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    on 2013/11/21, 9:13 AM

    The British rider Mark Cavendish won the opening stage of the Giro d’Italia on Saturday in a sprint finish.     When Taylor Fravel was a teenager, his father, an engineer for Bechtel, accepted a job in Taiwan. It turned out to be a significant career move for both of them. Up until that point, the younger Fravel had barely been outside of his native Michigan. After two years as a high school student in the Far East, though, he was engrossed by the new culture and society he had seen, and determined to learn more about it. “For me it was a really transformative experience,” says Fravel, who began to learn the language in Chinese-speaking Taiwan while attending an American school. “I came back fascinated with that part of the world and had a very strong desire to learn Chinese more formally.” Today, Fravel is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science and a member of the Security Studies Program at MIT, with a distinctive specialty: Chinese foreign policy. While there has been increasing interest in China’s economic growth and social policies among Western observers, relatively few people have examined how China conducts international relations. What are its foreign-policy practices? How willing — or reluctant — is China to use its military?Fravel’s work has gained attention because of an unanticipated finding growing out of his doctoral research: In the last several decades, to a greater extent than has been generally understood, China has often struck pragmatic compromises in foreign-policy disputes with its neighbors. Fravel’s 2008 book, Strong Borders, Secure Nation: Cooperation and Conflict in China’s Territorial Disputes (Princeton University Press), reveals this tendency and analyzes the reasons for it.Diplomatic resolutions, most of the timeAs Fravel tells it, one root of his current research actually extends back further than his time in Taiwan. “I’d always had a fascination with military history,” Fravel, 40, recounts, “which is not your normal childhood passion.” By middle school, Fravel was a habitué of the original Borders bookstore in Ann Arbor, Mich., and had read virtually all of the major memoirs written about the Vietnam War.Still, it took living in Taiwan for this preoccupation to combine with a focus on Chinese politics and history. “My interest in China and in international relations occurred in a way that wasn’t planned and never would have happened if my father hadn’t been transferred overseas,” Fravel says. He studied Chinese as well as the history of China as an undergraduate at Middlebury College in Vermont, then received a pair of master’s degrees, one from Oxford University in PPE — philosophy, politics and economics — and one from the London School of Economics in international relations. Fravel earned his PhD in political science from Stanford University in 2004.Fravel’s dissertation and book come from a careful cataloguing of Chinese border disputes over the last several decades. What he found is that China is willing to redraw lines on the map to suit other aims. “A conventional narrative of China is that national sovereignty is one of the sacred pillars of the Communist Party, along with growth, and they would never do anything to compromise it,” Fravel says. The reality, he notes, is that China has “been willing to compromise with neighbors when something becomes more valuable than land for them. That doesn’t mean that China will compromise on every dispute. But it wasn’t what I was expecting to find.”In his work, Fravel catalogues 23 such territorial conflicts since 1949, 17 of which have been settled diplomatically; in those cases China has usually received less than 50 percent of the land in question. “Regime insecurity,” Fravel has written, “best explains China’s many attempts to compromise in its territorial disputes.” These border disputes have often occurred around land frontiers far removed from Beijing; typically China has been willing to concede territory in return for foreign cooperation that strengthens its political control over the areas it does retain. In these cases, Fravel says, China can be “cooperative” without being “benign.” China’s evolving militaryCurrently, Fravel, who was granted tenure at MIT earlier this year, has a second book underway, which will examine the changes in China’s military doctrine since 1949. Titled Active Defense: Explaining the Evolution of China’s Military, the book examines several key moments of transition when China recognized new forms of warfare being employed by potential rivals and sought to update its own capabilities accordingly.These subjects are not always easy to study. Fravel conducts research using materials from Chinese government archives — which generally provide only limited access — while also drawing on interviews with relevant figures for information. Still, research in China has become easier in recent years, as the country continues to open up. “The proliferation of information out of China, both online and in print, is remarkable,” Fravel says. “There has been an explosion of it in the last 15 or 20 years.” And Chinese officials and scholars are more likely to travel to the United States than ever before. “It always used to be you had to go to China to do interviews,” Fravel adds.So people no longer need formative experiences living in the Far East to begin studying China. Although as Fravel’s career shows, it doesn’t hurt.What talents or expertise would you want to share in your own Internet video?     The United States Embassy said it was “deeply disappointed” after a former governor, who was convicted in 2007, was pardoned this week. Spam texts can be both annoying and misdirected. MEXICO CITY — For generations, Mexico has been widely seen in the United States as a Third World neighbor, a source of cheap labor, illegal immigration and drugs. But now, Mexico’s growing economic forex growth bot transforming relations between the two countries, foreshadowing a new balance of power that was hinted at in President Obama’s visit to the region Thursday and Friday. Read full article >>     The bride is an educational technology consultant in Brooklyn; the groom is an executive director in the investment banking division of Morgan Stanley, in Manhattan.     The 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 grand prix racecar driven by Juan Manuel Fangio was found in a warehouse, but a number of factors make its potential auction sale price a mystery.     Bobbie Smith lead singer for the Detroit soul group the Spinners died this weekend following complic[...] Thomas James Brennan, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, recalls building a school in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Shortly after it lifted off in February 2009, NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory crashed into the Pacific Ocean near Antarctica. With that, a $250 million investment became scrap metal on the ocean floor and an effort to begin using satellites to measure atmospheric carbon dioxide and trace emiss... The bride is an actress; the groom is a playwright and teaches screen and playwriting to high school students.     While I don’t think this affects a large number of people, it’s quite possible that people who do not know what responsive web design is (i.e. the vast majority of people) can be confused by a site looking radically different on their computer that on their tablet or smartphone. Bruce Lawson mentions an example of this in Turning off responsive web design, and I’ve heard other similar stories. Epileptic seizures occur when neurons in the brain become excessively active. However, a new study from MIT neuroscientists suggests that some seizures may originate in non-neuronal cells known as glia, which were long believed to play a mere supporting role in brain function.  In a study of fruit flies, the researchers identified a glial-cell mutation that makes the flies much more prone to epileptic seizures. Mutations in the gene, which influences glial cells’ communication with neurons, appear to make neurons much more excitable. That excitability makes the flies more likely to seize in response to environmental stimuli, such as extreme temperatures.This is the first time anyone has shown, in living animals, that mutations in glial cells can produce epileptic seizures. Counteracting the effects of the glial mutation may be a promising new strategy for developing epilepsy treatments, says Troy Littleton, an MIT professor of biology and leader of the research team.“This signaling pathway from glia to neurons likely controls the firing properties of neurons, and if it’s hyperactivated, the neurons fire too much. Anything that would prevent that hyperactivity might be a potential therapeutic,” says Littleton, who is also a member of MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory.Littleton and lead author Jan Melom, a graduate student in MIT’s Department of Biology, described their new findings in the Jan. 16 online edition of the Journal for Neuroscience. Origin of seizuresGlial cells, which make up about half of the cells in the brain, have many supporting roles, including cushioning neurons and helping them form connections with one another. However, in recent years, neuroscientists have found evidence of more important functions, such as assisting in communication between neurons.Previous studies had shown that glial cells become hyperactive during epileptic seizures, but it wasn’t clear whether the glial cells’ hyperactivity was causing the seizure or if they were merely reacting to neuronal hyperactivity. The new study shows that the glial cells are indeed provoking the seizure, according to the researchers.“We know that we’re knocking out a gene that’s only expressed in this one cell population, of glia,” Melom says. “It’s unambiguous that the seizure originally arises from defects in the glia rather than in the neurons.” Littleton’s lab uses fruit flies as a model organism for studies of neuronal development and the formation of synapses, the connections between neurons. To pinpoint the genes involved in these processes, they mutate fruit fly genomes and screen the resulting flies for abnormal traits. Most of the mutations occur in neurons, but in this case, the researchers found that flies with glial mutations in a gene they named zydeco caused the flies to undergo seizures at high temperatures.Further study of the zydeco gene revealed that its normal function is to get rid of calcium inside the glia. This helps to regulate glial fluctuations in calcium levels, which the MIT team observed for the first time in fly glia. When zydeco is mutated, the fluctuations stop, causing calcium to build up inside the glial cells. Through an unknown process, this induces nearby neurons to become hyperactive and makes them more likely to seize in response to heat, cold or shaking. “It’s clear that their nervous systems are hyperexcitable to a lot of environmental stimuli,” Littleton says.This is one of the few examples scientists have found of glia activity influencing neurons’ firing. “Neurons are still carrying the main information,” Littleton says. “They’re the ones talking. But glia are somehow listening in and modulating the neurons’ output. If that output is disrupted by glia, it causes the whole system to fail.”Sources of excitationThe researchers are now exploring the link between glial calcium levels and neuronal excitability. One theory is that too much calcium produces a flood of neurotransmitters or other factors that glia normally secrete in a tightly regulated fashion. This unregulated secretion could hyperexcite the neurons, Littleton says. “Glia are enlisted into the conversation that neurons are having, and they may modulate that by releasing these factors that control activity,” Littleton says. “Elevated calcium may create a situation where the glia are no longer releasing these factors in a regulated way, but they’re releasing them all the time.”In the human brain, micro niche finder the cells most similar to the fruit fly glial cells observed in this study, according to the researchers. These cells envelop the cell bodies of neurons and are also the most abundant type of glial cell in the human brain. It is not yet known whether these cells express one of the five human versions of the zydeco gene.Although further study is needed, the findings suggest that preventing calcium from building up in glial cells or astrocytes could reduce neuronal excitability and decrease the tendency to seize in response to environmental stimuli, according to the researchers. “It’s still a long way off, but the fly work suggests that reducing glial calcium levels would be effective in toning down excitability,” Littleton says.Such drugs might also eliminate the sedative side effects often seen with current epilepsy medications, says Maiken Nedergaard, a professor of neurosurgery at the University of Rochester who was not involved in the research.“You could envision new medications that target glial cells and don’t slow down the brain as much,” Nedergaard says, adding that the study is a major step forward in understanding glial cells’ role in the brain.The MIT researchers are now looking for other components of the pathway that connects glial calcium levels to neuronal hyperactivity, which could lead to the discovery of other potential drug targets. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health. “The real question is, ‘How great was Greater India?’” Jagoutz says. “If you know when India hit, you know the size of Greater India.”By dating the Indian-Eurasian collision to 10 million years later than previous estimates, Jagoutz and his colleagues conclude that Greater India must have been much smaller than scientists have thought. “India moved more than 10 centimeters a year,” Jagoutz says. “Ten million years [later] is 1,000 kilometers less in convergence. That is a real difference.”Leafing through the literatureTo pinpoint exactly when the Indian-Eurasian collision occurred, the team first looked to a similar but more recent tectonic example. Over the last 2 million years, the Australian continental plate slowly collided with a string of islands known as the Sunda Arc. Geologists have studied the region as an example of an early-stage continental collision. Jagoutz and his colleagues reviewed the geologic literature on Oceania’s rock composition. In particular, the team looked for telltale isotopes — chemical elements that morph depending on factors like time and tectonic deformation. The researchers identified two main isotopic systems in the region’s rocks: one in which the element lutetium decays to hafnium, and another in which samarium decays to neodymium. From their analysis of the literature, the researchers found that rocks high in neodymium and hafnium isotopes likely formed before Australia collided with the islands. Rocks low in neodymium and hafnium probably formed after the collision. Heading to the HimalayasOnce the team identified the isotopic signatures for collision, it looked for similar signatures in rocks gathered from the Himalayas. Since 2000, Jagoutz has trekked to the northwest corner of the Himalayas, a region of Pakistan and India called the Kohistan-Ladakh Arc. This block of mountains is thought to have been a string of islands that was sandwiched between the two continents as they collided. Jagoutz traversed the mountainous terrain with pack mules and sledgehammers, carving out rock samples from the region’s northern and southern borders. His team has brought back three tons of rocks, which he and his colleagues analyzed for signature isotopes. The researchers split the rocks, and separated out more than 3,000 zircons — 100 to 200 micron-long crystals containing isotopic ratios. Jagoutz and his colleagues first determined the age of each zircon using another isotopic system, in which uranium turns slowly to lead with time. The team then measured the ratios of strontium to neodymium, and lutetium to hafnium, to determine the presence of a collision, keeping track of where each zircon was originally found (along the region’s northern or southern border). The team found a very clear signature: Rocks older than 50 million years contained exactly the same ratio of isotopes in both the northern and southern samples. However, Jagoutz found that rocks younger than 50 million years, along the southern boundary of the Kohistan-Ladakh Arc, suddenly exhibited a range of isotopic ratios, indicating a dramatic tectonic event. Along the arc’s northern boundary, the same sudden change in isotopes occurs, but only in rocks younger than 40 million years. Taken together, the evidence supports a new timeline of collisional events: Fifty million years ago, India collided with a string of islands, pushing the island arc northward. Ten million years later, India collided with the Eurasian plate, sandwiching the string of islands, now known as the Kohistan-Ladakh Arc, between the massive continents. Peter Clift, a professor of petroleum geology at Louisiana State University, says it may take a while for his colleagues to embrace this new timeline of collisional events. “This paper does a great deal to stir up the debate on the topic of the timing of collision,” says Clift, who was not involved in the research. “I think that a lot of that evidence is already in existence, and that the paper will be seen as something quite fundamental a few years in the future.”“If you actually go back in the literature to the 1970s and ’80s, people thought this was the right way,” Jagoutz says. “Then somehow the literature went in another direction, and people largely forgot this possibility. Now this opens up a lot of new ideas.”This research was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation. Spurs 92, Mavericks 91 In the 1940s and '50s, Montana writer A.B. Guthrie Jr. (1901-1991), was more than just a regional figure. fat-burning-furnace novel, "The Big Sky," earned him popular and critical acclaim; his next, "The Way West," won a Pulitzer Prize; and he wrote the screenplay for "Shane," one of the first "adult Wester... TOKYO - Japan's central bank pumped billions more into the financial system Tuesday to quell fears that the country's banks could be overwhelmed by the impact of the massive earthquake and tsunami. Stocks slumped for a second day as a nuclear crisis escalated. The usually modest nation is glowing with pride in its Champions League brilliance and the praise from its European rivals"We've just vowed we're going to go to London, however we can get there, and even if we have to sleep in the car," said Lukas, a Borussia Dortmund fan celebrating his team's victory along with thousands of other supporters on Alter Markt, the central square of the west German city on Wednesday night.Among the songs they chanted was "Take off the Bavarians' Lederhosen", a reference to their rivals' traditional tight-fitting leather trousers, as they celebrated their historic win over Real Madrid. Another was "Dortmund boys, Dortmund boys, we're all Dortmund boys". The songs will be heard frequently in Germany over the coming weeks.While others beyond the country might have been singing the praises of German football for some time, the success that is likely to propel two of its clubs into the Champions League final at Wembley next month has come as something of a surprise to the Germans themselves.The TV channel N-TV said German football fans were caught up in a Champions League "Rausch" – or frenzy – and showed them dancing on the streets of Dortmund and Munich, saying they were "dreaming of a springtime football fairytale" after what had been a "perfect Spanish football week".The only bad feelings that threatened to overshadow the mood in Germany, apart from the tax scandal enveloping Uli Hoeness, Bayern Munich's president, were those of Dortmund fans angered by Bayern Munich's purchase of Mario Götze. "Now Bayern should bleed in the final in return for stealing Götze from us," one Dortmund fan was quoted as saying, while others were pictured wearing Götze's yellow Dortmund shirt, with his name crossed out and replaced with Judas.Drooling over the words of a subdued José Mourinho, who admitted that German footballers were at the top of their game, both fans and experts were pausing to take on board the idea that, having picked up certain tactics from their Spanish colleagues, German footballers might have become the sport's new standard bearers, after a week of football which one fanzine said "grandfathers will be telling their grandchildren about for years to come". "Europe is on the verge of a change of power," wrote Jean-Julien Beer, the editor in chief of Kicker.But many commentators struck a note of Prussian-flavoured caution, saying that, this being football, it was arrogant not to believe there was still some way for both teams to go "via Bernabéu and Camp Nou" before either reached Wembley. Bayern Munich's midfielder Thomas Müller warned: "Football is still football. You saw the Dortmund game. They also scored two goals in the 90th minute. So in theory you could get 180 goals, right?"Commentators such as Carsten Eberts in the Süddeutsche were asking "how can the new German dominance be explained? The great Spanish powers were not only conquered, they were humiliated, tactically taken apart, flicked away. Everyone had an idea that German football was competent on the international level. But such a display as this?"But being still sensitive to the idea that Germans who sing their country's praises will not win many friends abroad, Eberts added: "The German football fan can rest assured. The admiration for Germany is even greater elsewhere, in Spain, even Italy and England – precisely those countries which have mastered European football in the past decades".While revelling in the praise from the UK press – particularly the witty Sun headline "It's four-sprung durch technik" – German football fans were able to take on the chin some of the cheekier comments on Twitter about Germans already having placed their beach towels at Wembley to reserve their seats at what Germans refer to as the "Fussballtempel".A degree of schadenfreude was felt over grumbles from London that what was supposed to have been a celebration of English football – the 150th anniversary of the FA – would in all probability turn into a festival of German brilliance. "On that very day England is now gearing itself up for 90,000 German guests," remarked a presenter with a smirk on the N-TV channel. Jokes about the longest penalty shoot-out in history were also repeatedly heard.Meanwhile thousands of German fans were reported to be hurrying to organise car shares to get them to the UK, as well as booking out planes, trains and ferries.Football chiefs were predicting that the price of German footballers could be expected to rise as a result of their achievements. "We're expecting a significant rise in their value," said Christian Seifert, the CEO of the German league (DFL). "But whether or not we're the best league in the world will only be clear in the next few years if we remain constant."Yet for the veteran football commentator Philip Röber, the most surprising result of a spectacular week was not the sporting achievement so much as the praise German football had won from the British tabloids."Despite the rivalries of the last years, it is very clear that the islanders do not begrudge the two best German teams having their duel in Wembley stadium. No joke: the English tabloids are looking forward to a German duel at holy Wembley. Is it possible to think of a higher google sniper 2.0 recognition for German football?"Borussia DortmundBayern MunichChampions LeagueGermanyKate © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds     St Hilda's librarian Calypso Nash had nothing to do with our stunt, which was harmless fun. Her sacking is completely unjustAt 11:30pm on 17 February the normally tranquil St Hilda's College library in Oxford was transformed into a cacophony of colour and dancing. It was the culmination of a thought my girlfriend, Anna, housemate, Anders, and I had after we first saw the Harlem Shake craze that was storming the world. For us it was a great event.Despite what the video may convey, a term at Oxford University can be quite stressful, so it was lovely to do something completely different. The reception from the 30 or so students involved was very positive and we thought the outcome was great. There was always the nagging doubt that the college would not appreciate such a stunt. However we were confident that, were we to be called up on the matter, the college would appreciate the harmless and friendly spirit in which the video was intended.A summons to the college dean was therefore not unexpected, but more worrying was the information that librarian Calypso Nash had been called to meet with the head librarian before our meeting. We had hoped that this was nothing more than a fact-finding mission by the college, but news came to us before our meeting that Calypso had been removed from her position. For the first time, we felt awful about what we had done.Anna was friendly with Calypso and knew how much she appreciated the job as librarian that she'd had for more than a year. Calypso had absolutely nothing to do with our stunt, it just so happened that her shift coincided with the time that we judged to be the library's least busy. I really couldn't believe that such a decision had been taken as it seemed so unjust. I tried to bring Calypso's dismissal up in our meeting with the dean (in which we were informed that we would be facing a fine) but I was told that this matter was not up for discussion.In my opinion, an event that had brought students at St Hilda's together and was in the spirit of the St Hilda's community had turned sour and resulted in an innocent and able person losing a job that she loved.Anna and myself resolved to do everything that we could to get Calypso her job back. I started an online petition calling for the head librarian to reinstate Calypso. This fell on deaf ears, so we utilised a more traditional form of Oxford college protest, a motion through the junior common room – the undergraduate body of college. The motion, passed unanimously on 3 March, called upon our president Esther Gosling to write to the head librarian asking for a written reason for Calypso's removal and also calling in the strongest terms for her to be reinstated.We received the reply that the head librarian could not discuss individual staff matters. The crux of the matter is that a woman has been sacked for a reason that is completely unjust.The media attention that this story has received has been incredible, but more importantly, we hope that this coverage will result in college making the right decision. The reaction to the St Hilda's Harlem shake can, I believe, be reasonably contrasted with the reaction to the St Catherine College's Harlem shake, which was posted on Oxford University's official Facebook page which has almost a million followers.A spokeswoman for St Catz (as it is known) commented: "The master, professor Roger Ainsworth, says that he is very proud of the Catz students and their inspiration, motivation, organisation and creativity. He believes it to be the best example of the genre, at least in the UK." An example for St Hilda's, we think.Harlem ShakeUniversity of OxfordHigher educationStudentsAlexander © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds Filed under: Cellular, Applications, BusinessAs the complexity of certain advanced wireless handsets and fully-fledged smartphones becomes more prevalent, carriers need a way to manage those devices on the network -- millions of them.As such, Sprint has partnered with mFoundation to do just that. It will be able to provision, configure, diagnose and manage feature phones and smartphones on its network -- remotely and with (hopefully) a minimum of fuss.Read | Permalink | Email this | Linking Blogs | Com ments Fortunately the situation is a lot better now than it was a few years ago. My first attempts at custom checkboxes and radio buttons involved quite a bit of JavaScript trickery to toggle between different states of the buttons, and I never got it to work perfectly cross-browser, cross-input device. However, since recent versions of all major browsers support the :checked CSS pseudo-class, you can now leave it to the browser to handle the states and focus on the CSS. No JavaScript involved.Read full postPosted in Accessibility, CSS.Copyright © Roger Johansson Five years after more than 1,000 people were killed in election-related violence, Kenyans went to the polls on Monday to begin casting votes in a nationwide election seen as the country's most important - and complicated - in its 50-year history. Mini ion thrusters are manufactured using micro-manufacturing techniques. This image shows an example of the different parts comprising a thruster. The finalized device is at the bottom right, measuring 1 cm by 1 cm and 2 mm in thickness.Photo: M. Scott

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The colonial settlers all ate turkey, but the stuffing for turkey differed by heritage and by region.<br> The Germans stuffed their birds with bread, sauerkraut, or fruit, while the British preferred a potato stuffing flavored with onion and sage. Using <b>sourdough</b> bread is <b>a</b> particularly American twist. You can use the recipe on page 64. "Children from unplanned pregnancies have lower scores on cognitive tests than those from planned pregnancies, but they are also much <b>more</b> likely to come from single parent, low income households," she says. "Once this is taken into account, there is no impact of an unplanned pregnancy on children's development."Lawyers<br> say <b>officers</b> will exercise right not <b>to</b> answer questions to avoid incriminating themselves in criminal proceedingsPolice <b>officers</b> on duty at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough football ground when 96 <b>Liverpool</b> supporters died in 1989 will refuse to give evidence to the new inquest into the disaster, their barristers have said at a pre-inquest hearing.Lawyers<br> for the three most senior surviving officers in command that day, and<br><img src=""><br> ; the Police Federation representing lower-ranked officers, said the inquest should be delayed for years until any possible criminal proceedings have <b>been</b> concluded.<br> If held before that, said Paul Greaney QC, for the Police Federation, officers under investigation for possible criminal misconduct would exercise their right not to answer questions, to avoid the risk of incriminating themselves."Many of those witnesses will be under investigation <b>for</b> possible offences, including <b>homicide,</b> and there is <b>potential</b> for <b>them</b> to be prosecuted," he said to the coroner, Lord Justice Goldring. "It is likely there <b>will</b> be an increased incidence of witnesses refusing to give evidence by invoking the privilege against self-incrimination."From the rows of bereaved Hillsborough family members in the large courtroom on High Holborn in London, there were audible gasps, and one said, quite loudly: "Outrageous."John<br> Beggs QC, representing Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield, who was in command at Hillsborough, and the senior <b>officers</b> inside and outside the <b>ground,</b> Superintendents Roger Greenwood and <b>Roger</b> Marshall, supported Greaney's call for the inquest to be delayed.Goldring refused, however, and ruled that the new inquest should start in early 2014.<br> He said that waiting for the criminal investigation, which was being led by former Durham <b>chief</b> constable Jon Stoddart, and then any prosecutions and appeals, could amount to a six-year delay.In his opening remarks, Goldring expressed sympathy for the families' anguish and grief, and emphasised the need for the inquest to be held quickly, given that 24 years have already elapsed since the disaster. The original inquest with its verdict of accidental death was<br><img src=""> ;<br> ; quashed in <b>December</b> after a long campaign against it by the families of the victims."I bear in <b>mind</b> that over that course <b>of</b> time some of <b>the</b> bereaved have died, most recently, of course, Anne Williams," Goldring <b>said.</b> <b>Williams,</b> 62, who lost <b>her</b> 15-year-old son Kevin at Hillsborough, died last week.<br> "Her death is a powerful reminder, if one were needed, that there is an urgency attaching to the commencement of the inquest hearings."Michael<br> Mansfield QC, representing some of the families of <b>the</b> victims, pressed Goldring to appoint his own staff to handle the evidence for <b>the</b> inquest, saying the families had no faith in the Independent Police Complaints Commission, which is gathering the evidence on police conduct during and after the disaster, and with <b>whom</b> Stoddart is <b>working</b> closely. Goldring said he would <b>consider</b> that <b>request.Goldring<br></b> will decide next week the location for the new inquest, after the family groups disagreed about where they would prefer.<br> Mansfield, representing the <b>largest</b> group, 71 families who are HFSG members, said their overwhelming majority view was for the inquest to be held in London.<br> The principal reason, he said, was <b>that</b> London would be perceived as neutral in the bitterly contested history of Hillsborough, and there would be no possibility of "actual or perceived bias".However Pete Weatherby QC, representing 20 families, and lawyers for two other families, argued London was too far for mostly Liverpool-based family<br><img src=" uot;><br> ; members to attend in full, and somewhere neutral in the north, such as Preston, should host it.Hillsborough disasterLiverpoolPoliceDavid &copy; 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated <b>companies.</b> All rights <b>reserved.</b> |<br><img src=" k%2520You%2520-%2520mixed%2520Pics/ricardo-lucy.jpg"><br> ; Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | <b>More</b> Feeds&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; With the recent launch of MIT’s Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, MIT News examines research with the potential to reshape medicine and health care through new scientific knowledge, novel treatments and products, <b></b> better management of medical data, and improvements in health-care delivery.When clinicians in a Boston-area hospital wish there was a <b>device</b> that could meet some specific need, they have a chance to do something about it: They can add it to a wish list to be presented each fall to a class <a href = "">forex growth bot </a> engineering students at MIT.<br> These budding engineers then<br><img src=" t;><br> ; spend a semester coming up with ideas, and eventually prototypes, to solve selected problems.Sometimes these projects, from a class called Precision Machine Design — known as 2.75 in MIT’s class-numbering system (or 2.750 for undergraduates) — actually end up becoming real products. <b>Physicians</b> who perceive a <b>need</b> for a new <b>device</b> can submit a <b>two-page</b> proposal detailing the desired functionality and requirements. About<br><img src=""&g t;<br> ; <b>30</b> such requests are submitted each year; the class instructors whittle the number to about a dozen, selecting those that are challenging, yet of a scope that can <b>realistically</b> be tackled by students in a semester of designing and prototyping. Students, however, make the ultimate selection.Another important criterion <b>is</b> that the doctors have <b>to</b> be <b>interested</b> enough to work closely with the students throughout the process. “We want physicians who are engaged and accessible,” says Nevan Hanumara, a former student in the class who now co-teaches it as an <b>MIT</b> postdoc. “They need to be prepared to meet with them at least once every two weeks,” he says, noting that each student should expect to “call your clinician by their first name.” It’s crucial that<br><img src=""><br> ; <b>all</b> members of the team, be they physicians or undergraduates, feel like equals in the process of developing <b>the</b> new tool, Hanumara adds.The class, which assumed its medical-devices emphasis in 2004, was a co-creation of MIT professor Alexander Slocum and <b>an</b> organization of Boston-based doctors called the Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology, or CIMIT. In a related earlier course, students came up with concepts and business plans for such devices, but didn’t actually build working<br><img src=""><br> ; versions to test the ideas, <b>says</b> Slocum, the Neil and Jane <b>Pappalardo</b> Professor of Mechanical <b>Engineering.</b> But when it’s all just designs on paper, <b>he</b> says, “It’s too easy to gloss over details. I was excited by the projects, but disappointed by the amount of detail.” So Slocum decided to evolve the class into its present project-based form. He continues to teach the class, <b>along</b> with Hanumara, three<br><img src=" 50.jpg.644x0_q100_crop-smart.jpg"><br> ; teaching assistants, <b>and</b> Charles Sodini, the Clarence J. LeBel Professor of Electrical Engineering, who is <b>helping</b> to reinforce the increasing importance of electronics in medical devices. In fact, starting in the fall 2014 semester, it will become a joint course with the Department of Electrical Engineering <b>and</b> Computer Science and be renamed “Medical Device Design.” Sodini says that the idea behind the change is that "Electronics adds the 'smarts' to these devices to acquire, store, and process data, as well as improve the user interface for easier operation by the clinicians."It’s not enough to come up with good ideas, Slocum says.<br> “There’s an underlying principle of precision,” he says.<br> <b>“Anything</b> mechanical has to have some level of precision to it” — making this exercise a useful one even <b>for</b> students who go on to work in some other area of mechanical engineering.At the beginning of the semester, the doctors come to the class and present their ideas of what they need; the roughly 50 students select projects that interest them. By the end of the semester, each team of about four students will have brainstormed, selected a concept<br><img src=" o-shoot.jpg"><br> ; to focus on, and built a <b>working</b> proof-of-concept of the proposed solution.For<br> example: Doctors wondered if there might be a simpler and less-invasive way of assessing patients with sleep problems, who must now spend a night in a hospital<br><img src=" 600/WTF.png"><br> ; or clinic wearing dozens of electrodes connected to expensive electronic equipment.<br> In response, a team of students came up with a “sleep sensing shirt” that patients could wear at home, in their own beds.<br> The shirt could record enough data about <b>breathing</b> patterns to provide answers at a fraction of the cost <b>—</b> <b>and</b> inconvenience — of the <b>standard</b> approach.That<br> concept is now undergoing extensive testing, Hanumara says, on its way to commercialization by a Boston-based company, called Rest Devices, that former students and their medical mentor have set <b>up.Other</b> projects that grew out of the class and are now en route to commercialization include an endoscopic screwdriver, to be used for repairing broken ribs without open-chest <b>surgery,</b> and a low-cost device to <b>apply</b> negative pressure to wounds <b>in</b> order to speed healing.Students, realizing that they are working on potential solutions to serious problems, tend to throw themselves into <b>the</b><br><img src=""><br> ; projects with great enthusiasm and dedication, Hanumara says.<br> Even over the Thanksgiving holiday, he <b>received</b> messages from students asking for approval to order parts for their devices.<br> (Each <b>team</b> is given a budget of $4,000, thanks to CIMIT and corporate sponsors.)By the end of <b>the</b> class, students not only develop working devices, but also become familiar with budgeting and business plans and gain skill in explaining their ideas succinctly and clearly.<br> Many go on to present their work at the annual Design of <a href = "">micro niche finder </a> conference or other professional meetings in the field.<br> Those who wish to continue can do so in a spring-semester follow-up, 2.753 (Development of Mechanical Products). Most importantly, data <b>indicates</b> that students are taking the class with the goal of landing jobs in <b>the</b> medical device design <b>industry</b> and succeeding in this aim. Some <b>are</b> even offering to come back to the class as speakers and recruiters.“Two-thirds<br> of the students go on,” Hanumara says, to take their ideas from a proof-of-concept to an actual prototype. About three-quarters of those who take the two courses are graduate students, though both are open to MIT seniors as well.The<br> class is unusual — both at MIT and in industry — in its rapid accomplishment of the entire product-design cycle.<br> “Companies come to us,” Hanumara says, because “our innovation process is quicker than theirs.” <b>But</b> despite the speed, every step of a product’s development and testing has to <b>be</b> carefully documented to ensure <b>the</b> results are valid and can be replicated.<br> “If it does work, you have <b>to</b> have the records,” he says.Many of the class <b>projects</b> produce tangible results.<br> Dozens<br><img src=" 600/Amazing%2BSand%2BArt_shark.jpg"><br> ; have resulted in peer-reviewed <b>papers</b> <b>or</b> conference presentations, <b>about</b> a dozen have been patented (or are in the process), and several have been licensed to existing companies or have become <b>the</b> basis of new startups.“Lots of schools do hands-on, design-build-deliver classes,” Slocum says.<br> But to the best of his knowledge, none of these include such close interaction with the ultimate customers — in this case, doctors <b>and</b> clinicians — who roll up their sleeves and participate as team mentors and members.<br> “Our model is real,” he says.“Things get better and better every year,” Slocum adds. <b>“More</b> and more projects are ready to become products.” So the New England Patriots now have a left-handed quarterback with a scatter arm, a flair for the dramatic and a feel for leadership.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; RAF's unmanned Reaper aircraft had been operated from Creech airforce base in <b>Nevada,</b> but missions from Lincolnshire began this weekRemotely controlled armed drones used to target insurgents in Afghanistan have been operated from the UK for the first time, the Ministry of Defence said on Thursday.Missions of the missile-carrying Reaper aircraft began from a newly built headquarters at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire earlier this week – <b>five</b> years after the MoD bought the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to monitor and attack the Taliban.Since then the UK has been controlling the RAF's five Reaper aircraft from Creech airforce base in Nevada because the British military did not have the <b>capability</b> to fly them from here.However, the MoD made building a new UAV hub at Waddington a priority following the 2010 strategic defence and security review, and the centre "stood up" at the end of last year.Waddington<br> has become the home of XIII squadron, and defence officials said pilots from the unit have now started to take command of Reapers, working in tandem with the team in America.There<br> <b>are</b> three operating terminals at the base in Lincolnshire, and they had to go through extensive technical trials before they <b>were</b> deemed <b>ready</b> for use."We aren't flying any more operations than we were before, but with the time differences between the US, Afghanistan and the UK, it is now possible for pilots at Waddington to work in relay with the those in the US," said a source.There are no <b>current</b> plans to<br><img src=""&g t;<br> ; disband the squadron in the US, which is expected to continue operating until the end of next year, when all Nato combat operations in Afghanistan will<br><img src=""><br> ; finally come to an end.The<br> RAF has bought five more Reaper aircraft, which are expected to be deployed in Afghanistan over the summer, bringing the total to 10. British UAVs have flown 45,000 hours in Afghanistan, and fired 350 weapons, including Hellfire missiles.Though<br> the MoD insists it operates with aircraft only in support of British troops, and only in Helmand province, the use of UAVs has been dominated by the CIA's controversial programme <b>to</b> target insurgent leaders <b>in</b> Pakistan.These<br> strikes have sometimes caused civilian casualties, <b>and</b> <b>have</b> raised questions over the legality and morality of using remotely piloted systems in areas that are not conflict zones.The disclosure comes at a <b>sensitive</b> time for the MoD – just <b>two</b> days before<br><img src=" uot;><br> ; a protest outside RAF Waddington organised by CND, the <b>Drone</b> Campaign Network, Stop the War<br><img src=" pg.644x0_q100_crop-smart.jpg"><br> ; and War on Want.The coalition <b>has</b> <b>warned</b> that switching control of drones to Waddington from US bases marks<br><img src=" GcKcAl0aHVtYgk5NTB4NTM0IwplCWpwZw/39ec7476/c24/how-facebook-inspired-one-wom an-s-incredible-tough-mudder--c7c660214a.jpg"><br> ; an unwelcome expansion <b>in</b> the UK's <b>UAV</b> programme."Drones,<br> controlled far <b>away</b> from conflict zones, ease politicians' decisions to launch military strikes and order extra-judicial assassinations, without democratic oversight or accountability to the public," said Rafeef Ziadah, from War<br><img src=""><b r> ; on <b>Want.Chris<br></b> Nineham, vice-chair of the Stop the <b>War</b> Coalition, <b>added:</b> "Drones are being used <b>to</b> continue the deeply unpopular War on Terror, <a href = "">fat-burning-f urnace </a> public scrutiny. They're using them to fight wars behind our backs. These remote-controlled killing <b>machines</b> should be banned."DronesAfghanistanMilitaryMinistry<br> of DefenceRoyal Air ForceDefence policyNick<br> &copy; 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its <b>affiliated</b> companies.<br> All rights reserved.<br> | Use of this content is subject to<br><img src=" g"><br> ; our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; And, so is the case with Rachel Zoe.<br> The reality show star who dresses celebs like Anne Hathaway, Cameron Diaz and Kate Hudson on Bravo's "The Rachel Zoe Project," is a new mom to Skyler, 4, months, with hubby Rodger Berman, and she tells ABC's "Nightline" she is working on a kiddie collection. English <b>club</b> Arsenal will play a friendly against<br><img src=" you-see-it-you-ll-shit-brix-d6dc9a.jpg"><br> ; Vietnam's national team on July 17 making the north London side the first Premier League <b>team</b> to visit the communist country.<br> Heavy fighting was reported in the Libyan cities of Zawiyah and Bin Jawwad, and there were reports that rebels had reentered Bin Jawwad after being held back for days by Gaddafi loyalists.<br> Puck over glass.<br> The New York Rangers don't score.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<br> When the regular Aeroflot flight from Moscow <b>to</b> Havana took an <b>unusual</b> route, one that as of this <b>writing</b> <b>has</b> it high over the Atlantic and likely to avoid the U.S. airspace it usually crosses, many -- myself included -- wondered whether the plane might have diverted because it was carrying NSA leaker Edward Snowden.<br> Read <b>full</b> article &#62;&#62;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Rory McIlroy shot a 2-over-par 74 in the first round of Irish Open on Thursday <b>and</b> says he feels "a bit lost" in what has been a difficult year.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The Atlanta Falcons replaced Michael Turner with another proven, productive running back. President Obama said Thursday that there will be no additional changes for now in his leadership team on Afghanistan, but that he <b>will</b> be <b>"insisting</b> on unity of purpose" and "paying very close attention" to its performance. Kenyon Martin will play for the Knicks, whose frontcourt has been beset by knee injuries, for the rest <b>of</b> the season. NEW ORLEANS - Director of National <b>Intelligence</b> James R. Clapper Jr. said <b>Tuesday</b> that he has <b>won</b> a "conceptual agreement" to remove the $53 billion national <b>intelligence</b> <b>budget</b> from Pentagon control and place it under his purview by 2013, as part of an effort to enhance his authority over the U.S....<br> With unemployment stuck above 7 percent, policymakers have been searching anxiously for ways to put more people back to work. However, <b>the</b> first step in that process may be the most complex <b>—</b> simply identifying which type of business actually creates jobs. Read full article &#62;&#62;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; New fiction by Kimberly McCreight, Brian Kimberling, Ben Greenman, Peggy Riley, Ken Kalfus and Anna Stothard.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Homomorphic encryption is one of the <b>most</b> exciting new research topics in cryptography, which promises to make <b>cloud</b> computing perfectly secure.<br> <b>With</b> it, a Web user would send encrypted data to a server in the cloud, which would process it without decrypting it and send back a still-encrypted result. Sometimes, however, the server needs to know something about <b>the</b> data it’s handling. Otherwise, some computational tasks become prohibitively time consuming — if not outright impossible. <b>Suppose,</b> for instance, that the task you’ve outsourced to the cloud is to search a huge encrypted database for the handful of records that match an encrypted <b>search</b> term.<br> Homomorphic encryption ensures that the <b>server</b> has no idea what the search <b>term</b> is or which records match it.<br> As a consequence, however, it has no choice but <b>to</b> send back information on every record in the database. The user’s computer can decrypt that information to <b>see</b> which records matched and <b>which</b> didn’t, but then <b>it’s</b> assuming much of the computational burden that it was trying to offload to the cloud in the first place.Last week, at <b>the</b> Association <b>for</b> <b>Computing</b> Machinery’s 45th Symposium on the Theory of Computing — the premier conference in theoretical computer science — researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, together with colleagues at the University of Toronto and Microsoft Research, presented a new encryption scheme that solves this problem. <b>Known</b> as a functional-encryption <b>scheme,</b> it <b>allows</b> the cloud server to run a <b>single,</b> specified computation on the homomorphically encrypted result — asking, say, “Is this record a match?” <b>or</b> “Is this email spam?” — without being able to extract any other information about it.“This<br> is a very, very general paradigm,” says Shafi Goldwasser, the RSA Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, one of the paper’s <b>co-authors</b> and, together with her fellow MIT professor Silvio Micali, the most recent recipient of the Turing Award, the highest award in computer science. “Say we’re talking about the surveillance cameras of the future, which come up with encrypted images. Why would <b>we</b> want to do that? It’s a question of liberty versus safety. If you’re looking <a href = "">google sniper 2.0 </a> suspect, <b>you</b> might be interested in doing some computations on an encrypted image, to match to the subject.<br> <b>Another</b> possibility would be a medical database, where all the information is encrypted and … someone [runs] a drug <b>study</b> on those blood samples — <b>but</b> just that drug study, nothing else. Our result is in some sense the <b>first</b> result showing that you can do this very generally.”Joining<br> Goldwasser on the paper are Raluca Ada Popa, a graduate student in the Department of Electrical Engineering <b>and</b> Computer Science, her advisor, associate professor Nickolai Zeldovich, and Yael Kalai of Microsoft Research and Vinod Vaikuntanathan of the University of Toronto, both of whom did their graduate work at MIT with Goldwasser.Near<br> missesThe researchers built their functional-encryption scheme by fitting together several existing schemes, each of which has vital attributes of functional encryption, but none of<br><img src=""><br& gt ; which is entirely sufficient in itself.<br> The first <b>of</b> those is homomorphic encryption.Another is what’s known <b>as</b> a garbled circuit, a technique developed in the mid-1980s and widely used in cryptography. A garbled circuit lets a user decrypt the result of one cryptographically protected operation on one cryptographically protected <b>data</b> item — say, “Is this record a match?” The problem is that, if <b>the</b> garbled circuit is used on a second data item <b>—</b> “How about this record?” — the security breaks.Moreover,<br> a garbled circuit is a so-called private-key system, in which only the holder of a secret cryptographic key can encrypt data.<br> Homomorphic encryption, by contrast, is intended as a public-key system — like most of the encryption schemes used <b>to</b> protect financial transactions on the Web.<br> With public-key encryption, anyone can encrypt a message using a key that’s published online, but only the holder of the secret key <b>can</b> decrypt it.The<br> final component technique is called attribute-based encryption. Attribute-based <b>encryption</b> is a public-key system, <b>and</b> it’s reusable.<br> <b>But</b> unlike garbled circuits and <b>homomorphic</b> encryption, it can’t reveal <b>the</b> output of a function without revealing the input, too. The new system begins with homomorphic encryption and embeds the decryption algorithm <b>in</b> a garbled circuit.<br> The key to<br><img src=" ease-bollywood-29117015-711-719.jpg"><br> ; the garbled circuit, in turn, is protected by attribute-based <b>encryption.</b> In some sense, the garbled circuit can, like all garbled circuits, be used only once. But the encryption schemes are layered in such a way that one use grants the server access to a general <b>function</b> rather than<br><img src=" 600/Internet-wtf.jpg"><br> ; a single value. It can thus ask, of every record in a database, “Is this a match?”Zeldovich points out that since the scheme relies on homomorphic encryption, it shares <b>the</b> major drawback of existing homomorphic <b>schemes:</b> They’re still too computationally intensive to be practical. On the other hand, he says, “It’s so new, there are so many things that haven’t been explored — like, ‘How do you really implement this correctly?’ ‘What are the right mathematical constructions?’ ‘What are the right parameter settings?’” And, <b>Popa</b> adds, in the four years since the invention <b>of</b> the first fully homomorphic encryption scheme, “People have been <b>shaving</b> off many orders of magnitude in performance improvements.”Besides,<br> even a currently impractical functional-encryption scheme is still a breakthrough. “Before, we didn’t even know if this was possible,” Popa says.Ran Canetti, a professor of computer science at Boston University, corroborates that assessment. “It’s an extremely surprising result,” he says.<br> “I myself worked<br><img src=" ctor.jpg"><br> ; on this problem for a while, <b>and</b> I had no idea how to do it.<br> So I was wowed.<br><img src=" 600/sad%2Bface.png"><br> ; And it really opens up the door to many other applications.”One of those applications, Canetti<br><img src=" 16349486-lovely-floral-card.jpg"><br> ; says, is what’s known as program obfuscation, or disguising the <b>operational</b> details of a computer program so <b>that</b> it can’t be reverse-engineered.<br> “Not obfuscating the way that people are doing it now, which is <b>just</b> scrambling up programs and hoping nobody will understand, and eventually, these are broken,” Canetti says, “but really obfuscating so that it’s cryptographically secure.”Canetti<br> acknowledges that <b>the</b> researchers’ scheme won’t be <b>deployed</b> tomorrow.<br> But “I’m sure it’s going to lead to more stuff,” he says. “It’s an enabler, and <b>people</b> will be building on it."<br> <b>A</b> day<br><img src=" -071112.jpg"><br> ; after a federal judge struck down the government's plan to overhaul the health-care system, Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen issued a stern statement: "This means that, for Wisconsin, the federal health care law is dead," and <b>that</b> his state "was relieved of any obligations or <b>duti...<br></b> A journal that published <b>an</b> ambitious plan for New York State to <b>go</b> fossil free in a few decades now runs a critique.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; A<br><img src=" -fire-promo-pictures-01-527x325.jpeg"><br> ; group of protesters gathered around the Los Angeles County Museum of Art yesterday to oppose the H[...] LEWISBURG, <b>Pa.</b> -- National powers, beware: Bucknell is headed back to the NCAA tournament.<br> U.S. stocks fell Wednesday on escalating concerns about the damaged <b>nuclear</b> reactors in Japan, despite large gains in the <b>Nikkei</b> stock index