Google announced a program to help people discard of opioids. Getty Google says it wants to give people information to help them beat opioid addictions. The search giant on Thursday said it will begin listing places on Google Maps where people can discard unused medications. Those places include pharmacies, hospitals and government buildings. The app will locate drug disposal centers. Google If you type in queries like “drug drop-off near me” or “medication disposal near me,” Google Maps will display local places that have drug disposal services year-round. In all, there are 35,000 locations on the app, with a focus on seven states: Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan and Pennsylvania. For the project, Google partnered with those state governments, as well as the Drug Enforcement Agency, Health and Human Services, and retail pharmacies Walgreens and CVS. Google said it eventually wants to expand the program beyond those seven states. The search giant said the data from the new Maps feature won’t be used to go after people for illegal drug possession. The company said the data from the DEA and other partners will only be used to show people drop-off locations. The disposals are confidential and no-questions-asked, Google said. The news comes as health professionals and government officials try to figure out how to deal with the opioid epidemic. More than 130 people die each day in the US from opioid overdoses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Meanwhile, the tech industry has been under intense scrutiny over the positive and negative effects its products could have on society. Google has been criticized for its policing of disinformation, data collection practices and abuse on its platforms. Lawmakers have also called upon tech giants to help contain the opioid problem. After Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg traveled across the US in 2017 on a “listening tour” to get out of his Silicon Valley bubble, he said one of his biggest takeaways was the severity of the opioid crisis. At a hearing before the House of Representatives last April, David McKinley, a Republican from West Virginia, grilled Zuckerberg on why illegal opioid listings weren’t removed from Facebook. “There are number of areas of content that we need to do a better job,” Zuckerberg replied. In June, the social network said searches for opioids would be redirected to a federal crisis help line. Tags 0 Tech Industry Google Alphabet Inc. Post a comment Share your voice
Europa’s salty surface goes well with fries. NASA/JPL/University of Arizona Europa, the fourth-biggest moon orbiting gas giant Jupiter, hides a salty, liquid ocean underneath its icy shell and thus, may harbor the ingredients necessary for life. A new study has found that Europa’s surface is full of sodium chloride — table salt — and concludes the hidden ocean underneath Europa’s ice may be more similar to Earth’s oceans than previously imagined. The study, published Wednesday in Science Advances by researchers at Caltech and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, show for the first time how yellow patches on Europa’s surface, first noticed by NASA proves Voyager and Galileo decades ago, actually indicate the presence of sodium chloride. More astonishing is the fact the table salt has been hidden in plain view for years. Scientists just hadn’t been looking for it. “Sodium chloride is a bit like invisible ink on Europa’s surface,” NASA’s Kevin Hand said in a press release. “Before irradiation, you can’t tell it’s there, but after irradiation, the color jumps right out at you.” To make the discovery, the team irradiated plain white table salt in a laboratory that simulated the conditions present on Europa. They found that the white salt turned a shade of yellow — the same shade of yellow spotted by NASA’s Galileo spacecraft on its imaging missions between 1995 and 2003. To confirm, they turned the Hubble Space Telescope to Europa and had it confirm the yellows on the surface were giving off a chemical signal that represented the irradiated table salt. It did.It’s a particularly important finding because of what it can tell us about the subsurface ocean chemistry. If the sodium chloride does originate from within Europa, then the moon’s ocean may resemble Earth’s much more closely. In a far-flung future, it could provide somewhere to mine as a resource or even settle. However, the authors note that they can’t yet say whether the surface table salt definitely represents the compositon of the subsurface ocean.Still, it opens the door for further investigation of Europa and suggests it may even be more geologically active than scientists once thought. If you want to sneak a look at Jupiter and its moons, there’s no better time. Jupiter is so close to the Earth right now that you only need a pair of binoculars. Europa is particularly bright so you shouldn’t have trouble spotting it. Take some popcorn and make a night of it. 3 Share your voice Comments Tags Space geeks tweak NASA images of Jupiter’s red spot 20 Photos Sci-Tech
Michael Stravato for The Texas TribuneJeremy Boutor removes personal items on an air mattress from his home in a neighborhood along Eldridge Parkway, flooded by waters released from Addicks Reservoir on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017, adding to flooding from Hurricane Harvey.The U.S. House of Representatives passed a major disaster relief bill Monday evening, concluding a series of dramatic delays in Congress and sending the legislation to the desk of President Trump.The $19.1 billion bill, which Trump is expected to sign, would allocate funding to nine disaster-affected states and two territories, and also release more than $4 billion to Texas that Congress allocated more than a year ago in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. After meeting unexpected resistance in the House that stalled the vote for 11 days, the bill at last broke through Monday by an overwhelming, bipartisan margin of 354-58.The bill passed in the U.S. Senate just before the Memorial Day recess but hit an obstacle when it reached the House floor. Most members had already left Washington for the holiday. Backers of the legislation had hoped to push it through on a voice vote before the recess. These efforts were thwarted by U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, an Austin Republican, who drew national attention for his blocking of the vote by using a procedural objection. Two other conservative House members later made similar objections, ensuring that Congress couldn’t send the bill to Trump until after the recess.The resistance in the House appeared to come as a surprise to Senate Republicans, including Texan John Cornyn, whose contributions were instrumental in breaking the Senate logjam and applying pressure on the White House to take swift action. A key provision of the bill is a White House “shot clock,” implemented by Cornyn, which would require the Office of Management and Budget to release more than $4 billion in disaster aid owed to Texas within a 90-day window.Given the bipartisan support for natural disaster relief, securing relief funding has proved surprisingly difficult in recent years. The new bill was pushed through Congress only after the Trump administration dropped demands that the package exclude disaster aid for Puerto Rico and include allocations for the Department of Homeland Security to address the migrant crisis at the border.And for Texas, the forestalled success of the new bill caps a prolonged struggle by the state’s delegation to secure aid promised over a year ago. After Congress approved more than $16 billion in disaster relief funds in early 2018, efforts by Texas representatives to secure the state’s share have been frustrated by bureaucratic hurdles in OMB and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Most recently, U.S. Rep. Lizzie Pannill Fletcher, a Houston Democrat, and U.S. Rep. Randy Weber, a Friendswood Republican, introduced a bill with similar language to Cornyn’s provision demanding that HUD release the long overdue $4 billion to Houston-area districts still recovering from Hurricane Harvey.Local advocates for communities still recovering from Hurricane Harvey expressed frustration at yet another delay in the federal funds. Hurricane season started on June 1 and coastal communities in Texas are already seeing flooding amid strong recent storms.Even with the addition of Cornyn’s “shot clock,” the wait for disaster relief funding will continue. If President Trump signs the bill immediately, OMB will not have to release its funding until late summer, after the worst of hurricane season has already passed.This post was originally published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues. Share
More information: Dhagash Mehta et al. “Kinetic Transition Networks for the Thomson Problem and Smale’s Seventh Problem.” Physical Review Letters. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.117.028301 , Also at arXiv:1605.08459 [cond-mat.soft] This puzzle is the essence of Thomson’s problem, which asks how to arrange equal charges (such as electrons) on the surface of a sphere in a way that minimizes their electrostatic potential energy—the energy caused by all of the electrons repelling each other. According to Coulomb’s law, the total energy is inversely related to the sum of the distances between all possible pairs of charges, so the goal is to spread the charges as far apart as possible.This task is more difficult than it sounds—Thomson’s problem has been rigorously solved only for numbers of 2, 3, 4, 6, and 12 charges. In 1998, mathematician Steven Smale identified the problem of how to choose starting points close to the lowest-energy state (which makes it easier to solve Thomson’s problem) as the seventh problem on his list of 18 unsolved problems for the 21st century. Part of the reason why Thomson’s problem is so important is because its applications are so far-reaching. In 1904, J.J. Thomson originally proposed the model of charges on a sphere to describe the structure of an atom. Even though experiments disproved this “plum pudding model” long ago, the Thomson problem still has notable applications in chemistry (for understanding how electrons fill electron shells in atoms), biology (for determining the arrangements of proteins on the shells of spherical viruses), as well as in physics, computer science, and such practical applications as determining the optimal placement of communication satellites around the Earth. Spheres on treesNow in a new paper published in Physical Review Letters, a team of mathematicians, engineers, and scientists from the US, the UK, and Australia has taken a new approach to Thomson’s problem that makes it much easier to determine the lowest-energy configuration. For seven numbers of charges (every third number from 132 to 150), they have constructed tree-shaped disconnectivity graphs, where the vertical axis or “trunk” corresponds to the energy of a particular charge arrangement. Each “branch” terminates at a local minimum, which are the states that have lower energies than all of their neighboring states, and so they are candidates for the ultimate lowest energy state, the global minimum. By visualizing the problem in this way, the researchers noticed that these particular graphs don’t have lots of branches extending from lots of other branches. Instead, every branch connects to only a few other branches and then to the trunk at regularly spaced energy thresholds, so that the graph resembles a palm tree or single funnel structure.The researchers found that this “funneled potential energy landscape” is characteristic of a highly ordered structure and displays characteristics of a small-world network. As a result, it provides an important clue for finding the global minimum. It tells the researchers to start their optimization algorithms using the local minima because, in these networks, it turns out that every local minimum is always within 5-7 steps (branches) of the global minimum. This is true even for local minima that have much higher energies than the global minimum, and even when the total number of local minima is very large. (Phys.org)—How do you arrange a group of points on the surface of a sphere so that all the points are as far apart from each other as possible? With two points, the answer is easy: place them on opposite sides of the sphere, as if they are endpoints of the diameter. With three points, make them the vertices of an equilateral triangle, and so on. But as the number of points increases, so does the difficulty of the problem. By visualizing the problem from a new perspective, the researchers found that lower-energy configurations have more connections than higher-energy configurations do. Credit: Mehta et al. ©2016 American Physical Society Journal information: Physical Review Letters This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Spin glass physics with trapped ions © 2016 Phys.org The disconnectivity graph for 147 charges on a sphere has a structure-seeking “palm tree” organization. The five lowest minimum energy configurations are shown. Credit: Mehta et al. ©2016 American Physical Society Citation: Researchers chip away at Smale’s 7th unsolved problem in mathematics (2016, July 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-07-chip-smale-7th-unsolved-problem.html The disconnectivity graph reveals other information, such as that lower-energy local minima have more connections to other states than do higher-energy local minima. The researchers also discovered that the global minimum is always the most highly connected node in the entire network, making it the network’s central node. Implications for Thomson’s and Smale’s problemsUsing this insight from the network’s single-funneled, small-world structure, finding the global minimum for Thomson’s problem becomes much easier than before.”Our work looks at Smale’s seventh problem from a completely different perspective and sheds novel light on it,” coauthor Dhagash Mehta, at the University of Notre Dame and the University of Adelaide, told Phys.org. “In this work, methods developed by the theoretical chemistry community have helped understand a deep mathematical problem. Often it is the other way around.”As the researchers explain, it’s easier to solve Thomson’s problem in these particular cases than it is to solve Smale’s problem (of choosing good starting points). So although the results will likely be useful, they do not go very far toward solving Smale’s seventh problem.”I think ‘chip away’ is about right,” said coauthor David Wales at University Chemical Laboratories in Cambridge, UK. “There is no rigorous mathematical progress on the problem from an analytic point of view.”In the future, the researchers plan to extend this approach to larger numbers of charges. From earlier work, they expect that landscapes with more than 400 charges will start to display multiple funnels, so the small-world structure may disappear. “While we have only shown data for seven numbers, we have strong reasons to believe that the single funnel is a feature for numbers less than 150,” said coauthor Halim Kusumaatmaja at Durham University in Durham, UK. “For larger numbers, there will likely be multiple funnels. Nonetheless, the network analysis could still be exploited to help us quickly identify candidates for the global minimum.”Other lines of work include exploiting the small-world properties discovered here to improve other optimization algorithms and develop novel algorithms, as well as to incorporate weight and direction into these networks, which may provide additional insight into the Thomson problem.”The social network analogy for networks of minima of the Thomson problem will go further when we analyze other network properties of these networks of minima,” Mehta said. “Our results will also help in constructing novel algorithms to find the global minimum more efficiently by exploiting these network properties.” Explore further
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s tweet likening himself to ‘chandan’ (sandalwood), which remains unaffected despite snakes wrapping themselves around it, has created a flutter in poll-bound Bihar as it is being seen as directed against his ally Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav.One @SunilVChandak posed a question to Kumar on his programme “Ask Nitish” on Twitter on July 20 – “#AskNitish if you win with Laluji and the numbers are significant, how you will be able to give good development-ordinated government?” Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJIIn reply, Kumar had tweeted, “Bihar’s development is my sole agenda. Jo Rahim
Kolkata: BJP should take the blame for the “shabby arrangement” at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally at Midnapore, where 90 people were injured due to collapse of a canopy, Trinamool Congress leader Saugata Roy said in the Lok Sabha.”The Prime Minister addressed the Kisan Kalyan rally in Midnapore. People were brought in from Jharkhand, Odisha. During the rally, a tent collapsed, leaving 90 people injured, of which 50 were women. BJP had organised the rally. They must take blame for the shabby arrangement,” Roy said during Zero Hour. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeA makeshift tent had collapsed during Modi’s rally in Midnapore on July 16, following which the Centre had sought a report from the Bengal government.The tent was erected next to the main entrance of the rally venue to shelter people from the rain and the incident had happened when the Prime Minister was mid-way through his speech.Meanwhile, a team comprising senior officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs visited the spot in connection with the incident. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedJoint Secretary Arti Bhatnagar and two senior SPG officials visited the spot after holding a detailed discussion with senior officials of the district administration and police.The police have also been looking into the role of the decorators that had erected the pandal. It may be mentioned that no fault of the Public Works Department was found with regard to the collapse, according to sources in Nabanna.It has been stated that the area was under the SPG from seven days ahead of the rally. So, the state police does not have much to do in this connection.
Kolkata: The 10th edition of Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival will see the participation of writers, poets and dignitaries from China, Italy, France, Australia, Singapore, USA, UK and Pakistan, alongside noted names from Indian literary circles. Scheduled to take place from January 18 to 20 next year, it will feature Andrew Sean Greer, Pulitzer winner for Fiction 2018; Ira Mukhoty, known for her feminist writing; Devdutt Pattanaik, mythology expert and author; Ramchandra Guha, historian; Ravinder Singh, Young Adult author; Upamanyu Chatterjee, celebrated writer; Ravish Kumar, journalist, Poet and author; along with veteran Bollywood actor Naseeruddin Shah. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life “Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival (AKLF) has connected, empowered and mobilised new voices and ideas since its inception in 2010. In the last nine years, the festival has contributed greatly to restoring Kolkata’s literary edge, a distinct and valued identity, I felt, at the time, it was losing. “AKLF has developed as the fountainhead of the mission we pursue 365 days at Oxford Bookstores – of books, reading, literature, writers, publishers, building readership, creating awareness and attraction for the world of books and popularising the whole gamut that goes with books and publishing,” said Priti Paul, Director, Apeejay Surrendra Group. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed Novelist of the much acclaimed “All The Lives We Never Lived” Anuradha Roy; former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah; and Sahitya Akademi winner Jerry Pinto will also be participating. They will be joined by Ashwin Sanghi, Rajmohan Gandhi, Shashi Tharoor, Shobhaa De, and Ratna Pathak Shah. AKLF 2019 will focus on health, current affairs, women’s issues, and children’s literature among other themes. The 10th edition of the festival will be held in Park Street’s iconic spaces giving everyone an opportunity to (re)visit, admire and enjoy their tangible and intangible heritage.
Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Brought to you by PCWorld Register Now » 3 min read December 5, 2007 A few years back, when I replaced my aging Athlon XP-based home-built PC with a faster, quieter system, I stored the old one away presuming that someday I’d do something interesting with it. Microsoft’s Windows Home Server proved the perfect excuse to do just that. The end result is a highly useful, though sometimes frustratingly simplistic, addition to my home tech lineup.Windows Home Server is Microsoft’s first stab at a consumer server product that sits at the heart of your network where other PCs can access its content. Available now on hardware such as HP’s MediaSmart Home Server or as a $180 software package from system-builder sites such as Newegg, Windows Home Server lets you store and stream media files, back up multiple PCs, and connect remotely via the Web. Plus, Microsoft says that add-on features such as video recording and home automation are on the way from third-party vendors.Windows Home Server requires an ethernet connection between the server and the network (Microsoft deemed wireless networking too flaky). I installed a prerelease copy of the operating system in about 2 hours; the only snag I hit involved enabling the remote Web access features. My router turned out to be the problem, and one I wasn’t able to resolve with tech support. To connect client PCs to the server, you install a simple console application on each that also lets you tweak the server’s settings.Soon, I was streaming music, photos, and standard-definition video to my 802.11g-enabled notebook, flawlessly. I experienced some stutters with a high-def test video file, but that’s an 802.11g bandwidth issue. Everything streamed cleanly to my ethernet-connected Windows XP Pro PC and my Xbox 360. The 360 connection is great, as it allows me to access media where I most enjoy it: on my couch, in front of my HDTV.Windows Home Server also lets you back up the entire contents of each connected PC to the server’s hard drive, as a compressed file that it updates daily with only the changes that have occurred since the last backup. The backup feature is quite slick, and it illustrates the degree to which Microsoft has successfully simplified an often-complicated process. You can add more hard drives to the server, and even enable data duplication (essentially RAID 1 data mirroring). But the nitty-gritty settings for such features are largely inaccessible, hidden behind basic wizards and check boxes.Simplicity is great, but I think enthusiasts like me will want access to more knobs and switches. Microsoft might envision a home server in every house, but I’m not sure the average PC user would even know what to do with one (yet). After having lived with the server for a few weeks, though, I can’t imagine not having one–a clear sign that it’s filling a need in my geek household. Better yet, it let me pull my old workhorse PC out of retirement.