Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact There are also question marks on how much of a role former Oakland Raider and Kansas City Chief Tyvon Branch will play for his new team as he hasn’t been a primary starter since 2012.But the impending new secondary might not be too much of a hindrance for the Cardinals, as Rosenthal notes, “they have the most projected wins in football by Football Outsiders, a campaign platform we can support.” The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories Following a 13-3 record and a trip to the NFC Championship Game, the Arizona Cardinals were one of the best teams on both sides of the ball last season. But no team is perfect.NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal took a look at every NFC team and labeled each squad’s biggest weakness.Rosenthal noted the Cardinals “could have the most loaded roster in the NFL. They also have only one offensive tackle that has ever played an NFL game.” Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Comments Share That one offensive tackle is Jared Veldheer, with the rest of the offensive tackle group consisting of two rookies and four guys with one year under their belt, including 2015 first round pick D.J. Humphries. But Rosenthal thinks the Cardinals have a weakness that’s even more glaring.Justin Bethel, who excelled as a No. 4 cornerback and special teamer, now stands second on the team’s depth chart. He recently underwent foot surgery. Patrick Peterson is coming off ankle surgery, while Tyrann Mathieu is recovering from a torn ACL. Third-round pick Brandon Williams was seen as a project at cornerback after splitting time as a running back in college. Even though the Cardinals play a ton of safeties and Mathieu essentially plays cornerback, the Cardinals have a shocking lack of NFL-caliber cornerbacks on the roster. Don’t be surprised if they add a veteran or two.It’s hard to know how much of a toll the injuries will have on Bethel, Peterson and Mathieu going forward, but it’s easy to know the Cardinals’ secondary will look a lot different in 2016, as two primary starters are no longer on the roster. The Cardinals lost Rashad Johnson, who started 14 games and had five interceptions in 2015, to the Tennessee Titans. Jerraud Powers, who started 13 games and had one interception to go along with two fumble recoveries, is now with the Baltimore Ravens. Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb (18) makes a one-handed catch but has it called back on a penalty as Arizona Cardinals cornerback Justin Bethel (28) defends during the first half of an NFL divisional playoff football game, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. Cobb left the game injured after the catch. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
By Jeff Thomas, International Man In Latin-American culture, the beating of a piñata began as a religious activity, but, today, it is more secular and generally takes place at celebrations. The general idea is that someone (usually a child) is blindfolded and given a stick, then spun around several times to disorient him. He then begins swinging the stick in the air, trying to locate the piñata, which is suspended overhead. Once he finds it, he beats it until it breaks open, spilling out goodies – sometimes candy, sometimes toys, coins, or food. In concept, this is much like taxation, with the rich being the piñata. Taxation Seems Reasonable Throughout the world today, governments pay for their existence mostly by way of taxation. On the surface of it, this isn’t an especially unreasonable concept. Candidates are elected to take charge of the government, and they then need to be paid to do their jobs. Taxes are also intended to pay for the programmes that government representatives come up with. Unfortunately, a common trend in politics is that once someone has been elected to office, he wants to remain there, often for the remainder of his working life. Once someone has become a career politician, it is a logical step for him to realise that the more he can tax the population, the more goodies he can get for himself. After all, he is in a position to be able to increase his own salary and benefits. Additionally, he may be tempted to siphon off a portion of funds intended for government programmes as they pass through his control. The difficulty for politicians who increase taxes is that, if they increase taxes on the majority of the people, the people may not vote them back in. Consequently, politicians find that they are more likely to be re-elected if they create or increase taxes that only apply to a minority of the electorate. Whenever the middle- to lower- income taxpayers outnumber the more wealthy (which is, of course, most often the case), politicians tend to propose higher taxes on “the rich.” The reason this is a safe bet is that the rich are in the minority and therefore do not have the power (on their own) to vote such politicians out of office. Hence, most developed countries not only tax the rich more heavily than others, but also create and maintain a “tax the rich” mentality amongst the electorate. Today, most every country that regards itself as a democracy has a “tax the rich” consciousness, and those who are not “rich” generally support the concept. As George Bernard Shaw said, “A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend upon the support of Paul.” But Excessive Taxation of the Rich is Not Necessarily Reasonable And why not tax the rich? After all, the rich have more, so why shouldn’t they give more? Well, there are two reasons why not. The first is that the concept is inherently unjust. As Thomas Jefferson is said to have argued, “A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.” The second reason why the rich should not automatically pay more is that they may possibly be taxed to the point that they choose to opt out of the system. As Maggie Thatcher said, “The trouble with socialism is that, eventually, you run out of other people’s money.” Of course, who “the rich” are has never been accurately defined. Is it the top 5% of earners? The top 10%? Politicians avoid such questions; they prefer to keep it vague. After all, if they got specific, many of them would qualify as being amongst “the rich.” And of course, one of the best aspects of taxing the rich, from the politician’s point of view, is that they can’t really do anything about it. The rich are, by their very nature, generally speaking, very responsible citizens. They are easily tracked down and will generally prefer to pay a higher tax than to be imprisoned. Consequently, there is much to gain and little to lose for a politician if he proposes further taxes on the rich. The Rich Are Much Like a Piñata The rich are much like a piñata: Those who are gathered around the piñata know that it contains goodies and they would like to get some share of those goodies. They are unconcerned as to whether the piñata is destroyed, as long as the goodies are forthcoming soon. Someone is elected, who beats the piñata repeatedly, knocking the goodies out. This person wears a blindfold, so, although he knows what his objective is, he cannot actually see the results of his actions. The more he beats the piñata, the more goodies fall out. But, beyond this point, public opinion would diverge as to the comparison of the piñata and the rich. Those who wish to be receivers of the government largesse would argue that the process is endless, as the rich will always have plenty of money. But those who are more productive and choose to sustain themselves through their own efforts will take a different view. How to Stop Being a Piñata Through Internationalisation The fact is, the rich do, in most cases, have an ability to opt out. Historically, this does not take place through violent means, such as revolution. Rather, it is by quiet means – by exiting the jurisdiction if it becomes too oppressive. There is now a growing trend toward internationalisation. It has never been easier to physically move one’s self or one’s possessions from place to place. Through technology, it has also never been easier to move wealth from place to place. In fact, the only exception to this trend is governments themselves. Some governments are placing ever-increasing restrictions on the ability to move one’s self and one’s wealth from one jurisdiction to another. Considering this to be the case, many older people are quietly moving themselves and their wealth away from those countries that are becoming increasingly draconian in their laws. Additionally, many younger people are beginning to see the handwriting on the wall. Whilst they may not yet have amassed much in the way of wealth, many are assessing their futures in jurisdictions that are becoming oppressive, and choosing to vote with their feet now, rather than wait until it is no longer possible. Many people are fond of their present jurisdiction but are watching the door slowly closing. Those who take the next step – that of seeking out other possible destinations – are finding that in some other jurisdictions the doors to personal economic prosperity are opening wider. However, should an exodus occur into these countries by frustrated First-Worlders, there is the possibility that, in time, their immigration laws may tighten up. Therefore, the time of greatest opportunity may well be right now. Those who are older and have attained some measure of wealth would do well to consider whether they are tiring of being hit with a stick and worrying that, in the future, they may well be hit a great deal harder. Those who are younger may feel that, if they succeed in creating wealth for themselves, their reward may well be to become a piñata. [If you enjoyed this article, you might like our complimentary report, The Best of Jeff Thomas. Pulling no punches, Jeff shares his thoughts on the greatest threat to gold ownership, finding a bolthole on a budget, as well as the coming hyperinflation. You may download this free report immediately in our member’s area. Or, if you are not a member, register for free here.] About the Author: Jeff Thomas is British and resides in the Caribbean. The son of an economist and historian, he learned early to be distrustful of governments as a general principle. Although he spent his career creating and developing businesses, for eight years, he penned a weekly newspaper column on the theme of limiting government. He began his study of economics around 1990, learning initially from Sir John Templeton, then Harry Schulz and Doug Casey and later others of an Austrian persuasion. In 1999 he began his predictions for a second Great Depression and has since focused his attention on its ramifications and how it would affect the world.
It was the second day in a row where the dollar index didn’t do much, as it traded sideways in a very tight range once again. It closed in New York at 79.21, which was down 7 basis points from Wednesday’s close.The gold stocks gapped up about 3% at the open, and then climbed to their high of the day shortly after 12 o’clock noon in New York, which was gold’s high tick. After that they chopped sideways for the remainder of the New York trading session. The HUI finished up 4.11%.As has been the case all week, the silver shares have underperformed their golden cousins. Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed up only 3.33%, and it didn’t even gain back all of Tuesday’s losses.The CME’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 29 gold and 11 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Monday. JPMorgan was the only long/stopper of note in both. The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.For whatever reason there was another withdrawal from GLD yesterday. This time it was 57,909 troy ounces. And as of 9:21 p.m. EDT yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV.Joshua Gibbons, the “Guru of the SLV Bar List” posted his weekly commentary on the in/out action for the week that was in SLV. Here’s what he had to say. “Analysis of the 23 October 2013 bar list, and comparison to the previous week’s list. 3,661,880.2 troy ounces was removed (all from Brinks London), and none had a serial number change. The bars removed were from: Solar Applied Materials (1.3M oz), Aurubis AG (0.6M oz), Nordeutsche (0.6M oz), Inner Mongolia Qiankun (0.2M oz), and 17 others.As of the time that the bar list was produced, it was over-allocated 68.6 troy oz. There was a withdrawal of 770,883.6 oz on Tuesday and deposit of 2,408,785.0 oz on Wednesday (that nets to +1,637,901.4 oz) that have not yet been reflected on the bar list, that should appear on the next bar list (as it normally takes a day or two for the bar list to get updated).” The link to his Web site is here.I also noted that the folks over at the shortsqueeze.com Internet site updated their Web site with the latest changes in the short positions for both GLD and SLV for mid-October. The short position in SLV rose by 7.19%, and the total number of shares/ounces sold short now stands at 17,775,400. GLD‘s short position increased by 8.90%, and it’s short position is up to 2.40 million troy ounces. In tonnes, that’s 553 tonnes of silver and 74.5 tonnes of gold. One can only imagine what the prices of gold and silver would be if those holding short positions in both these ETFs were required to purchase the metal on the open market to cover them.The U.S. Mint had a tiny sales report yesterday. They sold 500 ounce of gold eagles, and that was it.Over at the Comex-approved depositories on Wednesday, they reported receiving 32,075 troy ounces of gold, and shipped 64,009 troy ounces out the door. The link to that activity is here.As is always the case, it was much busier in silver, as 639,533 troy ounces were shipped in and 235,623 troy ounces were shipped out. The link to that action is here.It was another slow news day again yesterday, and I hope you find something of interest in what I did manage to cobble together.In a nutshell, the coming influence of monetary expansion on gold and silver prices will be due to the great inflation already witnessed in other asset classes. At some point, it is inevitable that there will be some switching of funds from bonds, stocks and real estate to precious metals. There always is such switching as asset classes come in and go out of favor on a recurring basis. Someday, something will spook the bond, stock or currency markets and there will be some rush to precious metals. Because the growth of other asset classes has been so monumental, even the smallest amount of switching to precious metals will have a profound impact on gold and, especially, on silver prices. – Silver analyst Ted Butler: 23 October 2013There’s not much to add to my comments at the top of this column regarding yesterday’s price action in both gold and silver. It was nice to see the rallies in both metals, along with the commensurate rallies in their associated equities. One can only hope that this trend will continue.As of yesterday’s close, both gold and silver are slightly above their respective 50-day moving averages. It will be interesting to see whether prices power higher from here as the technical funds move to cover their short positions, or will prices “fail” at this point, as they have done in the past at this juncture?Today we get the October Bank Participation Report, along with some sort of Commitment of Traders Report. The only thing I know for sure is that the COT Report won’t contain data up to the last cut-off date, which was Tuesday, October 22. Even before I check the numbers, I’ll be looking for the cut-off date at the top of the web page. And in some respects, without the data being current, it won’t mean a lot. The Bank Participation Report data will also be a month out of date as well, and in some ways what it contains will be of more importance than the COT Report itself.But whatever they show, I’ll be commenting on it at length in Saturday’s missive.All four precious metals were under a little selling pressure during Far East trading on their Friday, but it was silver that really got clubbed going into the 8 a.m. BST London open. The CME low print was $22.325, which was down 40 cents from yesterday’s New York close. Obviously there was nothing free market about that. Gold volume [as of 3:56 a.m. EDT] was pretty light, but silver’s volume was [not surprisingly] very decent. And also not surprisingly, it was mostly of the HFT variety.The dollar index took a 20 basis point nose dive around lunchtime in Hong Kong, but there was a buyer in the wings waiting to catch that particular falling knife at the 79.02 mark. There was no sign of that currency move in any of the precious metal prices at the time.And as I hit the send button on today’s column at 5:15 a.m. EDT, three of the four precious metals have recovered off their lows at the London open, and are rallying unsteadily higher, but none are back above their New York closes from yesterday. Volumes are about average in gold, and still slightly elevated in silver. The dollar index is down about 11 basis points.Since today is Friday, I’m wide open to any price scenario that presents itself when I power up my computer later this morning.Enjoy your weekend, or what’s left of it, and I’ll see you here tomorrow. Both gold and silver are slightly above their respective 50-day moving averagesAs has been the case for what seems like forever now, there was no price activity worthy of the name during the Far East trading session on their Thursday. But a rally commenced at 11 a.m. BST in London which ran into the obligatory not-for-profit seller at the Comex open in New York, and this sliced ten bucks off the price in about 30 minutes. But the rally continued shortly before 9 a.m. EDT, and topped out a few minutes after 12 o’clock noon. After that it traded more or less sideways until the 1:30 p.m. Comex close. Then it got sold down a bit into the close of electronic trading.The CME reported the low and high price ticks at $1,330.20 and $1,352.30 in the December contract.Gold closed in New York at $1,347.30 spot, which was up $13.60 from Wednesday’s close. Volume, net of October and November, was decent at 148,000 contracts.The price pattern in silver was pretty much the same as the price pattern in gold. The only two differences were the fact that the high tick came shortly after 11:30 a.m. in New York, and the sell-off in electronic trading was a little more pronounced than it was in gold.The CME recorded the low and high ticks as $22.51 and $22.91 in the December contract.Silver closed at $22.72 spot, which was well off its high, and up only 16 cents from Thursday’s close in New York. Volume, net of October and November, was on the lighter side at 34,000 contracts.Platinum closed back above its Tuesday close, and palladium finished the day flat. Here are the charts.
After Hurricane Maria hit, many people were left without access to water, food and power. But when food came, it raised a host of health concerns.As food aid began to arrive last fall, Twitter was full of complaints from recipients and their families expressing shock that the contents of relief boxes appear to be stuffed with items like candy bars, potted meat and cheese crackers.”Who in their right mind would think this qualifies as a meal?” tweeted CBS correspondent David Begnaud, quoting a Puerto Rican resident named Pedro who found candy and chips in his box.After seeing a flood of such social media posts, Uriyoán Colón-Ramos, a professor of public health at George Washington University, and a group of researchers went down to Puerto Rico to check it out. Colón-Ramos and her group analyzed 10 days’ worth of food shipments found at a FEMA distribution center in Barranquitas, Puerto Rico, six weeks after Hurricane Maria hit.They found that 11 of the 107 different food items in the warehouse were candy and chips, including M&Ms and Twizzlers. And every item in the fruit category, which included sweetened fruit cups and applesauce, exceeded the Dietary Guidelines for Americans’ recommendations for added sugars. Eighty-three percent of veggies, which were all canned, exceeded the recommended content of sodium.Some of the items analyzed were low-sugar and low-sodium, like canned sardines and fruit pouches packed in water, but these were in the minority, Colón-Ramos says.Even when she excluded candy and chips, Colón-Ramos found that meals made with the foods provided would exceed the upper limit recommended for daily sodium, added sugars or saturated fats.”As a public health nutritionist, I just don’t know why we are providing these foods,” she says. “How did these foods end up there, and who was monitoring them?”Colón-Ramos presented this data on June 11 at the Nutrition 2018 meeting in Boston. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans says to keep sodium below 2,300 milligrams per day and that less than 10 percent of your daily calories should come from saturated fats or added sugar.A typical meal plan using the foods found in the FEMA warehouse could include a ready-to-eat cereal and milk for breakfast, a morning and afternoon snack like dried peanuts or a cereal bar, tuna salad and crackers for lunch and a pre-packaged pasta dinner, Colón-Ramos says.Following the meal plan with these foods would meet the DGA food group recommendations but exceed the dietary limits for salt, saturated fat, or added sugars.In a situation where disaster has wiped out food options, people are happy for help. And who would deny a child who has been through a hurricane a piece of candy? But it doesn’t make for a healthy eating plan in the long-term, which is what some food assistance operations in disaster zones sometimes become. As NPR has reported, the island is still struggling to access power and rebuild.”In the past and traditionally, not just in the U.S. but globally, food aid has been focused on providing enough calories and enough water,” Colón-Ramos says. “It makes perfect sense: You don’t want people to be hungry, and you don’t want people to die out of dehydration.”But now, this type of aid may be outdated and unhealthy. Thirty to 35 percent of Puerto Rican adults already are obese.Ursula Marcos Tovar, a Manati, Puerto Rico, resident, received a FEMA box in October. She says the contents of the box were applesauce cups, animal-shaped cookies, beef jerky, canned pasta, bottled water and plastic cutlery. At that time, she and her family did not have power or water.The box, which were handed out to each of the homes in her community, was too small to sustain her family of four for long, but luckily food stores in the area were starting to open. Marcos Tovar says at the time, there was only dry food available and the ATMs weren’t working due to power outages.For the first two to three months after Maria, this was all the food her family could access. She only received one box of FEMA food aid during this time.”I’m thankful for [the food], it was a terrible time after Maria,” she says. “It was a little, but it was something.”In the municipality where Colón-Ramos did her analysis, she found that there was extremely low access to healthy food even before the hurricane. There was only one major grocery store in the entire municipality, with the rest being small corner shops.Colón-Ramos says food aid should increase accessibility to nutritious food for survivors. People in the area already had access to candy and chips through local stores, but none of them had options like nonfat milk. Fruits and vegetables were limited, as well as low-sodium protein options. Those are the kinds of things that FEMA should have been providing, she says.”Any foods that are distributed by the federal programs need to abide by the U.S. dietary guidelines,” she says, including limits on salt, sugar and fat.Colón-Ramos says the federal government also offers emergency SNAP programs that allow survivors to purchase their own food. But in a situation like this, where grocery stores are limited, people could only get more of the same high-sodium and sugar snacks.FEMA said in an email to NPR that food aid meals meet guidelines developed in consultation with various groups, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In a short shelf-life meal, there would be a fat content of 47 grams or less and a sodium limit of 800 milligrams, FEMA says. FEMA did not mention any requirements on sugar content.While individual meals or snacks may fall under the fat or sodium content, Colón-Ramos found that many could not simultaneously fit the food groups in the Dietary Guidelines’ daily recommendations.For example, one serving of canned Chef Boyardee ravioli that could be found in these boxes has a full meal’s worth of sodium and seven grams of fat.FEMA manages multiple contractors, and according to The Washington Post, is moving away from MREs and snacks and towards grocery boxes and hot meals.The food aid nutrition challenge isn’t new. Greg Gottlieb, a professor in nutrition and human security at Tufts who was not involved in the research, says that in the late 1990s, he ran into a problem like this one when delivering aid to the Soviet Union.”When we opened up some of those packages, they were candy,” he says. “There were Twizzlers.”Dried fruits like raisins and apricots could be a healthier option, but it’s also important to analyze what people actually eat where the aid is being delivered, he says. On top of that, it’s hard to escape sodium in things like canned tuna and vegetables.Colón-Ramos says there is a need for better monitoring of food aid and its health value, as well as more specific guidelines for those providing help.”We’re seeing a larger prevalence of chronic diseases that are diet-related, and we’re taking that in to consideration in food aid,” she says. “And we should, because those are now the most vulnerable populations to these kinds of disasters. The repercussions of what we may provide … it could have repercussions on people’s health.” Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
A new study shows that North Carolina continues to perform below average when it comes to overall child health conditions.The 2019 report by the nonprofit groups N.C. Child and the N.C Institute of Medicine was released in February.The state received an “F” grade for housing and economic security for the third consecutive report. According to the Winston-Salem Journal, this reflects a high percentage of children living in low-income homes and neighborhoods.The study also points to an increase in youth suicides over the past 10 years. Black high school students in 2017 were twice as likely to have attempted suicide in the past year, and much less likely to receive treatment for depression.The study did show progress in breastfeeding, oral health, HPV vaccinations for teens, and decreasing the number of teen births.While the state earned top marks for insurance coverage, the report says many more children could be covered with an expansion of the Medicaid program.
FROM DWP TO DNS: 2/6/16, 10.22amHi John,I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Copying in ***** who has joined the disability desk.Best***** FROM DNS TO DWP: 31/5/16, 11.35amThanks, ***** FROM DNS TO DWP: 2/6/16, 11.33amHi ***** (and *****)Just half an hour left…BwJohn FROM DWP to DNS 1/6/16, 2.01pmHi John,Apologies but our statement will be a little bit late, we will get it to you this afternoon. Sorry for letting you know late. Best***** FROM DWP TO DNS: 3/6/16, 9.22amFurther to my email below, I’ve just reread your email and believe the information ***** has provided to date already covers your points. Therefore, our original statement stands.Best wishes,***** FROM DNS TO DWP: 2/6/16, 1.04pmBy the way, I would still like to receive *****’s response for a follow-up, particularly as he has been working on it all morning.BwJohn FROM DWP to DNS: 1/6/16, 5.03pmHi JohnApologies again for the late response. A DWP spokesperson said:“Since December, 569 employers have registered with the Disability Confident scheme, and we’re continuing to receive around 100 registrations every month. The programme is supported by a range of major employers and small businesses across the UK – but we want to go even further to remove barriers, increase understanding and ensure disabled people have the opportunities to fulfil their potential in the workplace.”Background:In December 2015 we introduced a registration facility on Gov.UK for employers to register their interest to become more Disability Confident.Best***** FROM DNS TO DWP: 1/6/16, 6.05pmI’m sorry, *****, but I can’t use that. It doesn’t bear any relation to the points I raised, which were all about the partners you had signed up.I stress that I’m more than happy to include this information in the story as long as you actually engage with the points made, and also explain the difference between registering interest (which doesn’t seem to impose any obligations) and becoming a partner (which I’m guessing does).I’m afraid I’m not going to allow DWP to avoid answering the actual questions I asked.Can I assume the minister is on holiday, as I did ask something from him?I also asked for a contact in the minister’s private office to arrange an interview. If you could help with that I would be grateful.Best wishes,John FROM DWP TO DNS: 2/6/16, 5.30pmHi JohnJust to point out that you asked us to respond how we saw fit, which is what we did. To clarify: Being a disability confident partner means that the employer supports the scheme and we provide them with support and advice to become more disability confident, such as: Join our LinkedIn community and take part in the discussion. Share information, good practice and articles on disability employment mattersActively encourage other businesses to support the campaign -particularly amongst their networks or supply chainOffer a disabled person a work placementHost Disability Confident eventsAllow us to publicise their support of the campaign on Gov.uk.Registering interest means that once we have made improvements to the scheme we will provide the employer with details and they will be able to engage should they choose to. Have a good weekend.***** FROM DNS TO DWP: 2/6/16, 1.03pmThanks… FROM DWP TO DNS: 2/6/16, 12.50pmHi JohnApologies for any distress caused we do try our best to get answers to your questions within your deadline. ***** did provide a response yesterday – which you were not satisfied with. He has been working all morning on your follow up email.Please use the response provided yesterday. In your earlier email, you had asked us to comment on your draft how we saw fit – which we have done – rather than provide answers to specific questions.You also asked for a contact for private office re an interview at party conference. Please email ***** she is actually on leave at the moment but am sure she will pick up with you when she’s back.Kind regards,***** FROM DNS TO DWP: 2/6/16, 12.13pmThanks *****, but my deadline was actually yesterday. My final deadline ie when the stories are sent out, does not change. I always send my stories out between noon and 1pm on Thursday. ***** knows that (or should do).Can I point out – yet again, to DWP press office – that I have a mental health condition, and this constant running over deadlines and causing extreme stress with last minute responses puts my continuing fragile health at risk. I shouldn’t have to keep telling this to DWP – the home of Disability Confident.Best wishes,John FROM DNS TO DWP: 2/6/16, 5.03pm*****You haven’t explained the difference between registering interest (which doesn’t seem to impose any obligations) and becoming a partner (which I’m guessing does) which I asked yesterday evening.And you still haven’t engaged at all with the information I sent across to you about the DC partners. Can you tell me please whether DWP is disappointed with the figures that I emailed across to you?Clearly just asking you to respond to some clear information is not enough, and I have to treat you all like children and make it very, very clear exactly what the question is, otherwise you will find a way to avoid responding to it in a sensible way.Just so disappointing. And causing all of us extra work, when I thought civil servants were supposed to be understaffed and overworked.Is this really why you became a civil servant, *****?I’ll wait to hear from you, again, *****.Best wishes,John FROM DNS TO DWP: 3/6/16, 10.08amWhat is unacceptable, *****, is your office using every ploy you possibly can to avoid responding to a perfectly valid request for a comment on the very low numbers of partners signed up to Disability Confident. I sent you details of my analysis of the organisation signed up as partners, and ***** responded, way over deadline, with a two-line statement that did not mention any of the information I sent to him. How is that professional?If ***** is too ‘junior’ to deal with reasoned and reasonable criticism, then I suggest he is in the wrong job. How you can attempt to justify the response you your office has given me is beyond me. Are you seriously suggesting to me that when I am treated the way I have been this week by your press office, I should just suck it up and not respond? This is really, really disappointing, but I’m not going to allow the DWP press office to yet again get under my skin and cause this to escalate.I will ask you both, yet again, to respond to the points I made yesterday by 2pm today.I suspect I will have to say in my follow-up that DWP, despite repeated attempts, has refused/avoided commenting and explaining why the numbers are so ridiculously low, but I will at least give you a chance to do your job properly and respond to the figures I emailed you about Disability Confident partners.I’ll wait to hear from you.John FROM DWP TO DNS: 2/6/16, 4.23pmHi JohnHere’s a statement for your follow up: “We are currently looking at whether any further improvements can be made to Disability Confident. All of our partners, as well as the 569 employers who have already registered interest through Gov.UK, will receive details of any potential changes in due course.”We’ll be happy to keep you updated as and when we can. Best wishes,***** FROM DNS TO DWP: 2/6/16, 6.14pm*****I’m still waiting for you to respond to the information I sent across to you about the DC partners. Can you tell me please what DWP’s reaction is to the information I emailed across to you, and whether you are disappointed with them and why. Please respond to each of the criticisms included in the information ie please produce a comment in response to every paragraph I emailed you. Because of your previous failure to respond sensibly, I have pasted the paragraphs below, helpfully numbering each paragraph. Please respond to each paragraph ie paragraphs numbered 1 through 6.1 The government has signed up only about 40 mainstream private sector employers to its flagship Disability Confident employment scheme in nearly three years since it was launched by the prime minister, new figures reveal.2 An analysis by Disability News Service shows that – with the exception of 15 law firms, and recruitment, welfare-to-work and employment specialists, which would be expected to have an interest in the subject – the government appears to have persuaded just 25 non-disability-related companies to sign up to its national scheme, and one of those is a tiny café in Cornwall.3 Fresh analysis of the partners signed up to Disability Confident shows that of the 126 organisations, nearly half – an estimated 55 – are focused on representing or working on behalf of or for disabled people, such as Suffolk Coalition of Disabled People, Mencap and Disability Rights UK.4 Another 18 are public sector organisations, while there are also three quangos, a sports governing body and two social enterprises, but only about 40 mainstream private sector companies.5 Those 40 include major employers such as Airbus, Asda, Honda, Balfour Beatty, Barclays, Fujitsu, National Grid, Taylor Wimpey and Sainsbury’s… and the Cornish Maid Café in Falmouth, Cornwall.6 The analysis suggests that the efforts of successive ministers for disabled people – Esther McVey, Mike Penning, Mark Harper and Justin Tomlinson – have failed to persuade more than a tiny minority of businesses across the country to take the scheme seriously.Yes, I asked you to respond to the information, assuming that you would do so in a way befitting of a very well-paid civil servant ie that you would take a reasoned and sensible view of what I was looking for. Obviously I won’t do that again. Hence the above.I’ll wait to hear from you (again).John This is a blog which I shouldn’t have to write, but which I think demonstrates just how desperate the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has become to avoid admitting uncomfortable truths about its policies and performance.I believe this is an issue that raises important questions about the impartiality of the Civil Service under the current government, and the right of journalists to receive straight, clear, non-evasive answers to questions that are put to government press officers, particularly those within the DWP.It’s something I’ve been meaning to write for a while, and while DWP is by no means the only government department that is guilty of this, it is by far the worst offender.Yesterday, Disability News Service published a news story which showed that successive ministers for disabled people had signed up only about 40 mainstream private sector employers to their flagship Disability Confident employment scheme in the three years since it was launched.The story was based on an analysis by Disability News Service (DNS) of a list that appears on the Office for Disability Issues website.That analysis shows that – with the exception of 15 law firms, and recruitment, welfare-to-work and employment specialists, which often have a financial interest in disability issues – the government seems to have persuaded just 26 non-disability-related private sector organisations to sign up to its national scheme, and one of those is a small café in Cornwall.Because I like to give DWP a chance to respond to potential stories whenever I can – it’s the responsible and professional thing to do as a journalist – I approached the press office by email in the early hours of Tuesday for a comment on my analysis.What happened over the following three or so days does – in my opinion – raise serious questions about how the DWP press office has been allowed to operate over the last six years. They were evasive, refused to respond to the points I asked them to comment on, and over-ran the agreed deadline, all of which has become standard practice (on deadlines, if they don’t over-run, the comments will arrive minutes before they expire).Personally, I don’t blame the individual press officers. My gut feeling is that they are following orders, and have been told that if they don’t follow those orders, they will be disciplined. Of course, that doesn’t completely excuse them.Here is how my communications with DWP’s press office progressed over those three days. The email exchange is included in full, minus the names of the individual press officers (it is a matter of convention that journalists do not name government press officers).I suspect not many people will want to wade through the entire email exchange but I thought it was important to publish it in full – if only for my own satisfaction – as I believe it highlights the problems myself and other journalists are facing in dealing with DWP. I would be grateful for any feedback. Perhaps I’m over-reacting, but I don’t think so… FROM DWP TO DNS: 2/6/16, 11.39amHi John***** is chasing up for you now. We weren’t aware you needed something by 12:03pm. As always, we will try to come back to you as soon as possible.Kind regards,***** FROM DNS TO DWP: 31/5/2016, 00.13amHi *****/*****Hope you both had a good bank holiday.I’ve been amusing myself by analysing the organisations that have signed up as partners to Disability Confident. I’m afraid the numbers do not look good. I thought the best thing would be for me to email you the relevant bits of a rough draft of where the story is at the moment (see below), and then you can comment as you see fit, rather than me asking you particular questions.Would be grateful for a comment from the minister if possible, please, or from DWP if he’s on a beach somewhere. My deadline is 2pm Wednesday. Please let me know if that will not be possible.Also, could you please let me have the email address for the person I need to liaise with in the minister’s office re a possible interview at party conference? I know he won’t do one, but I have to ask anyway.Best wishes,JohnThe government has signed up only about 40 mainstream private sector employers to its flagship Disability Confident employment scheme in nearly three years since it was launched by the prime minister, new figures reveal.An analysis by Disability News Service shows that – with the exception of 15 law firms, and recruitment, welfare-to-work and employment specialists, which would be expected to have an interest in the subject – the government appears to have persuaded just 25 non-disability-related companies to sign up to its national scheme, and one of those is a tiny café in Cornwall.Fresh analysis of the partners signed up to Disability Confident shows that of the 126 organisations, nearly half – an estimated 55 – are focused on representing or working on behalf of or for disabled people, such as Suffolk Coalition of Disabled People, Mencap and Disability Rights UK.Another 18 are public sector organisations, while there are also three quangos, a sports governing body and two social enterprises, but only about 40 mainstream private sector companies.Those 40 include major employers such as Airbus, Asda, Honda, Balfour Beatty, Barclays, Fujitsu, National Grid, Taylor Wimpey and Sainsbury’s… and the Cornish Maid Café in Falmouth, Cornwall.The analysis suggests that the efforts of successive ministers for disabled people – Esther McVey, Mike Penning, Mark Harper and Justin Tomlinson – have failed to persuade more than a tiny minority of businesses across the country to take the scheme seriously. FROM DWP TO DNS: 3/6/16, 9.07amJohn,It is completely unacceptable and inappropriate for you to converse with ***** in this way. Frankly I’m surprised that a journalist of your standing would resort to making personal insults to a junior member of staff who is simply doing a job on behalf of the Department. If you had wanted answers to specific questions, you should have emailed them across when you first contacted us. As I recall, you asked the Department to respond in a way that we saw fit, which we did. Please provide a new deadline for the questions you have asked below.Regards,***** FROM DNS TO DWP: 1/6/16, 2.39pmThanks, *****, appreciate the update… FROM DWP TO DNS: 31/5/16, 10.29amHi JohnThanks for the enquiry, we’ll get back to you tomorrow. Best***** FROM DWP TO DNS: 3/6/16, 10.32amJohn,I’m afraid we’re going to have to draw a line under this one. We won’t be providing you a further statement on this issue.Regards,***** FROM DNS TO DWP: 3/6/16, 11.06amI think I’m probably going to have to blog on this later, because I don’t think this has been dealt with acceptably by your office. I will not be using the names of any press officers, though.bwJohn
A group launched last year to represent people with learning difficulties across England has been scrapped and replaced by a non-user-led organisation that will be partly controlled by service-providers.People First England (PFE) was set up last year by Gary Bourlet, who founded Britain’s first People First self-advocacy organisation in London in 1984 and fellow disabled activist Kaliya Franklin.They joined forces in a bid to set up the first national user-led organisation for people with learning difficulties to cover just England, which they hoped would develop into an umbrella organisation for self-advocacy groups across the country.In the first few weeks of the project they raised nearly £30,000, but it later struggled to raise further funds and they have now been forced into a merger that will leave people with learning difficulties in a minority on the new organisation’s board.At the time of its launch, concerns were raised by other self-advocacy campaigners that PFE’s plans to work closely with families, carers and groups not led by disabled people could eventually see it become a non-user-led organisation that would have more in common with service-provider charities like Mencap.A year on, some disabled activists fear that those concerns have been born out.PFE has now merged with the charity the Housing and Support Alliance – which had been supporting PFE – to create Learning Disability England (LDE), which was launched at the House of Lords this week.Instead of LDE being run by disabled people, power will instead be shared between “people with learning disabilities, families and friends, and organisations”, with a nine-strong board having three family representatives, three people from disability organisations and three self-advocates.LDE is likely to replace campaigning work previously done by the Learning Disability Alliance – which itself was made up of service-providers, the National Forum of People with Learning Disabilities and the National Valuing Families Forum – and the Learning Disability Coalition, which had a similar make-up to the alliance.But concerns have been raised that LDE’s funders include a string of organisations that earn money by providing services to people with learning difficulties, including Care Management Group, Brandon Trust, Advance Housing and Support, United Response and MacIntyre.Andrew Lee, director of policy and campaigns at People First Self-Advocacy, who raised concerns last year about PFE, said he was “very worried” about the new organisation and “not surprised that my concerns have actually become a reality”.He said he feared that LDE would lead to the voices of people with learning difficulties being “sidelined”, while he was also concerned about the risk of “tokenism”.He said: “Unless people with learning difficulties are in complete control of an organisation, then their voices will always be pushed aside.“I am very worried that the voices of people with learning difficulties are being trampled on in such a way.“Obviously the views of family members, although they are important, are not the actual views of people with learning difficulties.“They will always be different because people with learning difficulties will be saying, ‘I want choice and control, I want to live on my own, I want to get married, I want to have children and have aspiration,’ but they are being told, ‘you can’t,’ or ‘you can, with conditions’.”He said the creation of LDE highlighted the need for genuine, properly-funded self-advocacy organisations.Lee said he heard only last week that another local People First organisation had lost its funding, which he said came “at the very time when we need a strong voice”.LDE said that its immediate priorities would be to develop projects to support people with learning difficulties to speak to the media, and to be more involved in the political process, something PFE had focused on.It will also bring together “experts in various fields to help make policy stronger and effective”, work with a “network of academics to strengthen the effect of research”, set up a “fighting fund” to “help people challenge prejudice and discrimination”, and provide members with advice and support.Bourlet (pictured) told Disability News Service that there had not been enough funding to continue with PFE.Asked about replacing a user-led organisation with one that was partly controlled by the big service-provider organisations, which make money by providing services to people with learning difficulties, he said: “We are stuck in a hard place and people have to understand that money does not grow on trees.“They put the biggest amount of money in, but it doesn’t mean they will have the majority voting.”He said that the new organisation was about “all coming together” and “strength in numbers”.He said: “There are lots of good self-advocacy organisations and others saying the right things but it is easy to ignore because they are all doing it individually.“A lot of these local groups have been too wrapped up in getting local funding from local authorities.”He said there had been a mixed reaction to LDE from other self-advocates and self-advocacy groups.Bourlet said: “Some self-advocacy groups think you shouldn’t mix with families and professionals because families and professionals sometimes speak for us. Many self-advocates liked the idea that we had strength in numbers.”He said he hoped that PFE might be resurrected one day when there was more funding, and that they would look again at the idea in three years’ time.Bourlet said earlier in a statement that the new organisation would be “steered by people, families and organisations”.He said: “We are creating this now because for far too long services have been bad and self-advocates are tired of fighting a lone battle.“By coming together we can fight for better changes in our lives.”He added: “We are not equal in our society. If you have a learning disability, you’re more likely to die at a younger age than a non-disabled person.“Learning Disability England will bring people together to fight all these bad things that are happening and to campaign for the rights of people with learning disabilities and their families”.The disabled crossbench peer Baroness [Jane] Campbell spoke at the LDE launch event, and offered her support to the new organisation.She said: “For too long, people with learning disabilities have been consistently let down, sometimes at great cost.“The time is right for the voice of people with learning disabilities to be heard loud and clear.”After DNS asked her afterwards about concerns with the change from PFE to LDE, she said she had been impressed by the number of people with learning difficulties with enthusiasm for self-advocacy at the LDE launch event.But she said that most of what she knew about LDE was what she had learned at the launch, and she would now “have a good look” at the new organisation and how it was run.
GT Advanced Technologies Inc, a partner with Apple Inc in a sapphire glass plant in Arizona, said it had filed for voluntary bankruptcy protection.Shares of the company fell more than 90 percent to 96 cents after a trading halt was lifted on the Nasdaq.The company suffered a major setback last month when its scratch-resistant sapphire glass was left out of Apple’s new large-screen iPhones.”It would appear that something very fundamentally broke down in the relationship between Apple and GT Advanced,” Raymond James analyst Pavel Molchanov said in an email.Up to Friday’s close, GT Advanced shares had slumped 36 percent since Sept. 9 when Apple unveiled its latest iPhones.GT Advanced , whose subsidiaries also filed for bankruptcy, said it had $85 million of cash as of Sept. 29.The company listed assets and liabilities in excess of $1 billion in its Chapter 11 petition.The company, which filed for bankruptcy in a U.S. bankruptcy court in the District of New Hampshire, said it was seeking debtor-in-possession financing to get access to additional funds.GT Advanced said it expected the court to authorize it to continue to conduct business as usual while it reorganized.The company’s shares had more than doubled in the nine months between last month’s unveiling of the new iphones and Nov. 4, when the Arizona plan was first announced.The stock traded as high as $20.54 in early July.(Reporting by Swetha Gopinath in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila) Next Article Register Now » Reuters This story originally appeared on Reuters Bankruptcy Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. 2 min read Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Add to Queue October 6, 2014 –shares Apple Partner Files for Bankruptcy
Source:https://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/ai-system-may-accelerate-search-for-cancer-discoveries Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Nov 27 2018Searching through the mountains of published cancer research could be made easier for scientists, thanks to a new AI system.The system, called LION LBD and developed by computer scientists and cancer researchers at the University of Cambridge, has been designed to assist scientists in the search for cancer-related discoveries. It is the first literature-based discovery system aimed at supporting cancer research. The results are reported in the journal Bioinformatics.Global cancer research attracts massive amounts of funding worldwide, and the scientific literature is now so huge that researchers are struggling to keep up with it: critical hypothesis-generating evidence is now often discovered long after it was published.Cancer is a complex class of diseases that are not completely understood and are the second-leading cause of death worldwide. Cancer development involves changes in numerous chemical and biochemical molecules, reactions and pathways, and cancer research is being conducted across a wide variety of scientific fields, which have variability in the way that they describe similar concepts.”As a cancer researcher, even if you knew what you were looking for, there are literally thousands of papers appearing every day,” said Professor Anna Korhonen, Co-Director of Cambridge’s Language Technology Lab who led the development of LION LBD in collaboration with Dr Masashi Narita at Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute and Professor Ulla Stenius at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. “LION LBD uses AI to help scientists keep up-to-date with published discoveries in their field, but could also help them make new discoveries by combining what is already known in the literature by making connections between sources that may appear to be unrelated.”Related StoriesStudy: Nearly a quarter of low-risk thyroid cancer patients receive more treatment than necessaryTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskThe ‘LBD’ in LION LBD stands for Literature-Based Discovery, a concept developed in the 1980s which seeks to make new discoveries by combing pieces of information from disconnected sources. The key idea behind the original version of LBD is that concepts that are never explicitly linked in the literature may be indirectly linked through intermediate concepts.The design of the LION LBD system allows real-time search to discover indirect associations between entities in a database of tens of millions of publications while preserving the ability of users to explore each mention in its original context.”For example, you may know that a cancer drug affects the behaviour of a certain pathway, but with LION LBD, you may find that a drug developed for a totally different disease affects the same pathway,” said Korhonen.LION LBD is the first system developed specifically for the needs of cancer research. It has a particular focus on the molecular biology of cancer and uses state-of-the-art machine learning and natural language processing techniques, in order to detect references to the hallmarks of cancer in the text. Evaluations of the system have demonstrated its ability to identify undiscovered links and to rank relevant concepts highly among potential connections.The system is built using open data, open source and open standards, and is available as an interactive web-based interface or a programmable API.The researchers are currently working on extending the scope of LION-LBD to include further concepts and relations. They are also working closely with cancer researchers to help and improve the technology for end users.
In mid-September the European Union threatened to fine the Big Tech companies if they did not remove terrorist content within one hour of appearing online. The change came because rising tensions are now developing and being played out on social media platforms. US tech giants join forces against terror content Instead, they are increasingly developing and deploying AI technologies to automate the process of unwanted content detection and removal. But they are doing so with no oversight and little public information about how these AI systems work, a problem identified in a recent report by the Public Policy Forum.Twitter, according to its most recent transparency report, claims it used AI to take down more than 300,000 terrorist-related accounts in the first half of 2017. Facebook itself acknowledges that it is struggling to use make use of AI in an efficient manner on issues surrounding hate speech. CEO Mark Zuckerberg told members of the U.S. Congress earlier this year that AI still struggles to tackle the nuances of language dialects, context and whether or not a statement qualified as hate speech —and that it could take years to solve. However, the company also claims to be able to remove 99 per cent of ISIS and al-Qaida affiliated content using AI-powered algorithms and human content moderators. Whether AI or humans are the key to the company’s claims of success has not yet been independently investigated.The failure of AIIn 2017, 250 companies suspended advertising contracts with Google over its alleged failure to moderate YouTube’s extremist content. A year later, Google’s senior vice president of advertising and commerce, Sridhar Ramaswamy, says the company is making strong progress in platform safety to regain the lost confidence of its clients.However, a recent study by the NGO Counter Extremism Project refutes the effectiveness of the company’s effort to limit and delete extremist videos. More transparency and accountability from YouTube is needed, given that the study found that over 90 per cent of ISIS videos were uploaded more than once, with no action taken against the accounts that violated the company’s terms of service. Clearly there is no simple pathway forward. Removing content that is not harmful, offensive, extremist or illegal, even if it distasteful, is an impediment to free speech. In some cases, using AI to remove content has blocked legitimate material posted by human rights champions. For example, in 2017, Shah Hossain, a human rights activist found a significant number of his Facebook posts regarding the persecution of the Rohingya minority in Myanmar had been deleted. YouTube also erased his news channel, which had nearly 80,000 subscribers. Hossain was documenting human rights abuses, not espousing hate.In Syria, where independent journalism is severely restricted by war, videos and photos posted online by activists are crucial to understanding the situation in the country. In an attempt to crackdown on extremist content, however, YouTube’s AI-powered algorithms removed thousands of videos of atrocities against civilians. The videos were posted as evidence for the eventual prosecution of Syrian officials for crimes against humanity. This is quite troubling. Moving forwardWell-known social media giants have said publicly that they’ll put more resources into policing their platforms. However, given the current results, it’s time to consider if this approach is ethical and effective.The United Kingdom, France, Germany, the European Union and the United States, among others, have begun to openly discuss and implement regulatory measures on the tech industry, not only pertaining to terrorism and hate speech, but also digital election interference, the spread of “fake news” and misinformation campaigns. Canada has begun to take the issue seriously as well, forming the Digital Inclusion Lab at Global Affairs Canada, which works to strengthen the combined efforts of the G7. These are much needed initiatives. The big tech giants have been overselling the effectiveness of AI in countering hate on their platforms. Our democratic and open societies must put aside the notion that AI is the panacea for the problem at hand. Social polarization and growing mistrust across the planet will continue unless elected officials regulate Big Tech. 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. Provided by The Conversation Explore further Credit: CC0 Public Domain Citation: Big Tech is overselling AI as the solution to online extremism (2018, September 17) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-09-big-tech-overselling-ai-solution.html Social conflicts that once built up in backroom meetings and came to a head on city streets, are now building momentum on social media platforms before spilling over into real life. In the past, governments tended to control traditional media, with little to no possibility for individuals to broadcast hate. The digital revolution has altered everything.Terrorist organizations, most notably Islamic State (ISIS) militants, have used social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for their propaganda campaigns, and to plan terrorist attacks against civilians.Far right groups, including anti-refugee extremists in Germany, are also increasingly exploiting tech platforms to espouse anti-immigrant views and demonize minorities. From Sri Lanka to Myanmar, communal tensions —stoked online —have led to violence. Due to the growing political will within Western countries to regulate social media companies, many tech titans are arguing they can self-regulate—and that artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the key tools to curtail online hate. Several years ago, we created the Digital Mass Atrocity Prevention Lab to work on improving public policy to curb the exploitation of tech platforms by violent extremists.Oversold abilities?Tech companies are painfully aware of the malicious use of their platforms. In June 2017, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube announced the formation of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, which aims to disrupt extremist activities online. Yet as political pressure to remove harmful online content grows, these companies are beginning to realize the limits of their human content moderators. This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.
Last year about 1,000 runners were forced to quit the Stockholm Marathon due to extreme hot temperatures and the difficulty in staying hydrated. Researchers at KTH Royal Institute of Technology have developed a multifaceted measuring technology that is able to detect a number of conditions in the human body, from dehydration to renal failure. Future applications include both training apps and watches as tools to monitor health. 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. Citation: Blood and sweat take training app to the next level (2019, May 14) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-blood-app.html Gaston Crespo, a researcher at KTH says that one of the areas where the technology will be useful is in monitoring body fluid balance—in the form of electrolyte balance—so you don’t become dehydrated. “By keeping check on the sweat the human body secretes, users can be warned about becoming dehydrated in good time before problems arise, so they can either stop exercising or drink to rehydrate their body,” he says.The technology is designed to enable users to adapt their exercise to their individual circumstances and preferences, says Crespo, an Associate Professor in the Division of Applied Physical Chemistry at KTH.The technology takes measurements of blood and sweat with portable electrochemical sensors which can be woven into clothing or worn separately in direct contact with the skin, using an armband for example. The sensors are fitted in a patch that is attached to the skin, or as microneedles, depending on the type of app.”Both technology platforms can be used in medical contexts at home or during athletic activity. They could also be tools in hospitals and clinics.”Crespo says the sensors are able to detect a range of problems. Such as dehydration as already noted, plus electrolyte balance and kidney problems.”Kidney problems in particular are associated with the secretion of potassium ions for example and creatinine level in blood, which the technology can identify.”When it comes to exercise and sport, it’s not just fluid balance that can be measured. During intense physical exertion, lactic acid can build up in your bloodstream faster than you can burn it off and this is something the sensors can continuously monitor during the course of training.”The sensors can also measure how stressed a person is, and their attentiveness.”Could the technology and sensors be used with apps and watches such as Run Keeper and Fitbit? According to Crespo, this would be possible if the watch and app is able to import the type of data generated by the sensors and display this in a usable way. If so, training could be taken to the next level. Sensor-based technologies are promising to support independent living for older women Provided by KTH Royal Institute of Technology Explore further The armband measures your blood and sweat and sends the information to a training app. Credit: KTH The Royal Institute of Technology