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Google app aids London hospital health checks

Heart rate on monitor Image copyright Thinkstock Image caption DeepMind will gather data from pathology tests to see who is at risk Doctors at Imperial College hospitals will soon be monitoring the health of patients with an app developed by Google-backed AI firm DeepMind.

The Streams app gathers information about key physiological measurers and warns when readings are high or low.

Streams came from a deal with London’s Royal Free hospital that gave Google access to 1.6 million patient records.

Medical data campaigners said patients deserved to know more about how their data was being used.

The deal will see medical professionals at three London hospitals, St Mary’s, Hammersmith and Charing Cross, getting updates and alerts on their smartphones about patients who are at risk of a sudden deterioration in their health.

The alerts and updates will be derived from blood tests and other regularly administered measures of an individual’s condition.

In a statement Dr Sanjay Gautama, chief clinical information officer at Imperial College Healthcare Trust, said the partnership should mean doctors get “vital information” about a patient’s condition quicker.

As well as data from medical checks, the Streams alerts and updates will draw on electronic patient records held at the hospitals.

Phil Booth, co-ordinator of medical data privacy campaigning group MedConfidential, said the deal needed more scrutiny.

“Patients should see how their medical records have been used,” he said, “including uses by large suppliers who see profit beyond the sticker price paid by the NHS.”

An earlier collaboration between DeepMind and London’s Royal Free NHS Trust has proved controversial because it involved the firm getting access to millions of patient records. DeepMind said it needed the data to help its software recognise various medical conditions including acute kidney injury.

Critics said DeepMind needed to be more open about the reasons it wanted the data.

View the original article here

Clash of Clans mobile game ‘blocked’ in Iran

Artwork for Clash of Clans Image copyright Supercell Iran has put limits on who can play the popular Clash of Clans mobile game.

A government committee called for restrictions citing a report from psychologists, who said it encouraged violence and tribal conflict.

The app could also negatively affect family life if teenagers got addicted to the game, warned the committee that polices cyberspace.

Statistics gathered earlier this year suggested that about 64% of mobile gamers in Iran played the game.

The decision to limit access to Clash of Clans across Iran was taken on 27 December.

Fan sites in Iran reported that many players began having problems accessing the title – which requires an online connection – afterwards. Some Iran-based players said local reports had suggested that an age limit would be imposed, but for now all gamers were affected.

They did, however, suggest there were ways to get round the restrictions.

In a statement, Iran’s deputy attorney general Dr Abdolsamad Khoramabadi said the “vast majority” of the committee backed the call to limit who could play the app.

Iran has a history of taking action against popular video games. In August, it cut off the Pokemon Go game because of fears about the game’s location-based system.

Created by Finnish firm Supercell, Clash of Clans has become a massive hit all over the world. It involves players creating villages and then using troops to protect them or to attack other players’ settlements.

Earlier this year, Supercell announced that 100 million people were playing its games every day.

In July, the Chinese firm Tencent bought 84.3% of Supercell in a deal that valued the company at $10.2bn (£8.33bn).

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Toshiba shares fall 20% on deal warning

Toshiba sign Image copyright Getty Images Toshiba shares fell 20% on Wednesday after the firm warned that its US nuclear business may be worth less than previously thought.

The slump was large enough for trading in stocks of the Japanese industrial giant to be automatically halted.

Shares had already fallen 12% on Tuesday, after reports of the likely write-down began circulating.

Toshiba said the possible heavy one-off loss was linked to a deal done by a US subsidiary, Westinghouse Electric.

Westinghouse bought the nuclear construction and services business from Chicago Bridge & Iron in 2015. But there is now a dispute over the costs of the deal and the value of the assets it took on.

Toshiba President Satoshi Tsunakawa apologised for “causing concern”.

The news is a blow for the firm’s corporate reputation, which is still struggling to recover after it emerged profits had been overstated for years – prompting the chief executive to resign.

Since then, Toshiba has been trying to slim down the business, including selling its medical devices operations to Canon.

But while the share price slump is a blow for investors, 2016 has still been a pretty good year for the firm’s stocks – which had gained more than 77% before this week’s falls.

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Planet imagery for natural disaster response

Satellite imaging company Planet has a programme for gathering satellite imagery for natural disaster response. Read more about it on the Planet blog. Although direct and timely access to the imagery for first responders requires emailing Planet and getting special access, there is actually quite a lot of imagery publicly available on the ‘disaster data’ page. It includes a list of recent disasters and some associated imagery and in many cases the option to download sets of imagery for the affected areas.


Pamplona, Cagayan Region, Philippines. Before and after Typhoon Haima. Image credit Planet.

Planet’s imagery is medium resolution in the 3-5 metre range, higher resolution than Landsat and Sentinel-2 but lower resolution than DigitalGlobe and CNES / Astrium. For a list of satellites and resolutions see here.

DigitalGlobe has a similar programme called ‘FirstLook’ whose imagery often makes it into Google Earth and much of the imagery we look at on this blog comes from that programme.

Timothy has been using Google Earth since 2004 when it was still called Keyhole before it was renamed Google Earth in 2005 and has been a huge fan ever since. He is a programmer working for Red Wing Aerobatx and lives in Cape Town, South Africa.

Isabel Gayther: Missing student ‘posts on Facebook’

Isabel Gayther Image copyright Met Police Image caption Isabel Gayther was last seen on Christmas Eve morning A university student who was reported missing after failing to turn up at home for Christmas has posted on Facebook, police have said.

Isabel Gayther, 21, was last seen at about 11:30 GMT on Christmas Eve.

Posts on her Facebook account in response to media coverage state she is “not missing” and has not come to harm.

The Met, which earlier said it was “concerned” for Miss Gayther, said it was aware of the messages but had not been able to speak to her.

A spokesman said an investigation continued, “with the aim of establishing that she is safe and well”.

Miss Gayther lives in halls of residence in New Cross, south-east London.

She also has family in Oxford.

View the original article here

Tom Cruise’s screams become a ringtone

Annabelle Wallis and Tom Cruise scream before Annabelle evacuates the plane Image copyright Universal Pictures Image caption Annabelle Wallis and Tom Cruise have their real life screams heard after the wrong trailer was released Tom Cruise’s screams in the latest remake of The Mummy have been captured as a ringtone.

Universal Pictures’ trailer made for screening in IMAX cinemas omitted one crucial detail – the sound effects.

The clip was uploaded without some of its audio tracks and only included sighs and screams from Cruise and co-star Annabelle Wallis.

The screams went viral and were even turned into a ringtone, spotted by internet news site The Daily Dot.

After IMAX and Universal Pictures realised the mistake, the video was taken down from YouTube, but not before some users had downloaded a copy.

The screams, which should be drowned out by noise from aeroplanes, explosions and gunfire, are heard as misplaced grunts and breaths.

Video editor Chris Person has since removed the music from the trailer and brought the screams back to life in a video he posted to Twitter.

The clip now has its own page on news-sharing community Reddit and it can be downloaded on file-sharing service Dropbox as a five-second ringtone called Tom yell.

It is not often clean audio of a Hollywood movie surfaces, especially directly from the distributors themselves.

One fan has gone as far as replacing the well known Wilhelm scream sound effect with Tom’s scream throughout the compilation.

The Mummy is set for release in cinemas worldwide on 9 June, 2017 and the official trailer can be seen here.

View the original article here