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Reproducibility Crisis in Psychology, and Other Science Woes


first_imgHere’s more evidence that human pride, greed and ambition can get in the way of the ideals of science.ReproducibilityThe Open Science Collaboration tried to reproduce 100 psychology results published in leading journals. Their results, published in Science Magazine, show that only about a third yielded significant results in support of the conclusions, even when the original authors certified the methods used.“Many psychology papers fail the replication test,” John Bohannon reported in the same issue of Science Magazine. By any measure, a two-thirds failure rate is statistically significant. The researchers understand this does not bode well for science’s reputation. “Reproducibility is a defining feature of science, but the extent to which it characterizes current research is unknown,” they begin their paper. “Scientific claims should not gain credence because of the status or authority of their originator but by the replicability of their supporting evidence.” Live Science followed up with this headline: “Only One-Third of Psychology Findings May Be Reliable – Now What?”Elizabeth Gilbert, one of the members of the Open Science Collaboration, wrote the following recommendations in The Conversation:We must stop treating single studies as unassailable authorities of the truth. Until a discovery has been thoroughly vetted and repeatedly observed, we should treat it with the measure of skepticism that scientific thinking requires. After all, the truly scientific mindset is critical, not credulous….Of course, adopting a skeptical attitude will take us only so far. We also need to provide incentives for reproducible science by rewarding those who conduct replications and who conduct replicable work….Better research practices are also likely to ensure higher replication rates. There is already evidence that taking certain concrete steps – such as making hypotheses clear prior to data analysis, openly sharing materials and data, and following transparent reporting standards – decreases false positive rates in published studies. Some funding organizations are already demanding hypothesis registration and data sharing.Although perfect replicability in published papers is an unrealistic goal, current replication rates are unacceptably low. The first step, as they say, is admitting you have a problem. What scientists and the public now choose to do with this information remains to be seen, but our collective response will guide the course of future scientific progress.It sounds like many researchers should form another collaboration. They could call it Scientists Anonymous.Data IntegrityPLoS Biology published a paper titled, “The Question of Data Integrity in Article-Level Metrics.” The article describes various anti-fraud measures the Public Library of Science (PLoS) is taking to prevent and detect fraud. “The efforts summarized above aim to mitigate some of the concerns about data integrity, but more work needs to be done,” the authors say before issuing their Call to Action. It should be obvious, though, that data are morally neutral. Any integrity in data requires moral action from human beings.Fake Peer ReviewOn another front, Nature reported that faked peer review led to 64 retractions. “The cull comes after similar discoveries of ‘fake peer review’ by several other major publishers,” reporter Ewen Calloway says. Some publishers are setting up safeguards in light of the scandal, but “It is important publishers take rapid but careful action,” a spokesperson for the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) says.“The particular problem of fake review comes about when authors are allowed to suggest possible peer reviewers,” says Wager. “The system sounds good. The trouble is when people game the system and use it as a loophole.”The involvement of third-party companies in bogus peer review is “more worrying”, Wager adds, because it could mean that the practice is more systemic and extends beyond a handful of rogue authors.Another worry is robotic publishing. Software can be designed to generate fake journal papers that might get published. It seems intuitive that robots can only have the ethics that are programmed into them by humans. If future dishonest robots vanquish the honest robots, the robots will not be morally accountable; it will only reflect the talent of the respective programmers.You can’t have science without honesty. Where does honesty come from? Can it evolve? See our next entry. (Visited 72 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more


Classy field set to contest Drak Challenge


first_img9 January 2014With the N3TC Drak Challenge set to serve as the 2014 South African K1 River Championships on 18 and 19 January, the event has drawn a field filled with world class talent, led by three-time Drak and marathon world champion Hank McGregor.New champions are set to be crowned with last year’s men’s winner Graeme Solomon not expected to enter and women’s champion Michele Eray overseas coaching the United States national canoeing team.McGregor missed the Drak Challenge last year because he was in Australia to contest the Perth Doctor Surfski World Cup in preparation for the ICF World Surfski Championships in Portugal. He had won the previous three Drak titles from 2010 to 2012.With his close friend Grant van der Walt, a two-time under-23 marathon world champion, defending the title, the Durban-based star is looking forward to a tough battle for the honours. There will be many more tough paddlers to contend with, however.Under-23 world championAndy Birkett, the under-23 marathon world champion, will be on the starting line. Thanks to a sponsorship from Euro Steel, the three-time Dusi champion is now able to concentrate full time on paddling and should be in excellent shape.Birkett and his Dusi partner, Sbonelo Zondi, have both committed to the Drak Challenge, but they will lack the experience of some of the other contenders.“This will be my first Drak in five years as it just hasn’t been a part of my Dusi build- up for the past few years,” Birkett said when he announced his entry in December.“I usually prefer to train more and race less before Dusi, but this time I’ve learnt to use racing as part of my training. I’ve really enjoyed taking part in more races recently and I’m really looking forward to being back at Drak again too.”‘The river is just amazing’He also praised the picturesque race, saying: “The river is just amazing. Paddling through the gorge and some of those pools is just unbelievable. Even to be able to head up there before the race and trip that section is well worth it because it is just so beautiful with the mountains in the background, and the river is so much fun all the way down.“The river, the venue, the clean water – it is just such a special setup up there in Underberg and all these factors make the Drak a really awesome event.”‘Very technical’Zondi, too, said he was looking forward to the Drak, even though it does not necessarily suit his skills’ set. “I enjoy the Drak because it is totally out of my strengths. There is no running with the boat in the Drak, like there is in Dusi, and the river is very technical, so I really enjoy the different type of challenge the Drak is for me.“The race has a bit of everything. Day one is very technical and you have to drive the boat very well and then on day two you then have to prove your strength on the flatter sections. All in all it is very exciting.”Late entryThree-time champion Len Jenkins entered just before Wednesday evening’s deadline and could pose a threat, although there are suggestions that he might take on the race socially.He won the event in 2004, 2006 and 2008 and held the race record until Grant van der Walt bettered it in flooded conditions last year. Jenkins finished second for the fourth year in succession.InternationalsCzech star Jakub Adam, who will team up with former K2 marathon world champion Cam Schoeman for the Dusi Canoe Marathon, will add some international intrigue to the event, as will the Australian duo of Josh Kippin and James Morfitt.The Australians have already competed in the Hansa Fish, Lowveld Croc and 50 Miler, as well as a number of surfski races in South Africa, but it will be a last South African event for Kippin. Morfitt could yet take on the Dusi, the Non-Stop Dusi and the Umkomaas Canoe Marathon.Women’s raceAdam’s sister, Anna Adamova, who finished second in the K1 women’s class at the Marathon World Championships in September 2013 and third in the K2s, is an immensely powerful paddler and could pose a threat to the leading South African paddlers in the women’s division, but her lack of experience on the uMzimkhulu River around Underberg in the KwaZulu-Natal Drakensberg will be against her. She will also arrive only days before the event.Adamova, though, believes her Dusi partner Abby Adie should win the race. Adie has already won the Drak three times – in 2010, 2011 and 2013 – and will be aiming to become the first woman to win the event four times.‘Unpredictable’“I always enjoy myself up there so much,” she said just before Christmas. “The technical rapids are great and the unpredictable nature of the river, which this year’s (2013) flood showed once more, adds a real element of the unknown to the race.”She also identified a number of other potential winners. “[Dusi champion] Robyn (Kime) is always a big factor and having not seen her paddling for a while, no one really knows just how strong she is at the moment.“If it’s low then Hilary (Bruss) will be deadly through the technical stuff.“Then, of course, there’s Michelle Burn who won KZN Mixed Doubles with her husband Ollie recently and is just so consistent on that river. With her surfski background, she is super strong, especially on the flat sections, and could well be up there as well.”Dark horseThe dark horse, though, is Abbey Ulanksy (nee Miedema), a two-time winner of the Drak, who now lives in Canada. Ulanksy will arrive in South Africa only days before the race, so little is known of her preparations for a crack at the Dusi title with Robyn Kime, but her pedigree (seven Dusi titles) cannot be ignored.The N3TC Drak Challenge 2014 starts on 18 January at Castleburn outside Underberg and finishes on 19 January at Early Mist Farm close to Coleford.last_img read more


Medical Identity Theft


first_imgBy Carol ChurchI recently received a mysterious medical appointment reminder for an appointment I do not have from a provider I have never seen. When I called to inquire about the situation, I was told that somehow my phone number had been accidentally transposed onto the file of another patient. Although this seems to have just been a clerical error, the situation worried me, because it made me feel concerned about the possibility of medical identity theft.These days, almost everyone is probably familiar with the general idea of identity theft. However, most of us may be more likely to think of having a Social Security card number or credit card number stolen than to consider the concern of medical ID theft.Who is Affected?Photospin/Erwin WodickaUnfortunately, however, this is a serious problem affecting millions of Americans every year. And the aftermath can be just as devastating (or more so) than other types of identity theft. Victims of medical identity theft can end up on the hook for thousands of dollars of medical bills and may be denied coverage and services. Medical identity theft can even put your own health at risk, as when someone else’s health concerns, allergies, conditions, etc. become intertwined with yours and falsely appear on your medical records. Some medical identity theft victims have even been erroneously accused of crimes when criminals used their information to obtain painkillers.Sadly, veterans and service members are at elevated risk of all types of identity theft, including medical identity theft. This is for two reasons: first, their personal information is in many, many systems and frequently requested; second, unscrupulous people know that military medical benefits are highly valuable and wish to obtain access. For this reason, service members and those who work with them need to be informed about this lesser-known problem.What are the signs of medical identity theft?All of the following may be warning signs of medical identity theft:Receiving medical bills for procedures or office visits you do not recognize or that you did not authorizeSeeing charges, procedures, or visits on your EOBs (Explanation of Benefits) materials from your insurance company that are unfamiliarBeing told you have reached a cap or lifetime limit when you are not anywhere close to thisReceiving notices from creditors or being denied credit for medical bills you do not recognizeConfusing information in your health records that seems to not be yours (for instance, about conditions you do not have or procedures you never underwent)What should someone do if they suspect or believe they are a victim?If you suspect that you have been a victim of medical identity theft, the first step is to find the instances. Request your medical records from every provider that you know or think may have been involved. You have a right to these records, but unfortunately, there may be a fee.If you find mistakes, correct these with the providers. You may need to file a report with the police to help this process along.Alert your health insurer to the fraud.Medical identity theft victims may be the victims of other types of identity theft as well, so if you have identified this type of ID theft, it’s time to check other accounts, including credit cards, bank accounts, and your credit report.File a complaint at www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov or by phone at 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338). Visit www.ftc.gov/idtheft for additional information.How can medical identity theft be prevented?Guard all sensitive military IDs, Social Security numbers, Medicare and Medicaid numbers, Tricare and insurance cards, etc. Securely store or shred papers containing these numbers.Always contact your insurance company and/or health care providers about unfamiliar charges, bills, or procedures. (Remember, however, that bills can be confusing and human error can occur. Not all mysterious charges are fraudulent.)Never “share” medical identities with someone, even if they are in dire need. And be careful about who has access to your personal records, even within your family. According to one study, the majority of medical identity thieves are someone who knew the victim.Medical identity theft is yet another type of crime that we need to be aware of in today’s changing world. Staying alert to the risk of this type of fraud is key.References and resources:Andrews, M. The rise of medical identity theft. Retrieved from http://www.consumerreports.org/medical-identity-theft/medical-identity-theft/Federal Trade Commission. (2011). Medical Identity Theft: FAQs for Health Care Providers and Health Plans. Retrieved from https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/medical-identity-theft-faqs-health-care-providers-health-plansOffice of Inspector General. Medical ID Theft / Fraud Information. Retrieved from https://oig.hhs.gov/fraud/medical-id-theft/University of Texas at Austin Center for Identity. Medical Identity Theft Targeting Veterans and Active Service Personnel: What You Need to Know. Retrieved from https://identity.utexas.edu/veterans-and-active-service-personnel/medical-identity-theft-targeting-veterans-and-active-service-personnel-what-you-need-to-knowlast_img read more


Minister in trouble for yelling at flood victims


first_imgMaharashtra Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil on Monday landed in controversy after a video captured him yelling at a group of flood victims voicing their grievances. The Opposition was quick to point out his ‘insensitivity’ and asked whether the State was being run by General Dyer, infamous for ordering the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in the British-ruled India in 1919. Addressing a gathering in Kolhapur, Mr. Patil, who is also guardian minister of Kolhapur and Pune, is seen in the video asking people to be patient and have faith in the administration’s work. Soon after, he can be seen losing his cool and raising his voice at a complainant. This latest incident adds to the list of BJP ministers who have landed in trouble while carrying out flood relief work. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis himself has been criticised for continuing his political campaign. Last week, Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan was seen taking a selfie-video on a boat in a flooded area. Relief and Rehabilitation minister Subhash Deshmukh has been accused of being busy in party programmes in Pune while Minister of State Sadabhau Khot is alleged to have doctored a video showing him rescuing a victim.In the video which went viral on Monday, Mr. Patil is heard yelling at the crowd, “You need to be patient and systematic. The officials have been working for 24 hours with no sleep, and still, you want to complain?” He also gestures in anger at the crowd saying, “shut up”. State unit Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat slammed the minister. “People will naturally get angry if the guardian minister, government machinery does not do its duty on time.” The NCP wanted to know whether Maharashtra is witnessing the rule of General Dyer. “On the one hand the minister is yelling at flood victims and on the other district administration is imposing prohibitory orders. This is nothing but dictatorial behaviour,” said party national spokesperson Nawab Malik.last_img read more


Keep Garth Drabinsky out of capital markets regulator tells hearing


first_img Login/Register With: Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Drabinsky is seeking some exemptions, including being able to open a registered retirement savings plan and trade securities within the account, as well as set up a family company to minimize personal taxes and help with estate planning.“This is not cutting Mr. Drabinsky any slack,” said Richard H. Shekter, who represents Drabinsky.Shekter also argued his client needs some of the other caveats he’s asking for to be able to continue working. The lawyer said in previous hearings that the OSC’s suggested sanctions are broad enough to prevent Drabinsky from speaking with investors who are interested in his creative vision on future theatre productions.Drabinsky previously produced hits like The Phantom of the Opera and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. His newest production, Sousatzka, debuts this month and is seen as his potential comeback vehicle.Foy said Drabinsky can continue to produce within film and television where there is limited private investment.But the OSC’s lawyers have argued the caveats and exemptions Drabinsky’s lawyers are asking for are unnecessary and broad.“They seem to be asking for a carve out for every conceivable situation,” Foy said.Foy added it’s impossible to predict whether the exemptions have any weaknesses that Drabinsky could exploit, while Drabinsky’s lawyer said he’s willing to co-operate with suggestions from the OSC’s three-member panel to revise his proposal along with input from Foy.The OSC will issue their decision on whether to mete out any regulatory penalties “in due course,” said D. Grant Vingoe, vice-chair of the commission and one of the members of the panel hearing the case.Drabinsky declined to comment at the end of the day’s proceedings. Advertisement Twitter Facebook Advertisement Lawyers for Ontario’s securities regulator said Monday in their closing statements that Garth Drabinsky, who defrauded investors of an estimated $500 million, should not be allowed to participate in the capital markets, while his representation called for some exceptions so he could continue to work in theatre production.“The capital markets are not the place for second chances,” said Pamela Foy, senior litigation counsel with the Ontario Securities Commission. She argued the regulatory agency cannot allow Drabinsky to be in a position where he could do more damage.Drabinsky was sentenced to a five-year prison term for his role in the Livent Entertainment fraud scandal that occurred nearly two decades ago. The OSC is seeking to ban him from acting as a director or officer of a public company and acting as or becoming a registrant in Ontario.last_img read more


Some fear Siksika First Nation a total loss after flood


first_imgAPTN National NewsSome are fearing total loss of their homes on the flood ravaged Siksika First Nation in Alberta.Alberta’s premier visited the area 12 days after the flood hit.APTN’s Keith Laboucan has the story.last_img


Two giant planets detected around an evolved intermediatemass star


first_img Citation: Two giant planets detected around an evolved intermediate-mass star (2016, January 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-01-giant-planets-evolved-intermediate-mass-star.html The planets were discovered by an international team of astronomers led by Bun’ei Sato of the Tokyo Institute of Technology. The researchers employed the Okayama Astrophysical Observatory (OAO) in Japan, the Xinglong Station in China and the Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO) to observe HD 47366. The planets were detected by the radial velocity method, also known as Doppler spectroscopy, which uses gravity to detect exoworlds.The astronomers were searching for any signs of wobbling when observing HD 47366, as planets exert a gravitational tug when they orbit their parent stars, causing them to wobble back and forth. Three powerful spectrographs were needed to detect this wobbling: the HIgh Dispersion Echelle Spectrograph (HIDES) at OAO, the Coude Echelle Spectrograph (CES) at Xinglong and the University College London Echelle Spectrograph (UCLES) at AAO.Precise radial-velocity measurements using these spectrographs revealed the presence of two exoplanets orbiting HD 47366. By fitting a double Keplerian model to the obtained radial-velocity data, the researchers were able to determine the mass, semimajor axis and eccentricity of the newly discovered worlds. According to their computations, the inner and outer planet have minimum masses equal to 1.75 and 1.86 Jupiter masses, semimajor axes of 1.214 and 1.853 AU (astronomical units), and eccentricities of 0.089 and 0.278 respectively.With relatively small orbital separations, this planetary system has immediately become very intriguing for the scientists.”The planetary system is intriguing in the points that the best-fit Keplerian orbit is unstable, it is near but less likely in 2:1 mean-motion resonance, and could be stable if the orbits are nearly circular or in retrograde configuration,” the researchers wrote in the paper.To further investigate the orbital stability of the system and constrain orbital parameters, the astronomers performed dynamical analysis for the system. This analysis revealed that the best-fit orbits in prograde configuration are unstable. However, the scientists found that they are stable in the following cases: The two planets are in the 2:1 mean-motion resonance; the eccentricity of the outer planet is less than about 0.15; mutual inclination of two the planets is larger than 160 degrees.The researchers also assume that the current orbital configuration could also be caused by a possible third planet in this system. However, no convincing evidence supporting this theory has yet been released.According to the research team, it is still unknown why multi-giant-planet systems with small orbital separation are mostly found around evolved, intermediate-mass stars. The scientists have offered one possible explanation for this phenomenon.”It may be a primordial property of planets around intermediate-mass stars that could be an outcome of planet formation or an acquired one as a result of orbital evolution caused by stellar evolution (stellar tide and mass loss) of central stars,” the paper reads.To this date, precise radial-velocity surveys have found about 120 substellar companions around evolved stars. The discovery made by Sato and his team is another important finding increasing the population of multi-giant-planet systems found with relatively small orbital separations around evolved intermediate-mass stars. Planets around these type of stars, especially consisting of giant exoplanets, could be crucial for our understanding of formation and evolution of planetary systems. Explore further Monster planet is ‘dancing with the stars’ (Phys.org)—HD 47366 is an evolved star almost twice as massive as our sun. Located about 260 light years from the Earth, the star is approximately 1.6 billion years old, and, as it turns out, hosts two giant planets with a mass nearly two times that of Jupiter’s each. A research paper detailing the new findings was published online on Jan. 18 in the arXiv journal. More information: A Pair of Giant Planets around the Evolved Intermediate-Mass Star HD 47366: Multiple Circular Orbits or a Mutually Retrograde Configuration, arXiv:1601.04417 [astro-ph.EP] arxiv.org/pdf/1601.04417.pdfAbstractWe report the detection of a double planetary system around the evolved intermediate-mass star HD 47366 from precise radial-velocity measurements at Okayama Astrophysical Observatory, Xinglong Station, and Australian Astronomical Observatory. The star is a K1 giant with a mass of 1.81+-0.13M_sun, a radius of 7.30+-0.33R_sun, and solar metallicity. The planetary system is composed of two giant planets with minimum mass of 1.75^{+0.20}_{-0.17}Mjup and 1.86^{+0.16}_{-0.15}Mjup, orbital period of 363.3^{+2.5}_{-2.4} d and 684.7^{+5.0}_{-4.9} d, and eccentricity of 0.089^{+0.079}_{-0.060} and 0.278^{+0.067}_{-0.094}, respectively, which are derived by a double Keplerian orbital fit to the radial-velocity data. The system adds to the population of multi-giant-planet systems with relatively small orbital separations, which are preferentially found around evolved intermediate-mass stars. Dynamical stability analysis for the system revealed, however, that the best-fit orbits are unstable in the case of a prograde configuration. The system could be stable if the planets were in 2:1 mean-motion resonance, but this is less likely considering the observed period ratio and eccentricity. A present possible scenario for the system is that both of the planets have nearly circular orbits, namely the eccentricity of the outer planet is less than ~0.15, which is just within 1.4sigma of the best-fit value, or the planets are in a mutually retrograde configuration with a mutual orbital inclination larger than 160 degree. 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. Upper: Radial velocities of HD 47366 obtained with HIDES-S (red), HIDES-F (blue), CES-O (brown), CES-N (magenta), HRS (cyan), and AAT (green). The error bar for each point includes the extra Gaussian noise. The double Keplerian model for the radial velocities is shown by the solid line. Bottom: Residuals to the Keplerian fit. Credit: arXiv:1601.04417 [astro-ph.EP] © 2016 Phys.orglast_img read more


Three Technologies That Will Change the Way You Use WiFi


first_img Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. March 19, 2012 Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Wi-Fi as you know it will begin to evolve over the next few months, changing how businesses stay connected.Three new Wi-Fi technologies — 802.11ac, Hotspot 2.0 (also known as Wi-Fi Certified Passpoint) and Super Wi-Fi — will provide faster, seamless, more widespread and more secure connectivity via mobile devices and wireless connections in the office and home.Here’s a look at what to expect, as well as insight on what it means for business:1. More seamless mobile connections.When you get off a plane, you turn your smartphone on and, voilà, you get service. This type of cellular roaming convenience is coming soon for Wi-Fi.Instead of sorting through a list of available Wi-Fi hotspots figuring out which ones are safe and secure, remembering passwords or dealing with sign-in pages, Passpoint-certified Wi-Fi hotspots are expected to completely automate connectivity.You won’t need new phones or tablets. Portable Wi-Fi devices will require only firmware, software or operating system updates to make them Passpoint compliant, says the Wi-Fi Alliance, an international nonprofit group shepherding Passpoint’s adoption and certification.Once Passpoint compliant, phones will automatically connect to the most secure and powerful Passpoint Wi-Fi hotspot available for all data activities. That will mean less need for spotty and slow 3G or even 4G data connections.Related: Three Tips for Using Public Wi-Fi Safely What it means: More widespread Wi-Fi should make travel communications easier. Employees could more easily access attachments and transfer documents, as well as avoid costly hotel Wi-Fi charges. Voice connections via VoIP also could save businesses on cellular costs.Any business can set up its own Passpoint hotspot, then partner with a local cellular carrier or Passpoint hotspot operator and earn a commission for any resulting Wi-Fi traffic.The first Passpoint-certified Wi-Fi routers are expected to go on sale this July, and the first commercial Passpoint hotspots are expected this fall. Charges for Passpoint Wi-Fi connectivity will simply be one more item on your cellular invoice rather than a separate bill. While prices have yet to be set, hotspot operator and Passpoint supporter Boingo charges less than $10 a month for unlimited domestic connectivity. Passpoint connectivity will likely be priced similarly.2. Faster Wi-Fi communications.Today’s fastest Wi-Fi protocol is 802.11n, or just “n,” which provides theoretical data transfer speeds of around 300 megabits per second (Mbps).Up next on the Wi-Fi speed chart is 802.11ac, alternately called “gigabit,” Very High Throughput Wi-Fi or fifth-generation (5G) Wi-Fi. By any name, 802.11ac Wi-Fi is expected to offer speeds of up to 1300 Mbps — potentially more than four times faster than current “n” routers and about 1,000 times faster than 4G LTE connectivity.Instead of operating in the crowded 2.4 GHz frequencies along with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and wireless communication gadgets, 802.11ac Wi-Fi will transmit data in the relatively vacant 5 GHz spectrum.Related: What I Learned About Business Travel on the Way to the Taj MahalWhat it means: These and other improvements are expected to create speedier, more consistent wireless links further from the router with fewer dead spots and greater ability to penetrate walls.For businesses, this would mean more reliable in-office connectivity and could reduce or eliminate the need for complex and expensive wired broadband connections. For portable devices, speedier downloads via gigabit Wi-Fi would increase battery life.Expect the first gigabit Wi-Fi routers to go on sale this summer, likely for only a small price premium over current “n” routers.3. Wi-Fi everywhere.Even if gigabit Wi-Fi slightly expands Wi-Fi’s range, distance from the router will still be limited to a couple of hundred feet in optimal conditions, making office wireless a hit-or-miss proposition.Hotspots measured in miles rather than feet may be coming soon via a technology called Super Wi-Fi, which uses so-called TV white space, unused over-the-air spectrum recently approved by the FCC for commercial use.What it means: These lower frequencies allow wider and more powerful wireless signal propagation. An indoor Super Wi-Fi 40 mW transmitter creates a Wi-Fi hotspot up to five times the range of current Wi-Fi hotspots. In other words, a hotspot blanketing more than 1,000 feet would be enough to cover a small business office with a single router.More impressively, a high-powered outdoor four-watt commercial transmitter could create a Super Wi-Fi hotspot stretching many miles.Related: Three Low-Cost Ways to Keep Data Safe When Traveling for BusinessThe drawback is that Super Wi-Fi speeds tend to be slower than regular Wi-Fi. For example, the first Super Wi-Fi network in the U.S. launched in Wilmington, N.C., in January and offers speeds of just one to two Mbps over an area of between one and two miles. It’s faster than 3G but a crawl compared to any other Wi-Fi technology.Aside from Wilmington, commercial Super Wi-Fi field tests are under way in various locations around the U.S. The first consumer Super Wi-Fi gear, including dual-mode standard Wi-Fi/Super Wi-Fi home routers, is due to go on sale in early 2014. Mobile equipment manufacturers are expected to begin building in Super Wi-Fi by the end of next year.Over time, the combination of these three advances could create a global Wi-Fi blanket, with only a few spots on the planet where a Wi-Fi connection was not available. 5 min read Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Register Now »last_img read more


According to a report Microsoft plans for new 4K webcams featuring facial


first_imgMicrosoft plans to introduce two new webcams next year. One feature is designed to extend Windows Hello facial recognition to all the Windows 10 PCs. The other feature will work with the Xbox One, bringing back the Kinect feature that let users automatically sign in by moving in front of the camera. These webcams will be working with multiple accounts and family members. Microsoft is also planning to launch its Surface Hub 2S in 2019, an interactive, digital smart board for the modern workplace that features a USB-C port and upgradeable processor cartridges. PC users have relied on alternatives from Creative, Logitech, and Razer to bring facial recognition to desktop PCs. The planned webcams will be linked to the USB-C webcams that would ship with the Surface Hub 2, whichwill be launched next year. Though the Surface Hub 2X is expected in 2020. In an interview with The Verge in October, Microsoft Surface Chief, Panos Panay suggested that Microsoft could release USB-C webcam soon. “Look at the camera on Surface Hub 2, note it’s a USB-C-based camera, and the idea that we can bring a high fidelity camera to an experience, you can probably guess that’s going to happen,” hinted Panos in October. A camera could possibly be used to extend experience beyond its own Surface devices. The camera for Windows 10, for the first time, will bring facial recognition to all Windows 10 PCs. Currently, Windows Hello facial recognition is restricted to the built-in webcams just like the ones on Microsoft’s Surface devices. According to Windows watcher Paul Thurrott, Microsoft is making the new 4K cameras for Windows 10 PCs and its gaming console Xbox One. The webcam will return a Kinect-like feature to the Xbox One which will allow users to authenticate by putting their face in front of the camera. With the recent Windows 10 update, Microsoft enabled WebAuthn-based authentication, that helps in signing into its sites such as Office 365 with Windows Hello and security keys. The Windows Hello-compatible webcams and FIDO2, a password-less sign in with Windows Hello at the core, will be launched together next year. It would be interesting to see how the new year turns out to be for Microsoft and its users with the major releases. Read Next Microsoft urgently releases Out-of-Band patch for an active Internet Explorer remote code execution zero-day vulnerability NYT says Facebook has been disclosing personal data to Amazon, Microsoft, Apple and other tech giants; Facebook denies claims with obfuscating press release Microsoft open sources Trill, a streaming engine that employs algorithms to process “a trillion events per day”last_img read more