Facebook fined $33 million for failing to help Brazilian authorities 

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Facebook has had a contentious relationship with Brazilian authorities, and its WhatsApp messenger has suffered multiple service bans for failing to cooperate. Two years ago, a court froze around $ 6 million of the company's cash after it didn't hand…
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Google’s Scrying Pen AI Experiment will try to help you draw a cat

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Google’s AI Experiments are fun showcases for feats of artificial intelligence the company’s research has enabled. Scrying Pen is a new one that uses algorithms trained by data from 2016’s Quick, Draw! experiment to show a path to draw one of a set of objects, like a cat or a hand.

Scrying Pen analyzes your inputs to try to predict what you’ll draw next in the context of the model you’ve selected, displaying a number of its best guesses as to your next moves as green lines.

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Apple hires Google’s former AI boss to help improve Siri

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John Giannandrea, Google’s former head of search and artificial intelligence, is joining Apple. The hire, first reported by The New York Times, comes one day after the executive announced he was stepping down from his role at Google, itself a surprise move amid a broader executive reshuffle that now makes much more sense in hindsight.

Giannandrea, a machine learning expert who joined Google back in 2010, is a huge get for Apple, which has struggled for years to make progress in fast-moving and increasingly important AI fields like computer vision and natural language processing. Giannandrea will report directly to CEO Tim Cook as the leader of “machine learning and AI strategy,” according to the Times.

Both Facebook and Google, and to…

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Diet to Reduce Blood Pressure May Help Combat Depression

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Medication. Therapy. These are some of ways people can treat depression, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

But there’s one a surprising one that may help reduce the symptoms: going on a diet.

And not just any diet. The DASH diet.

Let’s backtrack a second. Scientists have known for a long time that food — the kinds we eat, how we digest it  can affect our moods. People who are obese are more likely to have depression, studies have shown; neurotransmitters that alter our moods, such as serotonin and dopamine, are in fact produced by the microbes that live in the gut. There have been so many studies linking diet and depression that Psychiatry Research published a meta-analysis of 21 such studies in April 2017. That analysis concluded what you might expect: a healthy dietary pattern may decrease the risk of depression.

But the relationship is, in many ways, still a correlation. That is, scientists may know that these thing are related, but they haven’t figured out a specific intervention or treatment that would use this knowledge to help patients.

Now, however, it seems they may have stumbled upon a diet that could do just that. It’s called the DASH diet — the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute developed the diet in the 1990s to treat (you guessed it) hypertension, aka high blood pressure.

The diet takes a pretty common sense approach to healthy eating. Fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and low-fat dairy? Good. Foods high in salt and sugar? Bad.

Laurel J. Cherian, an assistant professor of vascular neurology at Rush University Medical Center, performed a study to firm up the relationship between the DASH diet and lower rates of depression. Cherian will present her research at the meeting of the American Academy of Neurology this month.

“There is evidence linking healthy lifestyle changes to lower rates of depression and this study sought to examine the role that diet plays in preventing depression,” Cherian said in a press release.

For more than six years, Cherian screened 964 participants over the age of 60 for signs of depression every year. She also asked them to complete a 144-item questionnaire focused on the foods they ate. Cherian then divided the participants into three groups based on how closely their diets mirrored the DASH diet.

Even after controlling for variables known to affect depression, such as age and education level, Cherian found that the group that most closely adhered to the DASH diet was less likely to experience depression. And conversely, those that strayed the most from the diet were the most likely to show symptoms of depression.

But don’t throw out your antidepressants just yet.

“I think we need to view food as medicine,” Cherian told The Atlantic. “Medications to treat depression are wonderful, but for many people, it’s going to be a combination of things.”

Hear that? Combination is key. A new diet might not totally clear up symptoms of depression. But, then again, it might not hurt.

Admittedly, we’re not there yet. According to Felice Jacka, a professor of nutritional psychiatry at Australia’s Deakin University, now that we are more certain there’s a link between diet and depression, we need to figure out how to exploit it to help people.

“Given how many observational studies there are already published, the field does not really need more of these,” Jacka told The Atlantic. “What it needs now are interventions that show that if you improve diet, you also improve depression.” (Jacka performed a similar study of her own, published in January 2017, concluding that “people who improved their diets showed significantly happier moods than those who received social support,” according to the Wall Street Journal.)

There are lots of benefits to improving your diet, including weight loss and better management of existing health conditions. Improved mood may very well come along with it (that’s what the science suggests), but then again it might not since it’s not a proven treatment yet.

It’s worth trying, at least. But it’s also a good idea to stick to whatever treatments you’re already using for depression.

The post Diet to Reduce Blood Pressure May Help Combat Depression appeared first on Futurism.

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Google Drive will help you figure out who needs access to a file

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One of the tricky things about coordinating an email chain is always making sure everyone has access to the right files, but Google said it's making that easier in Drive. The next time you go to share a document or other file through email or a calen…
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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says Apple’s technology is a ‘means, not an end’ to help public education in his city

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Tech can can help equalize opportunities in education, the Mayor says.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel explained how he sees Apple helping Chicago public school students learn how to code after the company’s education-themed keynote on Tuesday.

Emanuel spoke with Recode’s Kara Swisher after Apple’s event at Lane Tech College Prep High School, where Apple announced its new partnership with Chicago Public Schools and Northwestern University to train local computer science teachers in coding.

“Apple is an important part of making computer coding universal and making sure kids have that,” said Emanuel. “There’s 6,000 school districts across the United States. Every one of them would be excited to have Apple.”

Apple is creating a Center for Excellence at Lane Tech where Northwestern University trainers will provide free technical education to local high school teachers through Apple’s Everyone Can Code program as well as training on Apple’s programming language, Swift. The company says the program is an effort to address the shortage of high school computer science teachers.

Chicago Public Schools made coding a requirement for high school graduation back in 2015 — the first urban school district to do so — and has educational partnerships with other tech companies such as Cisco and IBM, the Mayor said.

Still, Emanuel emphasized that technology should never supplant the fundamentals of education.

“Technology doesn’t replace literature, it should complement it,” said Emanuel. “Sometimes there is an overemphasis on technology as if the other stuff is not necessary,” he said.

In his interview with Recode, Emanuel also discussed his passionate support for Dreamers and the importance of privacy online. You can watch the full video below:

To learn more about Apple’s plans around education and job training, watch Tim Cook’s interview on “Revolution: Apple Changing the World,” a TV collaboration between Recode and MSNBC that is scheduled to air on Friday, April 6 at 8 pm ET.

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6 top-rated apps to help unleash your inner storyteller

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Writing is hard. Whether you’re penning a dissertation, screenplay, novel, or just a simple letter to a friend, getting hung up on what to say and how to say it can be frustrating. The Master Storyteller’s Mac Bundle contains 6 top-reviewed apps that help you break through that merciless writer’s block and unleash your creativity, and the entire bundle is on sale for just $ 24.99.

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Apple details tools to help developers comply with new EU data regulations

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Apple on Friday unveiled a set of developer tools designed to keep app makers in line with the European Union’s upcoming General Data Protection Regulation, a set of rules that grants users more control over their digital histories.
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Apple shares new developer tools that will help users delete, restrict, and export iCloud data

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Following other news where Apple is complying with the GDPR, today the company outlines tools to help developers manage user data that is stored in iCloud.

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