Facebook wanted users’ medical data for a research project

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CNBC reports today that Facebook was recently designing a research project that would match users' Facebook data with their medical information. The project has since been halted, but the company had approached a number of health organizations includ…
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Research: NASA to explore Mars with swarm of robot bees

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nasa wants to explore mars with robotic bees

Researchers have proposed a swarm of collaborative robots as a better means of exploring Mars. Malek Murison reports.

Mars is a long way away. At its closest to Earth, it would be 33.9 million miles away, and at its furthest, 250 million miles. NASA’s preferred measurement is 140 million miles, with Earth’s closer orbit to the Sun lapping Mars every 2.16 years, providing the space agency with launch windows between planets whose relative positions are constantly changing.

Whichever measurement you choose, it’s clear that exploring Mars comes with enormous challenges. For human beings, these include a one-way trip lasting six to eight months of zero gravity and radiation exposure, during which time they would have to keep themselves fed, hydrated, and constantly exercised to prevent atrophy of body and mind.

Then they would have to land safely – tricky in a thin atmosphere – survive on Mars for long enough to make the project worthwhile, launch from the surface back into space, and make the journey home in the same hazardous conditions. That means carrying enough food, water, and fuel to survive a return trip that may be even longer than the first. Finally, it may take weeks or months to adjust to life back on Earth.

So far, these obstacles have proved to be insurmountable, especially since the last time astronauts ventured beyond Earth orbit was 46 years ago, when Apollo 17 touched down on the Moon. This why all explorations of Mars to date have been via telescope, space probe, or landing a robot on the surface – several attempts at which have failed.

So NASA’s solar-powered, 185 kilograms (408 lb) Mars rover, Opportunity, is a stunning scientific and technological achievement, and to date it has spent more than 5,000 days roaming the planet. But while there is no doubting the scale of NASA’s Mars progress to date, a single rover moving slowly over the surface doesn’t represent an efficient way to explore a planet.

NASA is well aware of this, and has invited research teams to submit alternative methods as part of its Innovative Advanced Concepts program, which aims to “nurture visionary ideas that could transform future NASA missions with the creation of breakthroughs radically better, or entirely new aerospace concepts.”

Read more: Bee robotic: Walmart files patents on automating agriculture

Harnessing the power of swarms

Among the 25 shortlisted proposals are plans to develop a swarm of small, flying robotic drones, called Marsbees.

An article published by the University of Alabama’s Chang-kwon Kang provides details of a robotic program that could “increase the set of possible exploration and science missions on Mars by investigating the feasibility of flapping-wing aerospace architectures in a Martian environment.”

Put simply, NASA wants to see whether a swarm of small, flying reconnaissance robots could operate in tough Martian conditions – including its much thinner atmosphere – or if the idea belongs in the realm of science fiction.

The proposed system would use a Mars rover as a kind of beehive – the home base where recharging takes place. The Marsbees might be around bumblebee size, with wings the size of a cicada’s. Each robot would be fitted with sensors and wireless communication devices.

Should the concept prove successful in tests, the exploration of Mars could benefit from an swarm that creates an adaptable, resilient sensor network. Environmental samples and data collection could be carried out by single Marsbees, or by groups working collaboratively.

Read more: NASA tests drone traffic control system across the US

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Developing the Marsbee concept will bring together expertise from both the US and Japan, with greatest challenge being to address the physics of winged flight in the thin Martian atmosphere.

Fortunately, the team from Japan has already developed similar technology, highlighted by one of the only hummingbird micro air vehicles (MAV) in the world. The University of Alabama team will now work to optimise the technology to suit the atmospheric conditions on the red planet.

Read more: NASA looks to bring IoT to space with wireless comms test

Read more: SpaceX successfully blasts broadband into space

The post Research: NASA to explore Mars with swarm of robot bees appeared first on Internet of Business.

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Pokémon Go and Mew: How to finish Mythical Discovery Field Research fast!

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How do you complete the Mythical Discovery Field Research in Pokémon Go and get Mew as fast as possible? Like this!

Mew is the last of Pokémon Go Generation 1 to be released. The potential origin of all Pokémon, it’s fitting Mew’s introducing brings with it an all-new game mechanic as well: Field Research. In specific, Professor Willow is back with a Mythical Discovery quest that, if you complete all the goals, will get you to Mew, and get Mew to your PokéDex.

What is Field Research?

Field Research is a new game mechanic in Pokémon Go that rewards you for demonstrating core skills like making Great Shots, winning Gym battles or Raids, catching Pokémon, walking your Buddy, hatching Eggs, and more. Some are easy, like transferring 5 Pokémon. Others are hard, like catching Ditto or evolving a Gyarados.

From Pokémon Go:

A series of mysterious happenings is occurring all over the world, and Professor Willow is seeking Trainers to help him find out if this is connected to the Mythical Pokémon Mew. These research tasks will become available to Trainers around the world later this week!

There are two different types of research you can contribute to: Field Research and Special Research. Gather Field Research tasks by spinning nearby PokéStops, which will give you objectives that include discovering and catching certain Pokémon or engaging with battles, among other things. Special Research may be requested by Professor Willow himself, and will take you on a journey to make important discoveries!

Both types of research offer great rewards, including a variety of useful items and even encounters with certain Pokémon! You can complete as many research tasks as you want every day, leading to a full day of adventures. These tasks also have different levels of difficulty, so the more challenging a research task is, the greater the reward waiting for you.

You can earn one Stamp per day by completing at least one Field Research task, and when you obtain seven stamps, you can achieve a Research Breakthrough to receive even greater rewards! You may even have an encounter with a Legendary Pokémon!

Research tasks will provide interesting challenges that will help you get better at discovering, battling, and catching Pokémon! We’re excited to see your contributions to the exciting field of Pokémon research, and we can’t wait to hear about the adventures you have along the way! Let’s get moving!

You can find out more about how the team developed Field Research at Pokémon Go as well.

So, um, who’s Mew?

Mew is a Mythical Pokémon from Generation 1, sometimes suspected of being the origin of all Pokémon.

Here’s what the official Pokémon site has to say:

Mew is said to possess the genetic composition of all Pokémon. It is capable of making itself invisible at will, so it entirely avoids notice even if it approaches people.

And, from Bulbapedia:

Mew is a pink, bipedal Pokémon with mammalian features. Its snout is short and wide, and it has triangular ears and large, blue eyes. It has short arms with three-fingered paws, large hind legs and feet with oval markings on the soles, and a long, thin tail ending in an ovoid tip. Its fur is so fine and thin, it can only be seen under a microscope. Mew is said to have the DNA of every single Pokémon contained within its body, and as such is able to learn any attack.

As demonstrated by its behavior in the first and eighth Pokémon movies, it shows signs of intelligence, curiosity, playfulness, and even selflessness. Mew is incredibly adaptable, able to travel freely in the air or underwater. As seen in Pokémon Snap, it can create a green/yellow/pink orb of energy around itself for protection.

How do you catch Mew in Pokémon Go?

Thanks to the new Field Research mechanic in Pokémon Go, you can catch Mew if you complete Professor Wilow’s Mythical Discovery Quest.

What are the stages of Mythical Discovery and how do you finish them fast?

Image via The Silph Road

Mythical Discovery consists of eight sections with three tasks each.

Stage 1: Spin 5 PokéStops, catch 10 Pokémon, Transfer 5 Pokémon

This one is just the basics. Go to a place where you have 5 PokéStops handy, go for a walk, spin, catch, and transfer at least half of your catches.

Stage 2: Walk for 2 Buddy Candies, make 10 Great Throws, Hatch 3 Eggs

Switch your Buddy to one that only requires 1 KM per Candy. Magikarp is your best choice since you’ll need to evolve Gyarados later on — yeah… — and that’ll require 400 Karp (or Rare) Candies.

Then, if you’re not already walking Eggs, throw three 2 KM Eggs into Incubators — or Super Incubators, if you have them handy — and walk for both your Buddy Candies and your Egg hatches.

For Great Throws, your best bet is a Raid, specifically a big Tier 4 or Legendary Tier 5 Raid. Typically, they have large target circles and, if you don’t use Gold Razz, they’ll jump out a lot, giving you lots of chances to get your Great Throws in.

Stage 3: Reach Level 15, Battle 2x in a Gym, Battle 2x in Raids

If you’ve already reached Level 15, you’ll get auto-completed for that task. If you haven’t, crack some Lucky Eggs and do as many back-to-back Legendary Raids as you need to to level up. At 20,000 XP a pop, you’ll get there in no time.

For the Gym battles, just roll up on any Gym not controlled by your team and battle twice. Pick a big Dragonite or Tyranitar, or a Machamp if it’s filled with Blissey, Snorlax, Chansey, and Slaking. You don’t have to win, just battle. But Gyms are typically so weak right now it would be hard for you not to win two quick battles in a row.

Raids are the same. You don’t have to win, just battle. So, you can either do two quick Tier 1 or Tier 2 Raids or, if you don’t want to or can’t travel, you can do the same Raid twice. Just lose the first time, then win or lose the second.

Stage 4: Earn a Silver Kanto medal, evolve 20 Pokémon, walk for 5 Buddy Candies

If you’ve already got a silver Kanto medal, you’ll auto-complete this task as well. If you haven’t, you’ll need to make sure you have at least 50 different Generation 1 Pokémon to your PokéDex. The Silph Road Atlas can help you track them down.

You may get auto-completed for the evolutions as well — I was, for some strange reason — but if not, evolve away. If you lack the Pokémon and the Candy, start grinding. Pidgey, Caterpie, Weedle, Wurmple, and Whimsur are your best bets since they require only 12 Candy to evolve. With Pinap Berry, that’s only a couple catches each.

For the 5 Buddy Candies, just keep walking your 1 KM Buddy.

Stage 5: Catch Ditto, make 20 Great Throws, catch 10 Ghost Pokémon

Ditto is a Pokémon that disguises itself as other Pokémon. Currently, that includes:

  1. Pidgy
  2. Ratatta
  3. Zubat
  4. Ghastly
  5. Sentra
  6. Yanma
  7. Hoothoot
  8. Zigzagoon
  9. Taillow
  10. Whismur
  11. Gulpin

Unfortunately, there’s no way of knowing in advance which of those Pokémon might be a Ditto in disguise until after you catch it. So, you’ve got to grind: Catch every one of those Pokémon you can. Go to high-density spawn points, like parking lots at shopping centers and malls, and catch, catch, catch. It’s entirely random, so all you can do is keep catching until you get a Ditto.

Fortunately, that’ll give you a lot of opportunities to get your 20 Great Throws in! If by some chance you get Ditto before you get your throws, though, use the same strategy as before. Hit up the big Raids with the big Bosses and go for the easy Greats.

To get the Ghost-types, go out at night when they spawn more frequently, and look for Ghastly and Misdreavus nests near you in the Silph Road Atlas.

Stage 6: Reach Level 25, battle 10x Raids, evolve a Gyarados

If you’ve already reached Level 25, you’ll also get auto-completed for that task. If you haven’t, once again, crack some Lucky Eggs and do as many back-to-back Legendary Raids as you need to to level up. 20,000 XP a pop, what can I say?

For the 10x Raids, you can either get a group of friends together and get a Raid Train going, or you can find a couple Tier 4 or Tier 5 Raids you can’t possibly beat on your own and just lose them over and over again until you get to 10. It’s time-consuming but it’s not difficult.

Evolving a Gyarados, if you don’t have the Candy — now that’s difficult. Sadly, previous evolutions don’t count. You have to evovle a new one. So if you just evolved a Shiny, or were waiting to evolve a Shiny, tough luck. You’ll need to either track down enough Magikarp, Pinap Berry them, and get to 400 Candy, or Raid your heart out until you get enough Rare Candy to make up the difference, or both.

Yeah, this one can be a real wall.

Stage 7: Catch 50 Pokémon using a Berry, make 1 Excellent Curve Throw, earn a Gold Kanto medal

Catching the 50 Pokémon with a Berry is just grunt work. Go someplace with a ton of spawn points, like a parking lot at a shopping center or mall and start catching. Just Berry everything as you go. If you can find a place with PokéStops to refill your Berries as you go, so much the better. For weak Pokémon, use Nanab. They may as well be good for something. For the toughest of the tough, throw as many Golden Razz as you have to spare.

Getting at least 1 Excellent Curve Throw out of 50 catches shouldn’t be hard. Just make a point of going for it until you get it.

Again, if you’ve already have a Gold Kanto medal, you’ll auto-complete this task and be on your way. If you haven’t, you’ll need to make sure you have at least 100 different Generation 1 Pokémon to your PokéDex. And again, the Silph Road Atlas can help you track them down.

Stage 8: Catch Mew

If you’ve made it all the way here, enjoy! Mew is just a Poké Ball throw away!

Do you get rewards for completing each task and stage as well? What are they?

You do! You get XP awards for each task and item rewards for each stage. And that includes items you can typically only get from Raids!

  1. 500 XP x 3, 10x Great Balls, 1x Incubator, 3x Lures
  2. 1000 XP x 3, 20x Great Balls, 2000 Stardust, 3x Incense
  3. 1500 XP x3, 1x Fast TM, 1x Charge TM, 2x Star Pieces
  4. 2000 XP x 3, 20x Great Balls, 4000 Stardust, 3x Lures
  5. 2500 XP x3, 1x Raid Pass, 1x Lucky Egg, 15x Revives
  6. 3000 XP x 3, 5x. Rare Candy, 4000 Stardust, 3x Incense
  7. 3500 XP x3, 5x Ultra Balls, 8000 Stardust
  8. 4000 XP, 20x Mew Candy, 10,000 Stardust, 1x Super Incubator

You only get the rewards when you tap on them. So, if you want to crack a Lucky Egg or drop a Starpiece before you collect your XP or Stardust, that’s your opportunity to double — or 1.5x — dip.

What’s the best moveset for Mew?

Mew can learn Fast and Charge Moves of all types, making picking the best moveset equal parts math and feels. Mew won’t be topping any attacker or defenders charts, so go for what the numbers say is best or your personal favorites.

Since, given the variety, it will take a ton of TMs to get what you want anyway, and it won’t make a huge difference given Mew’s stats, you can simply keep what you get. If you really want to try your luck in the TM lottery, go for something that works well against whatever you typically fight the most, and have fun with it.

Any Mew or Mythical Discovery Field Research questions?

If you have any questions about completing the Mythical Discovery quest or catching Mew in Pokémon Go, drop them in the comments below!

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Pokémon GO’s Research Feature Brings Mew Into the Mix

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Right now, Pokémon GO is hosting a new Extravaganza event, which sees even more eggs popping up in the title, as well as other bonuses. Continue reading
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How the Cambridge Analytica scandal could harm data research efforts

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The scandal that has erupted around Cambridge Analytica’s alleged harvesting of 50m Facebook profiles assembled from data provided by a UK-based academic and his company is a worrying development for legitimate researchers. Political data analytics company Cambridge Analytica – which is affiliated with Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL) – reportedly used Facebook data, after it was handed over by Aleksandr Kogan, a lecturer at the University of Cambridge’s department of psychology. Kogan, through his company Global Science Research (GSR) – separate from his university work – gleaned the data from a personality test app named “thisisyourdigitallife”. Roughly 270,000 US-based Facebook users…

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New Research Points to the Power of Predictive Analytics

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Mobileum, a leader in roaming and traveler data analytics, has announced new research aimed at telecom service providers looking to understand key trends and identify new opportunities to transform and monetize roaming business in an increasingly disrupted marketplace.

A key finding is that initiatives in customer behavioral analytics, and new predictive models, can deliver accurate conclusions of roaming customers, with clear graphical representation of results. An analytics based approach enables operators to take immediate action to improve the customer experience for travelers.

A joint effort by the industry recognized roaming experts, Mobileum, and Juniper Research, the report explores the challenges currently facing operators, including the rise of OTT messaging, social media substitution and the silent roamer problem and offers strategic recommendations to enable operators to monetize roaming traffic. A key finding is that developments in data analytics can help increase ARPU and reduce churn, through new ways to analyze and present data and swiftly act on the findings to improve both network efficiency and end user experience.

By using analytics to detect customer context, operators can offer targeted bundles, tailored to the roamer’s individual sales history and usage. Service bundling increases overall revenues by reducing the silent roamer proportion. By switching to a business model predicated on big data analytics, operators can thereby maximize their future revenues. It involves a sea change in how businesses operate, but significant benefits await if operators take the right approach.

“With the increasing amounts of both network and traveler data available for interpretation and analysis, operators who ignore trends face customer dissatisfaction or customers simply turning off data altogether. Roaming is one area where they can immediately improve the customer experience and provide a mutually beneficial roaming relationship with their subscribers,” said Tim Moran SVP Product and Offering at Mobileum.

To access the full report, click here.

The post New Research Points to the Power of Predictive Analytics appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.


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Research Explains Why Consumers Are Avoiding iPhone X

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When Apple unveiled the iPhone X last year, it was on a clear mission to present the world with the smartphone of the future – albeit at a hefty price tag. Although the phone received widespread acclaim from tech pundits and diehard Apple fans, that’s not to say that it’s been a huge success across […]
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Toyota is forming a $2.8-billion company for self-driving research

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Toyota's autonomous vehicle dreams are too big to contain, so it's establishing a new company to speed up its technology's development. The automaker has teamed up with fellow Japanese entities Aisin Seiki Co., Ltd. and Denso Corporation to form the…
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Twitter is wondering whether Twitter is bad for society — and Jack Dorsey is starting new research to find out

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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey

How do you measure the health of online interactions? Twitter is determined to find out.

Are the conversations that people have on Twitter “healthy”? The company plans to figure that out.

That’s according to a series of tweets sent Thursday by CEO Jack Dorsey, who first issued a pseudo apology for the kinds of aggressive and abusive content that Twitter has become known for.

“We have witnessed abuse, harassment, troll armies, manipulation through bots and human-coordination, misinformation campaigns, and increasingly divisive echo chambers,” Dorsey wrote. “We aren’t proud of how people have taken advantage of our service, or our inability to address it fast enough.”

So now Twitter has a new plan: It wants to measure the “health” of conversations on Twitter, something that Facebook is trying to do as well.

“If you want to improve something, you have to be able to measure it,” Dorsey continued. “The human body has a number of indicators of overall health, some very simple, like internal temperature. We know how to measure it, and we know some methods to bring it back in balance.”

It’s not clear how you measure the health of a human interaction (or a human-to-bot interaction), but Dorsey intends to find out. He mentioned Cortico, a nonprofit that proclaims a mission on its website to “foster a healthy public sphere,” as an organization that is inspiring Twitter’s work. Specifically, Dorsey mentioned four “indicators” that Twitter could use for measuring the health of conversations. Cortico described them like this on its website:

  1. Shared Attention: Is there overlap in what we are talking about?
  2. Shared Reality: Are we using the same facts?
  3. Variety: Are we exposed to different opinions grounded in shared reality?
  4. Receptivity: Are we open, civil, and listening to different opinions?

Twitter also issued an RFP — a request for proposal — to get more ideas from others outside the company.

“We simply can’t and don’t want to do this alone. So we’re seeking help by opening up an RFP process to cast the widest net possible for great ideas and implementations,” Dorsey tweeted.

For years, Twitter has served as a home for some of the nastier internet users — a place where online harassment and bullying and conflict thrived, thanks in part to Twitter’s commitment to free speech and its willingness to allow anonymous users.

The company has tried hard to clean that up in recent years. It rewrote its user rules and guidelines, and has started cracking down on bot accounts. It has even started to punish well-known users by removing their account verification, or banning them entirely.

Now it’s taking an interesting step to try and quantify the “health” of its own product.

It all seems to stem from the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election, in which we learned that Russian bots used Twitter to try and sow discord among voters. Ever since Donald Trump was elected and social networks were found to be somewhat responsible, tech companies have been grappling with their broader role in society.

Twitter’s move on Thursday feels like an olive branch of sorts for politicians in D.C. There has been speculation ever since the election that Congress may try and regulate social media companies that were caught sleeping at the wheel. This is a way for Twitter to show everyone that it’s proactively trying to improve discourse on its platform.

It’s one of the reasons Facebook is also trying to measure its impact on user health. Late last year, the social giant released a study that found that social media sometimes left people feeling crummy. The company then used that report as a reason to change its News Feed algorithm to start showing people more posts from friends and family, and less from publishers and businesses.

This feels like a similar moment from Twitter. The company is now asking an important question: What role do we play in the health of our users? It’s a question Twitter might not want the answer to.


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Research shows when your Apple product is likely to bite the dust

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If you want to know how much life you’ll get out of your new Apple product, an analyst for Asymco has estimated the average life of your next device. Researcher Horace Dedlu determined lifespan by using the number of active devices and the cumulative total of products sold. The former number, revealed during Apple’s Q1 financial call last month, has only been disclosed once before. When you subtract the number of active devices from the total number sold, the remaining number is the amount of products that have been retired in a quarter. Dedlu contends that figuring the average lifespan…

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