Aviation industry recognises space pioneer

first_imgNeil Armstrong, the first person to walk on the moon, has become the first astronaut to be awarded the Global Aviation Leadership Award (GALA). The GALA, awarded to Armstrong by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) at their 66th Annual General Meeting and World Air Transport Summit in Berlin, was in recognition of the contribution the space program as a whole has had on making aviation safer and more efficient. IATA CEO Giovanni Bisignani recognised the thousands of people who have pushed the boundaries of space travel, but said that Armstrong holds a very special place of honour. On top of being a test pilot for over 200 models of aircraft and leading the 1969 Apollo 11 mission, Armstrong has also helped prepare the next generation of aviators by teaching aeronautical engineering, Bisigani said. The GALA, established in 2002 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brother’s historic first flight, has only been awarded to three other people. But Armstrong is the first person to receive a GALA from the space program. Many of the innovations the commercial aviation industry relies upon today have roots in the development of the space program, Bisignani said.“Even our ability to process information can be traced back to the microchips developed to support NASA’s Apollo missions,” he said. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.F <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/24e01/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&amp;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a>last_img read more

Accor targets emerging markets with 100 new hotels

first_imgAccor plans Latin America, Middle East and APAC expansion. Accor has its eye on the 400 mark, with plans to add an extra 100 hotels on its current 300 properties over the next two years.Speaking at ITB Berlin, the group revealed plans to add an extra 6,500 rooms by 2015 across its Sofitel, Pullman, MGallery and Grand Mercure brands.Focusing on emerging markets, Accor revealed new properties would be built mainly in emerging markets, including; Latin America, Middle East and Asia Pacific.“One can now count on a strong European voice in the luxury and upscale market. Our brands combine the best of international standards with French style,” Accor president Yann Caillère said.“Our ambition for our brands and their networks are immense and we are ready to expand rapidly in this market.”Currently, 42 percent of Accor’s luxury/upscale hotels located in the Asia Pacific region and 35 percent in European cities.Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

New Tank Stream Hotel offers great value accommodation for Sydney

first_imgOne of Sydney’s newest hotels, The Tank Stream Hotel, located in the heart of the city’s heritage area, is offering great value accommodation during January for visitors wanting to explore the city and attend the Sydney Festival between 7 and 29 January.The 4.5 star Tank Stream Hotel is one of the best located hotels for the Sydney Festival, being just a short walk from the main Festival event venues in Hyde Park, Sydney Town Hall, The Domain, Barangaroo and Sydney Opera House. With train transport at the hotel’s front door, even venues such as Carriageworks at Redfern and Riverside Theatres at Parramatta are easily accessible.This year’s Festival is promising an ‘exuberant, exciting and effervescent’ line up of international and Australian concerts, theatre, circus, art, workshops and children’s shows, including many free events.Contemporary meets heritage at Tank Stream HotelAccommodation rates at the Tank Stream Hotel are available from just $199 per night through much of January, and include the Tank Steam’s unique ‘all-inclusive concept’, which provides guests with free high speed wi-fi and in-room movies, complimentary non-alcoholic mini bar items and Nespresso coffee.There is a variety of room styles and sizes, all offering high-class bedding, in room facilities, work areas and ensuite bathrooms.The Tank Stream officially opened in 2016, providing much needed high-class accommodation in the heart of the city.The hotel is named after the stream that runs underneath the hotel. It had been a life source for the local Gadigal Aborigines for thousands of years, before Captain Arthur Phillip also saw the benefits of a fresh water source and established the first European colony at Bennelong Point in 1788.The stream in those days was open, running from a swamp in Hyde Park, down through waterfalls across Bridge Street then out to what is now Circular Quay. While the Tank Stream is now fully covered, a historic Tank Stream walking tour is available to visitors to retrace the development of Sydney through the ages.A perfect base for short and longer stays in Sydney, the Tank Stream Hotel is surrounded by many of city’s most celebrated restaurants, along with theatres, entertainment venues and the city’s finest shopping.The hotel’s restaurant Le Petit Flot offers relaxed contemporary bistro style dining with an emphasis on share plates and local produce, and a laneway wine bar is the ideal spot to catch the vibrancy of the city and enjoy classic wines from around the world and light meals. The hotel can also arrange discounted access to nearby fitness centres and parking.The Tank Stream Hotel is part of the international St Giles Premier Hotel collection, with the Sydney hotel joining St Giles’ hotels in cities such as London, New York, Kuala Lumpur and Manila.Further information & reservations: www.tankstreamhotel.com; T:+61 2 8222 1211 e: reservations@tankstreamhotel.com Source = Tank Stream Hotel – Sydney New Tank Stream Hotel offers great value accommodation for SydneyNew Tank Stream Hotel offers great value accommodation for Sydneylast_img read more

Turkey is set to take a significant slice of summe

first_imgTurkey is set to take a significant slice of summer tourists from rival Greece following a recent spate of negative publicity after strikes and rioting hit the troubled country.Skyscanner can report that flight searches to Turkey are 159% higher than flight searches to Greece for travel dates this summer.Following serious economic problems, strikes and rioting over the last few months, Greece’s tourist industry looks to take a hit and rival Turkey is well placed to take Greece’s share of the market.“Greece has had a lot of bad press recently and unfortunately it’s coming at a time when many people are booking their summer holidays. News of street clashes and strikes are going to hurt Greece’s tourist industry and Greece’s loss is Turkey’s gain. On the upside, it may mean more offers of cheap flights to Greece as it tries to win back tourists.” said Barry Smith, Skyscanner Co-founder and Market Development Director.Being similar distances from the UK, having similar climates and attracting similar clientele, Turkey and Greece have long been natural rivals in the tourist trade. And for the British holidaymaker who just wants sun and sand, the move from Greece to Turkey is an easy one to make. Turkey has also seen further positive PR this year as Istanbul is a European City of Culture 2010.Skyscanner’s February 2010 Flight Trends Report revealed that whilst searches for cheap flights Athens had seen a rise in the rankings, Turkey had three destinations within the top 50 most popular, whilst Greece only had one.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedTime to go back: Skyscanner reveals five former disaster zones that are on the upTime to go back: Skyscanner reveals five former disaster zones that are on the upSkyscanner Flight Trends May 2010: Top 50 Flight DestinationsSkyscanner Flight Trends May 2010: Top 50 Flight DestinationsSkyscanner Flight Trends April 2010: Top 50 Flight DestinationsSkyscanner Flight Trends April 2010: Top 50 Flight Destinationslast_img read more

UK Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright The UKs propos

first_imgUK Culture Secretary Jeremy WrightThe UK’s proposed age verification system for viewing adult content is to be delayed yet again from its scheduled implementation on July 15.  This will be the second time this year that the controversial ‘porn block’ law has been delayed.The law, which was passed in 2017, has been highly controversial since its inception, with many arguing that it serves as an invasion of privacy rather than its originally intended purpose to protect children.The law requires adults to prove their age when visiting pornographic websites, though there had been much confusion about how it would be implemented and regulated. It has been suggested that websites could ask users to upload scans of ID (such as a passport or drivers’ licence), or use age-verification cards sold by newsagents nicknamed “porn passes”. The law will cover websites where more than a third of the content is pornographic. This means, in theory, that an adult website could make sure that the majority of its content is not pornographic and get around the law.Likewise, the use of VPNs to evade the law will remain legal. The rescheduled date of the law’s enforcement remains unclear.While the law has been marred by controversy that hasn’t stopped the Irish government from investigating its own version.As reported by The Journal, Ireland’s Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said that the Irish government would “consult” with its British equivalent to review how well the law works, with a view to potentially implementing it in the country.last_img read more

Remember the grotto will finish at 330 pm sharp a

first_imgRemember the grotto will finish at 3.30 pm sharp as Santa has a very important job to do.Please also note that in order to accommodate the Christmas Lights Switch On ‘main event’ on Saturday, November 25,  there will be traffic diversions in place in Strabane Town Centre between 12:00-18:00.The council has apologised for any inconvenience this may cause.STRABANE SET TO BE ‘DAZZLED’ THIS WEEK AS SANTA ARRIVES was last modified: November 21st, 2017 by John2John2 Tags: ABERCORN SQUARECHRISTMAS LIGHTS SWITCH ONSTRABANE BRASS BANSTRABANE SET TO BE ‘DAZZLED’ THIS WEEK AS SANTA ARRIVES CHRISTMAS will officially begin in Strabane this Saturday 25 November from 1pm-5pm when the festive lights are switched on by a ‘very special guest’ in Abercorn Square.‘Santa’ will be making the long trip from the North Pole to visit the town – but there will also be a host of other fun activities on the day itself!The festivities include live music on stage by Mr Men from 3pm, featuring local performances by Darcie Wilders & Jamie Donnelly and the Holy Cross Choir as well as interviews with James Gallagher (The Strabanimal) and the one and only centenarian in town Pat Gillespie. Don’t forget to also keep any eye out around the town for Class Acts Carol singers, Encore PAA Dancers and a new samba/jazz band from Arts Academy.After visiting the Christmas craft market in the Alley courtyard and Santa in his grotto why not call around and get your photo taken with Santa’s reindeers – or meet some of his naughty helpers at work!If it’s too cold, you can always drop into the Alley to the Christmas movie at 2pm and write your Christmas letter & help make some reindeer food before you go!Make sure you also visit Strabane for an amazing afternoon and stroll around the town centre – including listening to Mrs Claus tell tales on her bus. Street entertainment, Strabane Brass Band, balloon modellers, face painters and fun characters will also add to the fantastic festive experience! ShareTweetlast_img read more

Splat A lucky strike and the telltale red splodge

first_imgSplat! A lucky strike and the telltale red splodge that your nightly tormentor has sucked its last blood vessel.Staring at the mess on the wall, you might find it hard to believe that so small an insect can carry so much blood. But female mosquitoes have a knack for eating, doubling their body weight with each meal.”They can barely fly,” laughs Leslie Vosshall, a neurobiologist at Rockefeller University, who’s hoping to control mosquitoes, as well as the diseases they carry, by switching off their enormous appetite.In a paper published Thursday in the journal Cell, Vosshall and her team demonstrate how human diet drugs satiate mosquitoes’ bloodlust for several days — so they are less likely to feed on humans and spread diseases and will also produce fewer offspring.”When they’re hungry, these mosquitoes are super motivated. They fly toward the scent of a human the same way that we might approach a chocolate cake,” Vosshall says. “But after they were given the drug, they lost interest.”The method taps into female mosquitoes’ natural gluttony. Each supersize meal provides enough nutrients to support the typical clutch of around 100 eggs. After she has eaten, the mosquito loses her appetite for at least four days while her eggs develop.But as soon as a mosquito lays her eggs in a pool of stagnant water, she is off again in search of a mate and a meal. A female mosquito can breed several times in her lifetime of six to eight weeks, and in the process she can bite many people — which makes her a reliable vessel for spreading diseases.Vosshall and her team set out to identify and manipulate the hormone pathways responsible for this behavior. Because similar pathways for hunger are found in many animals — that is, they have similar evolutionary roots — she started with off-the-shelf human diet drugs.”On a lark we thought, ‘Let’s go for it. Let’s do the craziest experiment possible and get some human diet drugs and see if they work on mosquitoes,’ ” Vosshall told NPR.”It was surprising that it worked so well.”In a series of lab experiments, Aedes aegypti mosquitoes (which spread dengue fever, yellow fever and Zika virus) were fed these diet drugs by mixing them into a chemical solution that also contained ATP — a molecule found inside most animal cells that mosquitoes find irresistible. The diet drugs came in powder form. For several days after drinking this solution, the mosquitoes showed little interest when offered the bare arms of human volunteers. Even the smell of dirty nylon stockings, saturated with human scent, was not enough to tempt them.After testing human diet drugs, the team homed in on the specific receptors that these drugs activate inside the mosquito brain. Then they could search through a general catalog of more than 265,000 chemicals to find a new suite of drugs that also activate this receptor — but that control only the appetite of mosquitoes and similar biting insects.”Human drugs are owned by pharmaceutical companies, and so we wanted to find something where the intellectual property wasn’t locked up. That’s important in [developing countries] for deployment,” Vosshall explains. And for obvious reasons, widely releasing human diet drugs into the environment is not a good idea.In recent years, scientists have developed an advanced arsenal of tools in the war against mosquitoes — from potent new insecticides to gene drives and bacterial infection. But rarely have they tried to control mosquitoes’ behavior.”There is a real need for novel approaches to controlling insects that transmit diseases,” says James Logan of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, who was not involved in the study.According to the World Health Organization, mosquito-borne diseases — such as malaria, yellow fever, dengue and Zika virus — are responsible for millions of deaths each year.”Humans have been trying to fight mosquitoes ever since there were humans,” says Vosshall, pointing to an impressive variety of control methods — from rolled-up newspapers to genetic engineering.”All of these advances are complementary,” says Vosshall, who argues that no single innovation can eradicate mosquito-borne diseases and advocates using several methods at once. “Our behavior control is something else in this portfolio,” she says.This strategy seeks to reduce mosquito numbers rather than annihilate the insects entirely, which could have unintended ecological consequences. “I do worry about the balance of nature,” Vosshall says.But not everyone agrees that eradicating mosquitoes is a bad idea. “A recent study suggested that malaria mosquitoes do not play a vital role in the ecosystem, and therefore their removal would have minimal impact,” Logan says.”I don’t think we will ever eradicate all mosquitoes. But I do think that one day we will eradicate individual species,” he says.It’s early days for this novel approach to mosquito control, and it remains unclear how substantially it would stem the spread of disease in the real world. Meanwhile, more lab research must be done to develop these drugs so that they are potent and cheap enough to use in the field.”Transitioning from laboratory experiments to the field is always difficult,” Logan says. “One of the biggest challenges will be devising a system that attracts mosquitoes well enough and allows them to feed on this substance effectively.””You need to have dispensers; you need some way to attract female mosquitoes and have that work in local communities,” says Vosshall, looking to the logistical hurdles ahead.Putting billions of mosquitoes on an unwitting diet was never going to be easy.Thomas Lewton is a freelance science journalist and videographer who divides his time between London and Kampala, Uganda. You can follow him on Twitter: @thomaslewton. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

More than two years after doctors in Jerusalem rem

first_imgMore than two years after doctors in Jerusalem removed thousands of barklike lesions that had prevented Mahmoud Taluli from using his hands for more than a decade, he continues his battle with a rare, incurable skin condition. But even with another surgery planned for later this summer — his fifth in the pioneering treatment at Hadassah Medical Center — Taluli considers himself a winner.”After years of suffering and solitude, I can finally live a normal life,” said Taluli, 44, who lives in Gaza and suffers from epidermodysplasia verruciformis, an extremely rare condition caused by his immune system’s inability to fight off the ubiquitous human papillomavirus, resulting in painful gray and white growths on his hands and other parts of his body. His severe form of this condition has been documented only a handful of times around the world and has been nicknamed “tree man” syndrome because the large growths can resemble tree bark.Last month, a man in Bangladesh with a similar condition made international headlines with his pleas for doctors to amputate his hands after a series of unsuccessful surgeries to remove his lesions. As in Taluli’s case, the lesions on the Bangladeshi patient keep growing back, leaving him in severe pain and unable to use his hands, according to media reports.Although he has not spoken with that patient or his doctors, Michael Chernofsky, the senior hand and microvascular surgeon at Hadassah who is overseeing Taluli’s treatment, says that amputation is not a good solution. In fact, when Taluli first arrived for treatment at Hadassah in 2017, he said that doctors in Egypt and Jordan had recommended amputation of his hands — an option Taluli refused.”Amputation is a nonstarter that would create more problems,” Chernofsky said, explaining that if the patient’s hands were cut off, the patient would likely continue to have severe pain from nerves severed in the amputation process. And the skin condition would continue to affect the rest of a patient’s body, he said.”But I really feel bad for this patient in Bangladesh, and it seems like his desire for amputation is an index of his frustration levels,” he said.Treating Taluli, and ultimately saving his hands, has been a long process — and it isn’t over yet. In four operations since 2017, doctors have removed thousands of lesions from his hands and other parts of his body. Using scalpels and other instruments, they make incisions that are often deep enough to require skin grafts to aid in healing. The operations have been largely successful in clearing away enough growths to allow Taluli to use his hands, but new growths continue to appear. The team will operate for a fifth time later this summer to remove new lesions on various areas of his body as well as some scar tissue from previous operations.”We realized he was just reinfecting himself by touching lesions, then touching other parts of his body,” Chernofsky said. Not only are existing lesions at risk of spreading to other areas of his body, but if the deep roots of each lesion are not completely removed, the growth returns, Chernofsky said. “You can’t just shave these off at the surface,” Chernofsky said. “You have to remove every last shred.” Removing the roots of the lesions also relieves the pain they cause as they compress nerves. “In the beginning, I wasn’t sure our approach would work,” Chernofsky said, explaining there is no medical protocol for treating the condition. “We didn’t know if there would be anything viable left of his hands, but thank God it’s working.”Doctors are now working to map Taluli’s genome to pinpoint the genetic abnormality that keeps his immune system from fighting off HPV, which comes in more than a hundred strains and can cause warts and even some types of cancer but is usually harmless. Taluli does not have the same genetic mutation that most other patients with the condition have, doctors said.Ideally, the Hadassah doctors will develop some type of tailored immunological-based treatment for Taluli to allow his body to better fight HPV. They also hope to learn more about the still mysterious human papillomavirus virus and why it affects different people in different ways.Another challenge is that Taluli lives in Gaza, where the ailing medical system does not offer physical therapy that would ensure better future function for his hands. Patients from the increasingly isolated and impoverished enclave also must obtain permission from Palestinian and Israeli officials to enter Israel for care. Taluli’s case has been approved so far, and he is thankful for the treatment.”The surgery has completely changed my life,” he said in response to questions submitted by email. “I can play with my children. I can go to family events. I no longer need to cover my hands when I go out in public.” Sara Toth Stub is a Jerusalem-based journalist. You can follow her work on Twitter: @saratothstub. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

£50 FREE BET Spain v England

first_img£50 FREE BET IFHARRY KANE SCORES FIRSTTo celebrate the launch of our brand new betting site starsports.bet we are giving all NEW CUSTOMERS a £50 FREE BET if HARRY KANE SCORES FIRST.You simply need to open an account and place a bet at evens or above, of at least £10, on any market at starsports.bet between 9am on Monday 15 October and 7.45pm on Monday 15 October. TERMS AND CONDITIONS(1) This promotion is for new account holders only. To qualify, you must open a new account at starsports.bet anytime from 9am on Monday 15 October to 7.45pm (GMT) on Monday 15 October.(2) In addition you must place at least one bet online with starsports.bet before 7.45pm (GMT) on Monday 15 October. The bet must be for a stake of £10 (or more), on a selection at evens or above, on any market as displayed on the starsports.bet web site.(3) The bonus promotional offer of £50 will be paid as a Free Bet if HARRY KANE SCORES FIRST (Spain v England 7.45pm). The Free Bet will be valid for a period of 7 days from the point of issue and must be used within this period otherwise will expire.(4) If, for any reason, the event(s) do not take place or are declared void for betting purposes this offer will also be voided.(5) The bonus Free Bet, if successful, will be credited within 48 hours, direct to your online account.(6) Free Bets may not be used in conjunction with any other current promotion.(7) Star Sports reserve the right to withdraw or refuse any Free Bet promotion at any point.(8) Free Bet stakes are not returned with winnings.(9) Free Bet awards cannot be exchanged for cash.(10) Free Bet awards can be used online, tablet or mobile only.(11) The Free Bet must be used within the timeframe specified on the promotion details and may not be either part used or carried forward.(12) This promotion can only be used once per person and per account. Only one bonus can be awarded per person, household, shared computer or shared IP address. In the event of a customer opening more that one account to claim multiple offers we reserve the right to suspend/close duplicate accounts and void any bets placed.(13) Usual Star Sports Betting Rules and Terms and Conditions apply, these can be viewed at starsports.bet.(14) If you have any further questions about this promotion you can contact our customer service team cs@www.starsportsbet.co.uklast_img read more

China movie market to wield greater influence Rice University expert says

first_imgAddThis ShareDavid Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduJeff Falk713-348-6775jfalk@rice.eduChina movie market to wield greater influence, Rice University expert saysKokas: Movement of China to No. 2 international box office market is poised to gear more international films to Chinese audiencesHOUSTON – (Jan. 11, 2013) – News hit the entertainment industry this week that China’s box office rose 31 percent to 17.1 billion yuan ($2.75 billion) last year. With this, China has now overtaken Japan as the top-earning international territory for U.S. filmmakers.Aynne Kokas, a fellow in Chinese media at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and a postdoctoral fellow at Rice’s Chao Center for Asian Studies, is available to speak on this development and the growing importance of the Chinese media market.“Movement of China to the No. 2 international box office market is poised to drive producers to further gear international films to Chinese audiences, increasing influence of Chinese consumers, if not Chinese filmmakers,” Kokas said.“Even though Hollywood pictures are increasing as a percentage of the box office, co-production –which produces domestic films that the government categorizes as ‘domestic’ and circumvent the import quota — drives international film production activity in China,” she said. “Examples of co-productions include ‘Iron Man 3’ and ‘Kung Fu Panda 3.’ At least one-third of co-production funding must come from China, along with one-third of the main cast. Scenes must also be shot in China. While this presents stiff competition for purely domestic filmmakers, it also infuses enormous amounts of capital and expertise into the Chinese film industry as a whole.”The Baker Institute has a radio and television studio available for media who want to schedule an interview with Kokas. For more information, contact Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at jfalk@rice.edu or 713-348-6775.-30-Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNewsRelated materials:Kokas biography: http://bakerinstitute.org/personnel/fellows-scholars/akokas.Founded in 1993, the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University in Houston ranks among the top 20 university-affiliated think tanks globally and top 30 think tanks in the United States. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute sponsors more than 20 programs that conduct research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows and Rice University scholars. Learn more about the institute at www.bakerinstitute.org or on the institute’s blog, http://blogs.chron.com/bakerblog.last_img read more

Mark Zuckerberg Gives a Lesson in How Not to Lead in a

first_img Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Facebook 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Next Article Guest Writer April 3, 2018 Image credit: NurPhoto | Getty Images Add to Queue Zuckerberg is renowned for inventing Facebook, but his reputation for leading it is in tatters. Samuel Edwards Mark Zuckerberg Gives a Lesson in How Not to Lead in a Crisis 5 min read Digital Marketing Strategist –shares Apply Now » The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. For a while, Facebook could do no wrong. All you have to do is take a quick look at the Facebook stock chart and you’ll see a company that has watched its value rise nearly 500 percent over the past five years alone. But that same chart will also show you a hefty decline since the middle of March. In all honesty, CEO Mark Zuckerberg is to blame. Cambridge Analytica exposed Zuckerberg’s greatest flaw.It would be safe to say that public trust in Facebook is at an all-time low. If the past year has taught us anything, it’s that trust must be continually cultivated, no matter how much of it you think your organization has.Perhaps it was an inflated sense of public trust, an attitude of invincibility, or an unwillingness to own up to responsibility that led Zuckerberg, COO Sheryl Sandberg and other Facebook executives to take a painfully long time to formulate a response to the news that data firm Cambridge Analytica gained access to millions of its users’ data three years ago. However, at this point, does it really matter? The problem is that Facebook is developing a poor track record of managing crises.Now that people know just how much of their personal data Facebook has, the last thing the company can afford is for people to view the social network giant as being irresponsible. Unfortunately, Zuckerberg’s response in the wake of this crisis has done little to instill confidence and accountability.Zuckerberg and the company must decide whether they’re going to embrace the responsibility they have. They’ve walked into this mess by amassing mounds of personal information on users. If they don’t want to deal with the responsibility that comes with it, they need to step out of the way. That’s the blunt truth.To Zuckerberg’s credit, he finally spoke up. “I’ve been working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” Zuckerberg wrote in a post on his profile. “I promise you we’ll work through this and build a better service over the long term.”Zuckerberg’s response was, arguably, another poor PR move. He said no more than you’d expect but far later than he should have. Plus, it was sterile and vague. He left many wondering if Facebook is really doing enough to protect user data.Related: Read Mark Zuckerberg’s Full Statement on Facebook’s Data ScandalTakeaways from Facebook’s PR debacle.Taking your personal feelings and data out of the equation, the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica crisis has been a textbook PR case study in what not to do. As we look at it in more detail, here are a few of the takeaways and lessons business owners and entrepreneurs should spend some time studying.1. Don’t delay.The issue most people had with Facebook’s response was that it took so long for one to be formulated and publicized. Since the company obviously was aware of what was going on, it was unacceptable and disingenuous to keep people waiting for days.One of the first rules of good crisis management is to get ahead of the problem. The sooner you can address the issue, the better you can shape the public narrative and response.Related: Read the Controversial 2016 Facebook Memo in Which an Exec Argues for ‘Growth at Any Cost’2. Apologize.Zuckerberg’s eventual response was 936 words long. While it contained a bunch of corporate language and legal jargon, do you know what word was completely missing? The simple word sorry.It’s not always necessary to spend a bunch of time apologizing in the wake of a crisis, but you do need to say sorry — even if the incident was largely outside your control. It humanizes your brand and makes you look like you care.Related: Mark Zuckerberg Doesn’t Seem Very Sorry or Very Forgiven3. Act.The final lesson is to take action. If you say you’re going to do something, make sure your actions follow your speech. While it remains to be seen if Facebook will maintain a stiffer posture on responsibly stewarding user data, there has been some initial activity.Zuckerberg recently posted to his Facebook page that new privacy and security settings have been placed at the top of everyone’s Newsfeed so that users can easily disable apps they are no longer using and tweak their security settings to fit their preferences. If nothing else, it’s a start.Related: Facebook’s Data Scandal and Europe’s New Data Privacy Rule Have Massive Implications for U.S. EntrepreneursFor Zuckerberg and Facebook, the good news is there will be plenty of opportunities to rebuild trust with users. However, if they’re going to restore that trust, they must learn from their mistakes and make it a point to improve their crisis management efforts and address the PR shortcomings they’ve repeatedly been characterized by. As an outsider looking in, you can also learn from their mistakes and prepare your own business for handling crises with more grace.last_img read more

Well That Was Fast One Survey Says Pokémon Go Has Already Peaked

first_img Register Now » Pokémon Next Article Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Image credit: Nintendo Well, That Was Fast: One Survey Says Pokémon Go Has Already Peaked in the U.S. July 25, 2016 Add to Queuecenter_img –shares This story originally appeared on PCMag How the mighty fall. Yes, Pokémon Go is a big deal now. Yes, it had a great first week in Apple’s App Store: better than any other app ever released. Yes, lots of people play the game and, yes, you’ve probably been tempted to play the game too — even if you managed to fight off the initial buzz.If you’re still scoffing at those who spend hours each night trudging around parks for elusive digital creatures, then you’ll probably take a little solace in a recent report from SurveyMonkey that suggests interest in the game is already starting to wane. We wouldn’t say that’s an unnatural surprise, though. The very nature of Pokémon Go means that any time its servers go down and players can’t play — and there’s been some downtime — the social aspects are wrecked. Gatherings of hundreds (and thousands) of players have been ruined by abrupt server issues, and people can lose interest in a game fairly quickly if they can never seem to play it when they want to. And there’s not very much to do in Pokémon Go besides collecting Pokémon and fighting other players for gym ownership. It’s fun, certainly, but it can get monotonous for some early players.According to Survey Monkey, Pokémon Go had the most daily active users on July 14, just over one week after the game’s release. SurveyMonkey estimates that figure at right around 25 million users or so. Since then, the game’s daily user count has been on the decline.”Surprisingly, downloads of Pokémon Go were largest on the day it was released, July 7th. Most successful apps, including previous record-setting hit games Draw Something and Candy Crush Saga, experience a slow start. These games hit their daily-download peaks some months after initial release. Pokémon Go is unusual not just for the size of its success but also the incredible speed of its ascent up the download charts,” SurveyMonkey notes.These same download charts reveal that the game might be reaching a saturation point in the United States, as it sat at right around 1.5 million daily downloads or so as of July 20. That’s quite a drop from a week prior, where it was close to six million downloads in a single day.It does feel a bit like we’re quibbling over the natural progression of a game, however. Not everyone stays addicted to a mobile game, nor do games typically retain huge download figures for weeks following their launch. At some point, the craze subsides a bit — at least until the game’s developer releases a big update, fixes its servers to allow more people to play or pushes some huge marketing plan (like Pokémon Go’s real-world tie-ins).Pokémon Go is still a pretty big phenomenon, especially when you factor in the popularity of its international launches, too. We doubt it’s going anywhere soon, but the craze does seem to be dropping from feverish proportions in the United States — at least, a little. 3 min read David Murphy Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel.last_img read more

Bidalgo Launches Industry First AssetLevel Data for Google App Campaigns to Give

first_imgBidalgo Launches Industry First Asset-Level Data for Google App Campaigns to Give App Marketers Greater Accuracy and Control MTS Staff WriterApril 26, 2019, 7:32 pmApril 26, 2019 With Post-Attribution, Asset-Level Heuristic Data, Bidalgo Automation Brings a 30% Lift in ROASBidalgo, a leading provider of ad automation software and services for app marketers, announced the launch of Asset Heuristic Data (Asset HD) for Google App Campaigns, providing app marketers with post-attribution, asset-level data and enhanced AI-powered automation for install campaigns on Google properties. Now, for the first time since Google transitioned all app install campaigns to Google App Campaigns (previously “Google UAC”) in October of 2017, app marketers have access to accurate reporting data down to the asset level, so that they can analyze creative performance and optimize campaigns accordingly. In early tests, marketing partners using Bidalgo’s Automation for Google App Campaigns have increased their Return On Ad Spend (ROAS) 30 percent.Google App Campaigns run optimized install campaigns on inventory across all relevant Google properties, including Google Play, Search, YouTube and the Google Display Network. Currently, Measurement Partners don’t have transparency to asset-level data, leading to a lack of accurate, post-attribution data throughout the industry. Google provides marketers with approximated reporting on basic, pre-attribution data such as impressions, clicks and conversions, but the numbers are often difficult to interpret and take action on. Bidalgo’s algorithm for Asset HD relies on user funnel, pre-attribution data and other inputs to provide highly accurate information about the post-install performance of each asset as it affects revenue, payers, transactions and more.Marketing Technology News: Data Privacy: Balancing Personalization and Security in the Age of Transparency“Google App Campaigns are an incredibly powerful yet simple way for app marketers to drive high-quality installs,” said Niv Yemini, CTO & co-founder of Bidalgo. “But at the same time, it has taken away some of the control from app marketers who are used to having more dials and levers they can adjust in order to optimize their campaigns. With our solutions for Google App Campaigns, we are putting the power back into those marketers’ hands by providing greater transparency into asset performance and enabling them to better manage and optimize their campaigns.”Marketing Technology News: MGH Survey Finds Nearly Half of US Diners Have Tried a New Restaurant Because of its Social Media PostsBidalgo improves Google App Campaigns by providing:Asset HD – While Google only provides pre-attribution, campaign-level data for metrics such as impressions, clicks and installs, Bidalgo provides Asset Heuristic Data (Asset HD). Bidalgo uses a data science-driven heuristic technique to calculate asset-level performance, including Return On Ad Spend (ROAS), based on post-install attribution data from leading mobile measurement partners. This enables the breakdown of performance for assets including text, video, display image and HTML5 playable units. Until now, these assets were only looked at collectively.AI-Powered Automation – Bidalgo’s proprietary AI algorithms create a campaign using smart asset selection by looking at the assets’ historical data. Once the best assets have been determined, it analyzes their performance and adds or removes as needed. Marketers can now build campaigns based on the best performing assets and optimize campaigns automatically using that data.Marketing Technology News: Grant Thornton’s Tax practice embraces Microsoft Power BI AI-powered automationapp marketersAsset Heuristic DataBidalgoGoogle App CampaignsMarketing TechnologyNews Previous ArticleBlueshift Appoints LendingTree’s Former VP of Marketing, Josh Francia, as Chief Growth OfficerNext ArticleSalesLoft Scoops $70 Million Series D to Fuel Growth in Sales Technologylast_img read more

Percolate Announces Industryfirst Analytics Capabilities Powered by Domo

first_img Content Marketing PlatformDomoMarketing TechnologyNewsPercolatePercolate InsightsRandy Wootton Previous ArticleJOANN Stores Partners With Impact Analytics to Generate Immediate EBITDA Impact Through Promo OptimizationNext ArticleCopper Announces New CEO, Eyes International Markets & Expansion On the Heels of Announcing an Industry-First Developer Platform and Partner Program, Percolate Reveals Percolate Insights – Powered by Domo, an Analytics Solution That Harnesses the Power of Data for Marketing ExecutionPercolate, the leading enterprise Content Marketing Platform, announced a partnership with Domo – provider of the leading cloud-based operating system for business – and the relaunch of their analytics product as Percolate Insights – Powered by Domo.The new solution (available Q4 2019) will introduce a new caliber of reporting to the daily workflows of marketers at enterprise companies and enable marketers at all levels of the organization to make data-driven decisions. In addition, Percolate Insights delivers new operational and strategic metrics that open up new visibility into campaign strategy, marketing mix, and productivity.“All marketers today aspire to be more data-driven in their decision making, but in an enterprise there are many barriers to accessing and actioning insights,” says Randy Wootton, CEO of Percolate. “Percolate Insights puts the most powerful reporting tool in the hands of marketers–ensuring the data is contextual and relevant–so that marketers  can apply unique insights to the critical business decisions they make each and every day.”Marketing Technology News: Seven Tech Data Executives Named 2019 CRN “Women of the Channel”“Marketers are always seeking innovative ways to bring together the massive amounts of data from their marketing operations and to make real-time, strategic decisions with that information,” said Jon Shoff, vice president of Agency Sales and Partnerships at Domo. “Percolate Insights – Powered by Domo is an opportunity to provide a more powerful solution to marketers by giving them the power of collaboration and visibility paired with rich insights from their data.”Marketing Technology News: Vonage Wins 2019 INTERNET TELEPHONY Product of the Year AwardsPercolate is the leading Content Marketing Platform for the enterprise. Percolate offers solutions to introduce visibility into the marketing process, improve coordination of work, and effectively build marketing campaigns and content. The world’s largest brands — including Google, Cisco, Microsoft, Electronic Arts, and Bosch — use Percolate to create a coordinated customer experience, reduce production costs, and understand marketing impact.Marketing Technology News: Zendesk Unveils Next Generation of Conversational Messaging Experiences Percolate Announces Industry-first Analytics Capabilities Powered by Domo PRNewswireMay 24, 2019, 2:50 pmMay 24, 2019 last_img read more

Telefónica to Offer Google Cloud Solutions to Companies Around the World

first_imgThe agreement between the two companies will allow Telefónica to reinforce its multicloud offering to companies with the inclusion in its catalogue of Google Cloud Platform, G Suite, Google Cloud Interconnect and Chrome EnterpriseTelefónica Business Solutions, a leading provider of a broad portfolio of integrated communication solutions and digital services for the B2B market, has announced a strategic agreement with Google. This new agreement will help companies accelerate their transition to the cloud, reduce costs and advance the digital transformation of their businesses.Telefónica’s global multicloud value proposition already includes the most relevant public clouds in the market, and will be further strengthened by the addition of Google’s public cloud service. This new comprehensive service set aims to deliver customers an integrated solution which, when combined with security and communications, allows companies to enjoy a differential end-to-end experience. In addition, Telefónica’s multicloud portal enables companies to simplify the complexity of their hybrid cloud environments including public, local and private clouds, unifying them into a single, simple, secure and flexible management environment.Marketing Technology News: Oracle Collaborates with Top Oracle PartnerNetwork Platinum Level Members to Rethink Customer Data Platform MarketThe agreement announced today is global and builds on the local agreement signed by Telefónica Spain last year with Google for the marketing of G Suite. Google’s suite of collaboration and productivity applications allows companies to integrate in the cloud everything they need to create a virtual workplace that, when combined with Telefónica’s professional communications and telephony services, allows users to work securely from anywhere.The global framework of the agreement means, that going forward, in addition to G Suite, Telefónica will promote in all countries where it operates Google Cloud Platform public cloud services, the infrastructure interconnection solution Google Cloud Interconnect and Chrome Enterprise which includes the most relevant business tools companies require to work easily in the cloud.Marketing Technology News: Databricks Accelerates APJ Expansion Following $250 Million Funding RoundHugo de los Santos, Global B2B Director of Products and Services at Telefónica commented: “Our customers demand a complete multicloud offering that allows them to use the most appropriate products and services from each cloud. Those offered by Google Cloud also perfectly complement our cloud product portfolio and will help us improve our value proposition to companies by distinguishing themselves through their Artificial Intelligence and machine learning capabilities.”Sebastian Marotte, VP EMEA Partners & Alliances, Google Cloud, said: “The alliance between Google Cloud and Telefónica Business Solutions provides our clients with a simple, secure and open approach, allowing them to take advantage of the benefits of the cloud in the best way that meets their business needs.”Marketing Technology News: Blis Expands Into the Netherlands With First Hire B2B markegoogleHugo de los SantosMarketing TechnologyNewsSebastian MarotteTelefónica Business Solutions Previous ArticleBuddig Launches National Advertising Campaign “Lunchtime Anytime”Next ArticleSitecore Expands Functionality for Salesforce Marketing Cloud, on Salesforce AppExchange with Better Personalization and Segmentation Telefónica to Offer Google Cloud Solutions to Companies Around the World MTS Staff WriterJune 18, 2019, 9:45 pmJune 18, 2019 last_img read more

Researchers reveal how some cancers trick healthy cells into protecting tumors

first_img Source:https://www.chla.org/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 30 2018Many factors affect cancer treatment outcome, such as the size and location of the tumor, availability of effective treatments, and timing of intervention. But some cancers are so aggressive that outcome is poor, even after early diagnosis and chemotherapy. Researchers have focused their attention on trying to understand what makes some cancers less treatable than others. Now, researchers at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles reveal a mechanism by which some cancers trick healthy cells into protecting tumors.Yves DeClerck, MD, of the Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases and the Saban Research Institute at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, has dedicated his career to understanding how cancer cells interact with the surrounding normal tissue to escape the effects of therapy. Research has shown that tumors with high levels of a protein called Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor 1 (PAI-1) are more aggressive and are associated with poorer outcomes. In the new study, published November 20th in the journal Cell Reports, DeClerck’s team demonstrated that cancer cells use PAI-1 to trick the body’s immune system into supporting the cancer.DeClerck and his team, led by postdoctoral research fellow Marta Kubala, PhD, characterized a relationship between tumors and the immune system. “In this study, we focused on the role of immune cells called macrophages and how PAI-1 affects their activity,” explains Kubala. As important players in the immune system, macrophages find and destroy cancer cells or foreign invaders like bacteria. While macrophages are normally considered anti-cancer, DeClerck’s team showed that PAI-1 pushes macrophages into an alternate, pro-cancer state (called M2) by recruiting common players in the immune system – IL-6 and STAT3 – effectively signaling to the macrophages to support rather than attack tumor cells.”A macrophage can either be a friend or an enemy to cancer cells,” explains DeClerck, who is also a professor of pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. “The cancer communicates with the macrophages, telling them to become friendly. So, the macrophages change their behavior and support the tumor.” In altering the function of surrounding, healthy tissue, the cancer is better able to survive and spread.Related StoriesSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyMother calls for protein shake regulation after daughter diesTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerThe team around DeClerck also shows that cancer cells can use PAI-1 to promote movement of these pro-cancer M2 macrophages into the tumors, where they protect the cancer and repair any damage that chemotherapy may have inflicted. This symbolic one-two punch culminates in a stronger, more difficult-to-treat cancer.DeClerck and his team have uncovered what appears to be a very common mechanism used by many cancers to commandeer part of the body’s immune system. In order to investigate how broadly this cellular communication could impact cancer treatment, DeClerck’s team studied the National Institute of Health’s Cancer Genome Atlas, a library of genetic information from more than 11,000 patient samples, and found that many different cancers have this relationship. “We looked at patient data from neuroblastoma and breast, prostate, colon, and lung cancers. Every time we see higher levels of PAI-1, we see more evidence of pro-cancer M2 macrophages,” says DeClerck.This new understanding of just how PAI-1 communicates with macrophages to change their activity has the potential to alter our approach to cancer treatment since these findings are applicable to most types of cancer. “It is clear that the tumor microenvironment, including cells of the immune system, is crucial in cancer development,” explains Kubala.While cancers vary widely in terms of location, treatment, and survival rates, their manipulation of macrophages represents a common thread, which is important for devising improved treatments for aggressive cancers. “Targeting PAI-1 could be beneficial in cancer,” DeClerck says, “but much more work needs to be done.” He cautions that the answer is not as simple as eliminating PAI-1, which is also made in healthy tissue and is an important part of the blood clotting process. But these results, which uncover a complete pathway of communication between tumors and macrophages, lay the foundation for a promising avenue of research.​​last_img read more

Longer pregnancies increase risk of stillbirths study reveals

first_imgCredit: Tatiana Vdb, Flickr Jul 3 2019The longer a pregnancy continues past 37 weeks gestation, the higher the risk of a stillbirth, according to a new meta-analysis published this week in PLOS Medicine by Shakila Thangaratinam of Queen Mary University of London, UK, and colleagues. Related StoriesScientists study immune molecules inside mycetoma grainsIncreasing awareness about visceral leishmaniasis could help reduce fatalities, disease transmissionNew computational modeling method predicts how gut microbes change over timeOf the 3000 babies stillborn every year in the UK, a third appeared healthy at 37 weeks. In the new work, researchers searched major electronic databases for studies on term pregnancies that included weekly numbers of stillbirths or neonatal deaths. Thirteen studies, providing data on 15 million pregnancies and 17,830 stillbirths, were identified and included in their analysis.The risk of stillbirth increased with gestational age from 0.11 stillbirths per 1000 pregnancies at 37 weeks (95% CI 0.07 to 0.15) to 3.18 stillbirths per 1000 pregnancies at 42 weeks (95% CI 1.84 to 4.35). From 40 to 41 weeks, there was a 64% increase in the risk of stillbirth. Neonatal mortality remained steady in babies born from 38 to 41 weeks, but was significantly higher for babies born at 42 weeks compared to 41 weeks (RR 1.87, 95% CI 1.07 to 2.86, p=0.012).“Any mother considering prolongation of pregnancy beyond 37 weeks should be informed of the additional small but significantly increased risks of stillbirths with advancing gestation,” the authors say. “There is a need to assess the acceptability of early delivery at term to parents and healthcare providers to avoid the small risk of stillbirth. Better stratification of apparently low risk women for complications using individualized prediction models could reduce the number of women who need to be delivered to avoid one additional stillbirth.” Source:PLOSJournal reference:Khalil, A. et al. (2019) Risks of stillbirth and neonatal death with advancing gestation at term: A systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies of 15 million pregnancies. PLOS Medicine. doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1002838.last_img read more

Tattoo electrodes from an inkjet printer for longterm medical diagnostics

Researchers at TU Graz present tattoo electrodes from the printer, which are particularly attractive for long-term medical diagnostics. Credit: Lunghammer – TU Graz Provided by Graz University of Technology Explore further Graphene electronic tattoos can be applied to the skin with water In the case of diagnostic methods such as electrocardiogram (ECG) and electromyography (EMG), gel electrodes are the preferred method of transmitting electric impulses from the heart or muscle. In clinical practice the frequently stiff and cumbersome electrodes noticeably restrict the mobility of patients and are not very comfortable. Because the gel on the electrodes dries out after a short time, the possibilities of taking measurements over a longer period using this kind of electrode are limited.Together with researchers from Instituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) Pontedera, Università degli Studi in Milan and Scuola Superiore Sant’ Anna in Pisa, Francesco Greco from the Institute of Solid State Physics at TU Graz in Austria presents a novel method in Advanced Science which raises the transmission of electrical impulses from human to machine to the next level using printed tattoo electrodes.Printed tattoo electrodes for long-term diagnosticsIn the presented method, conducting polymers are printed on commercial temporary tattoo paper, thus producing single or multiple electrode arrangements. The external connections necessary for transmitting the signals are integrated directly in the tattoo. The tattoo electrodes are then applied to the skin like temporary transfer pictures and can hardly be felt by the wearer. Due to their extreme thinness of under one micrometre, the electrodes can be adapted perfectly to the uneven human skin, and can even be applied to parts of the body where traditional electrodes are not suitable, for instance the face. Francesco Greco, materials scientist at the Institute of Solid State Physics of TU Graz explains: “With this method we have managed to take a big step forward in further developing epidermal electronics. We are on a direct road to making an extremely economical and simple as well as versatile applicable system which has enormous market potential.” There is already concrete interest from international biomedical companies in the shared development of marketable products, Greco reports.Personalising epidermal electronicsAnother feature of the printer-created tattoo electrodes is that even a perforation of the tattoo, for instance through the growth of a hair, does not impair the conductivity of the electrode and the signal transmission. This is particularly relevant in the case of long-term applications because hair growth leads to inaccuracies in the results using traditional measuring methods. Flawless transmissions of up to three days were trialled in the tests of the Italian Austrian research group. This, explains Greco, facilitates the measurement of electrophysiological signals of patients and athletes over a longer period without restricting or influencing their normal activities. Electrodes of different sizes and arrangements could also be produced using the printer and individually adapted to the respective body part on which the measurement is to be carried out.Greco describes the ultimate goal of the research as follows: “We are working on the development of wireless tattoo electrodes with integrated transistor which would make it possible to both send and receive signals. Not only could we measure impulses using this method, but we could also stimulate body regions in a targeted way.”Francesco Greco from TU Graz’s Institute of Solid State Physics is working together on this research topic with the team of Paolo Cavallari, professor of human physiology at Università degli Studi in Milan, and Professor Christian Cipriani, head of the Biorobotics Institute of Scuola Superiore Sant’ Anna in Pisa, and also with his former research group at Instituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) Pontedera. More information: Laura M. Ferrari et al. Ultraconformable Temporary Tattoo Electrodes for Electrophysiology, Advanced Science (2018). DOI: 10.1002/advs.201700771 Electrodes for longterm monitoring of electrical impulses of heart or muscles in the form of temporary tattoos produced using an ink-jet printer. An international research group involving TU Graz, Austria, presents this novel method in Advanced Science. Citation: Tattoo electrodes from an ink-jet printer for long-term medical diagnostics (2018, March 27) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-03-tattoo-electrodes-ink-jet-printer-long-term.html 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. read more

Whacking the mole how Australia scrambles to regulate Chinese technology

first_img This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. 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. China’s Huawei, ZTE blocked from Australia’s 5G network Did you ever go to your local show as a child? Remember that infuriating game where to win you had to hit every mole which popped its head out of a hole? I imagine Australia’s government feels like it’s playing whack-a-mole in regulating Chinese information and communications technology right now. Explore further Citation: Whacking the mole: how Australia scrambles to regulate Chinese technology (2018, September 12) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-09-whacking-mole-australia-scrambles-chinese.htmlcenter_img Provided by The Conversation Where’s the next threat coming from? Whack it! Credit: www.shutterstock.com A clearer policy on regulating information and communications technology in the context of national security threats may help. Though in this version of the game, the stakes are rather higher than cheap toys at the local show. Last month, the Australian government effectively banned Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE from tendering for our national 5G network. This week, the ABC revealed a range of secure locations using surveillance equipment made by Chinese companies which are likely to be banned from providing such equipment to government in the US. One in particular, Hikvision (HIK), has very close links to the Chinese government—42% is owned by state-owned enterprises, and the company is associated with a technology lab inside China’s Ministry of Public Security.The ABC’s investigations showed surveillance equipment being used in a range of locations, from an Australian defence base in South Australia, to Sydney’s Central Station. Critical supply chainsAs a resource-driven economy, Australia is not used to being at the wrong end of critical supply chains. We are familiar with being at the base of the supply chain for critical infrastructure – producing the iron ore, rare earths and coal which make and fuel technology. But recent concerns around regulating the risk from Chinese information and communications technology (ICT) have revealed exactly how uncomfortable it is at the pointy end of this particular supply chain. It’s this user end of the supply chain that the US Department of Homeland Security says is especially vulnerable to foreign espionage. Chinese ICT companies are increasingly at the forefront of discussion about information security and cyber risk in Australia, following the strong US lead in this discussion. In the broader sense, discussions about the risk from Chinese ICT firms are similar to discussions about Chinese investment in critical infrastructure – ports, for example, or gas pipelines. We want to ensure the safety of national assets from the attentions of interests which may not be compatible with our own. But ICT is different. Four reasons ICT is differentFirst, the supply chain is murky. In the case of HIK, for example, its products are often rebadged and on-sold by third parties. And the problem is compounded when software is introduced into the mix. Who in government – state, federal or local – should be responsible for assuring the safety of these devices? Second, where should regulation end? Who is to say whether four components made by a Chinese company in a device make an item vulnerable, but two do not? Can a local council use a HIK camera but a state government must not? Whose job is it to check? Third, the private sector is directly implicated in ICT and cybersecurity more broadly. Purchasing decisions and cybersecurity practices at even the smallest private sector firm can have an impact on national security, especially given the increasing importance of internet-connected devices. Finally, Chinese ICT companies are often the cheapest suppliers of equipment (in part, perhaps, because – like HIK – they have been fuelled by huge Chinese government contracts). This means banning them as suppliers imposes a cost burden on government, the private sector and consumers. Time for actionUnlike the US, whose lead we tend to follow on these issues, Australia has no domestic ICT manufacturing industry and so – for us – there are no domestic winners from regulating purchasing decisions like this. Review of foreign investment in critical infrastructure has recently been upgraded. But ICT has unique and diverse needs. A security camera in Central Station is not the same as a port in Darwin. Government knows this: 2016’s Cyber Security Strategy outlined as one of its goals: “develop guidance for government agencies to consistently manage supply chain security risks for ICT equipment and services.”But the 2017 update on progress in implementing the strategy lists developing such guidance as “not scheduled to have commenced”. Perhaps it should have by now.last_img read more