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Facebook developing app that will track your every move – even when it’s turned off

App intended to alert users when Facebook ‘friends’ are nearby.

It will also help the social network target localised adverts.

Privacy campaigners warn it is ‘profit trumping privacy’.

Facebook is developing a new smartphone app to track the location of users in an effort to target them with localised adverts, according to reports.

The app will help users to find friends who are nearby, alert them when it detects one in close proximity even when the app is not open on the handset, it is claimed.

It will be just one of a whole suite of mobile apps Facebook is building up to help it profit from the increasing proportion of its users who access the social network on the go.

But privacy campaigners warned it was another example of ‘profit trumping privacy’ and called the function ‘intrusive’.

Facebook developing app that will track your every move – even when it’s turned off
The loading screen of the Facebook mobile app: The social network is developing a new smartphone app to track the location of users in an effort to target them with localised adverts

European regulators have already warned Facebook over the way it handles users’ personal data, forcing the company to turn off its facial recognition feature for European users.

The new app would help Facebook target advertising to users based on their location and their daily habits, helping corporate clients to reach the audiences they feel are most likely to want their products.

Plans for the app were leaked to Bloomberg by two people ‘with knowledge of the matter’, the financial news service said.

Development of Facebook’s location software is being led by Peter Deng, a product director who joined the company from Google in 2007, one source said.

Mobile first: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg last week told investors that the company would focus on generating revenue from mobile apps
Mobile first: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg last week told investors that the company would focus on generating revenue from mobile apps

The team also includes engineers from Glancee, a location-tracking company Facebook bought out last May, and Gowalla, a location-based social network snapped up in December 2011, Bloomberg reported.

Facebook’s privacy policies already warn users that the social network may use location data to ‘tell you and your friends about people or events nearby, or offer deals to you that you might be interested in.’

Mr Zuckerberg last week boasted that the company had redirected itself to focus on becoming a truly mobile company, in a move that he feels is paying off since their mobile ad revenue is growing.

‘2012 was a big year for us,’ the 28-year-old social media entrepreneur said in a conference call following the release of the Q4 earnings report a day earlier.

Facebook’s biggest challenge – and its greatest opportunity – lies in mobile devices which is an area that the company did not pay much attention to until just last year.

Most Facebook users access it using a mobile phone or tablet computer, yet the nine-year-old company only started showing mobile ads about nine months ago.

The company said it generated 23 per cent, or $306million, of advertising revenue from mobile, marking an increase from 14 per cent in the third quarter.

‘When we get your GPS location, we put it together with other location information we have about you (like your current city),’ says the social network’s data use policy.

‘But we only keep it until it is no longer useful to provide you services, like keeping your last GPS coordinates to send you relevant notifications.’

Matrix: Facebook's privacy policies already warn users that the social network may use location data to 'tell you and your friends about people or events nearby, or offer deals to you that you might be interested in'
Matrix: Facebook’s privacy policies already warn users that the social network may use location data to ‘tell you and your friends about people or events nearby, or offer deals to you that you might be interested in’

WEB USERS SEEKING ‘INVISIBILITY’

Consumer efforts to protect personal data and remain ‘invisible’ online is leading to a ‘data blackhole’ that could adversely impact digital advertisers, according to a new report.

The move to seek ‘new tools that allow them to remain ‘invisible’ — untraceable and impossible to target by data means’ will impact advertisers who rely on that information to target their audiences, technology research firm Ovum said yesterday.

Surveying consumers in 11 countries around the world, the research firm said 68 per cent of respondents said they would select a ‘do not track’ feature if this was easily available.

Mark Little, a principal analyst at Ovum, said Internet users were increasingly getting more access to new tools to ‘monitor, control and secure their personal data as never before’.

The recent scandal involving privacy breaches by mobile messaging service WhatsApp and lingering concerns over data use policies on Facebook and Google are prompting Internet users to be more guarded, Ovum added.

The new tracking device-style application has already raised concerns among privacy campaigners.

Nick Pickles, director of privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch, said: ‘Data about where you are at any one time is hugely sensitive and should only ever be shared when users are fully aware of how the data will be used and remain in full control of who can see it.

‘Yet again it seems the case that the demands of advertisers trump consumer’s right to privacy, and Facebook needs to be very careful with these plans otherwise users will rightly be up in arms again.

‘The reality is that smart phones are capable of tracking our movements in real time, however consumers are largely kept in the dark about who can access the data and how it is used.

‘This has to change and the law needs strengthening to protect consumers from overly intrusive attempts to monitor our behaviour.’

There is already a range of other apps which constantly track user locations to help them find friends or places of interest.

However, privacy concerns and the heavy toll they place on smartphones’ battery life mean that they have failed to gain wide audiences.

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Health authorities have confirmed a case of a rare type of smallpox in a UK patient

Skin rashes caused by ape pox. Credit: CDC's Public Health Image Library (Public domain)

A patient in England has been diagnosed with a rare case of monkeypox, as reported by Public Health England (PHE).

The rare viral infection is similar to smallpox, and though it is milder, it can be fatal.

It has been reported that the individual was in Nigeria and that he would have contracted the disease there. Later, upon returning to the United Kingdom, he stayed in the southwest of England where the disease occurred.

Upon symptoms, he was transferred to the Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust , a center specializing in infectious diseases in London.

The health authorities have taken the necessary measures to prevent the virus from spreading to other people.

Vaccination against smallpox to people in Africa. (Public domain)

The PHE said in a statement:

As a precaution, PHE experts are working closely with NHS colleagues to implement rapid infection control procedures, including contact with people who may have been in close contact with the individual to provide health information and advice. ”

But experts are not very worried about contagion, because monkeypox does not spread easily among people and the risk of affecting the population is quite low, said Dr. Meera Chand , PHE consulting microbiologist.

This transmission electron micrograph (TEM) represents a series of smallpox virus virions. Credit: CDC / Dr. Fred Murphy; Sylvia Whitfield / Wikimedia Commons

Although the infection usually occurs mildly and people get better without treatment; Some individuals may develop very serious symptoms, with a percentage of 1 to 10 percent of patients dying from the disease during outbreaks, according to the World Health Organization .

The symptoms presented are similar to those of smallpox but milder. First, fever, headaches, muscle aches, back pain, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion. Subsequently rashes may appear on the skin , starting on the face and spreading throughout the rest of the body.

This is not the first time a patient has been infected with smallpox in the United Kingdom. In 2018, there were three cases after a person was diagnosed with the disease. The individual had also returned from Nigeria.

Source: Gov.ukIFL Science

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A cold virus can infect a pregnant woman’s fetus

The study showed that the expectant mother is able to transmit a respiratory tract infection to her unborn child.

Scientists from Tulane University (Louisiana, USA) received the first evidence that the cold virus, which affects a pregnant woman, can penetrate the placenta and infect the fetus. An article about this has been published in PLOS One .

The placenta, an organ that develops in the uterine cavity of a woman during pregnancy, provides the necessary nutrition from the mother to the embryo and simultaneously performs another important task: it filters out potential pathogenic microorganisms. However, a group of pediatricians led by Professor Giovanni Piedimonte found that this natural “barrier” is not so impenetrable.

Scientists took the placenta from donors, isolated three main types of cells – cytotrophoblasts, fibroblasts and Kashchenko – Hofbauer cells – and in vitro exposed them to the human respiratory syncytial virus, which causes respiratory tract infections. Although cytotrophoblast cells supported a weak process of the spread of the virus, two other types were more susceptible to infection. So, Kashchenko-Hofbauer cells survived and allowed the virus to replicate inside the cell walls. According to scientists, then these cells, moving inside the placenta, are able to transmit the virus to the fetus.

“Such cells do not die after they become infected,” Piedimonte explains. – When they enter the fetus, they are comparable to bombs stuffed with a virus. They do not spread the virus in the area of ​​the “explosion”, but carry it through the intercellular channels. <…> Thus, our theory is confirmed that when a woman gets a cold during pregnancy, the virus that causes the infection can pass to the fetus and cause a pulmonary infection before the birth of a child. ”

Pediatricians also suggested that the respiratory syncytial virus is able to infect the lung tissue of the unborn baby and provoke the development of an infection that will subsequently affect the predisposition to asthma. To confirm or refute their theory, the authors of the study intend to conduct clinical tests.

Last year, scientists from the University of Cambridge created an artificial and functional mini-placenta using trophoblasts, and recently it turned out that particles of air pollution can penetrate the placenta of pregnant women

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How are ETs traveling through space and time today?

Traveling through space has always been a difficult task, as the distances between planets and even more between solar systems and galaxies are incomprehensible.

Science fiction makes things look easy using space warp engines and wormholes in space. There has been much speculation about the idea that there is a way to travel the vast distance of space with relative ease. Now it seems that no conventional science can support these ideas. Many men and women of science bet that this is possible.

Something that any viewer has seen on films several times is the crew of a spaceship needing to reach another planet or region of space deep within the universe. They enter some coordinates and voila , cross some tunnel-like structure, and reach a destination millions of light years from the point of departure.

But what was fantasy can now come true, as recent discoveries have found that galaxies can move between great distances and against predictions of basic cosmological models. The reason for this may make us rethink everything we think science knows about the universe.

The universe is full of many mysteries; It is an impressive kaleidoscope of patterns that science studies. These nebulae and star clusters continually reveal secrets about how they move in unexplained patterns.

Galaxies tend to form clusters that are limited by gravity, and continue to clump together until they become much larger superclusters. Earth is part of a cluster (galaxy) we call the Milky Way, which in turn is part of the Virgo supercluster that contains over 1,000 galaxies. These masses continually change into different shapes, merging with each other, and some are even pulled between competing galaxies. The movement indicates that there is possibly some massive invisible force at work.

Generally, galaxies have an effect on each other, exerting gravitational force that moves them in a way that is predictable. What scientists have found is that there are exceptions to this and they are theorizing that this may be related to the influence of “large scale” structures..

These “large-scale structures” are composed of hydrogen gas and dark matter and form a pattern of strings, sheets, filaments, and knots that connect galaxies. Imagine a giant cosmic web that connects all parts of the universe.

This web has enormous implications for the way we think the universe works, the movement of galaxies and the development of planets and suns, and basically every astronomical body has massive consequences on the habitability of a world and the possibility of life’s evolution.

So what makes these clusters move the way they do, and why are newfound structures a problem for current gravity-based theories?

First, it is contrary to current thinking that galaxies follow a fixed uniform pattern, which means that many of the patterns that have been shown and explanations of why a galaxy follows such a pattern will need to be reexamined.

The impact of these large structures will need to be added to the mix and they could actually change the accepted cosmic model. Science needs to collect much more data about structures in order to calculate this effect. A man who works on this is a scientist named Hutsemékers.

When asked about discovering this connection network, he said:

One of the great things about science is that you can create a model with thousands of dice, but if something doesn’t ‘stick’, it starts to break. This crack has to be sealed or it will tear down the entire house.

This new discovery will really stir up the established ideas. Theories about the universe, as the most important of events, “the big bang ” will need to be reworked.

Why is this so interesting?

Because it can help us understand, link ideas and theories about the existence of extraterrestrial life somewhere deep in space.

If we discover the web that connects the universe, an advanced alien race may also have learned about it. Could this be how ETs are traveling the universe today?

One thing that many skeptics point to as a way of refuting extraterrestrial visitation on the planet is that the vastness of space prevents any species from traveling between worlds. What if an advanced alien race had found a way to utilize this cosmic web?

Making a full circle to the beginning of this story, would they have some kind of drive, motor or technology that could allow access to the structure and then travel between galaxies?

A tunnel like a shortcut or a ‘wormhole’ could very well accommodate this need.

Source

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