

“Our parents’ generation was far more active than we are now,” he said.

“If someone is on the floor above you at work, rather than going to see them you would send an email. And you would phone up a friend rather than travelling to meet them.

“Inactivity leads to obesity, and it means risk of cardiovascular disease is greatly increased.

“Pretty much every pathology – such as breast cancer, prostate cancer or bowel cancer – you are both more likely to get it and less likely to recover from it if you are inactive.”

People often send emails at work rather than speaking in person (Alamy)

3. Sleep

The Lighting Research Centre, part of New York’s Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, found in 2011 that two or more hours of exposure to backlit devices, such as a smartphone or tablet, suppresses melatonin which can lead to trouble sleeping at night.

Mariana Figueiro who led the research team recommended dimming the brightness on backlit devices to minimize melatonin suppression.

(Alamy)

However, Professor Kevin Morgan, Director of the Clinical Sleep Research Unit at Loughborough University, said that it is the intellectual stimulation rather than the screen’s backlighting that keeps you awake at night.

“Probably more than half the civilised population of the planet are looking at screens,” he said.

“But screens disturbing your sleep have almost nothing to do with the radiation they are transmitting.

“Why are you looking at a screen before you go to bed? It could be because you are working. Or a child might be playing an exciting game.

“The issue is cognitive arousal. Looking at screens engages you in intellectual activity in a way that is not at all like reading a book. It puts you in a state of alertness which is the last thing you want to be before going to bed.”

Playing computer games before going to sleep puts you in an alert state of mind

4. Depression

Not only could staring at a screen in bed stop you from sleeping, it could also trigger depression, according to an American study.

Samer Hattar, professor of biology at Johns Hopkins University in the US, found that mice regularly exposed to light at night became “depressed” – showing less interest in doing “fun” things, being less likely to explore new objects in their cages and not moving around as much.

They also had higher levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.

Although the study was in mice, Prof Hattar said mice and men were similar in certain ways and so the study held lessons for people.

“I’m not saying we have to sit in complete darkness at night, but I do recommend that we should switch on fewer lamps, and stick to less-intense light bulbs: Basically, only use what you need to see,” he said.

(Getty)

5. Radiation

The International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organisation, declared in 2011 that mobile phones may increase the risk of developing brain cancer.

It classified the radiation emitted by handsets as “possibly carcinogenic”, placing mobiles in the same risk category as lead, the pesticide DDT and petrol exhausts.

The NHS advise everyone, especially children, to only make short calls on a mobile phone, when necessary and keep your phone away from your body when you are not using it.

They also advise using a hands-free kit, and only using a mobile phone where reception is strong.

Children are advised to only speak on the phone when necessary (Ian Jones)

6. Addiction

Dr Aric Sigman, an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, claimed that a generation of young people are growing up with a virtual addiction to computers, televisions and smartphones.

“Technology should be a tool, not a burden or a health risk,” he told Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health 2012 annual conference.

“Whether children or adults are formally ‘addicted’ to screen technology or not, many of them overuse technology and have developed an unhealthy dependency on it.”

He accused parents who constantly fiddle with mobile phones or iPads in front of their children of “benign neglect” and advised that children under the age of three have no access to screens at all, and no more than an hour a day outside school for those under the age of seven.

TG

Posted by Rohan Kar for Android

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