Wednesday, 09 August 2017 12:25

Twitter Adds Zero New Users in Quarter 2

twitterTwitter has added zero users since the first quarter, posting $574 million in revenue in the second quarter this year which is a decrease of five percent YoY (year on year). Twitter now has 328 million monthly active users (MAUs) the same number it reported in the first quarter of 2017. On the contrary, Facebook has over two billion users, WhatsApp now reports over one billion daily users and Instagram 'Stories' has over 250 million users. The not so good results brought Twitter's stock down almost 12 per cent in trading on Thursday.

"Monthly active users (MAU) increased five percent YoY and daily active users (DAU) increased 12 percent YoY, marking the third consecutive quarter of double digit growth," said Jack Dorsey, Twitter's CEO, in a statement. Last quarter, the micro blogging platform had daily active user growth of 14 percent YoY. Twitter's net income in the second quarter was $56 million, or eight cents per share.

"We're strengthening our execution, which gives us confidence that our product improvements will continue to contribute to meaningful increases in daily active users," Dorsey added. "We continue to invest in revenue products and services that leverage Twitter's unique value proposition and are delivering more value to advertisers than ever, with double digit growth in daily active users, improvements in ad relevance and better pricing," added Anthony Noto, Twitter's COO. Twitter was now more focused towards video streaming on its platform.

"We're proud of our strong growth in video, which remained our largest and fastest growing ad format, and we received a positive response from advertisers around the live premium video content debuted at Twitter's Digital Content NewFronts," Noto said. Despite stalled user growth, Twitter was now exploring new revenue streams and ways of innovation. When it comes to "Promoted" tweets, the number of brands using Twitter for advertising has been on the rise. Globally, in the first quarter of 2017, Twitter streamed more than 800 hours of live premium video from content partners across over 450 events, reaching 45 million unique viewers an increase of 31 per cent from the fourth quarter of 2016.

Published in Technology

surgeryAchieving yet another feat, doctors in Pune performed the country's first robotic-assisted total knee replacement surgery on Monday.A 65-year-old man from Pimpri, who was suffering from terminal knee arthritis (tri-compartmental arthritis secondary to rheumatoid arthritis), successfully underwent the surgery.

The robotic assisted total knee replacement surgery is claimed to facilitate faster recovery, early discharge, minimal pain and blood loss. It enables the surgeon to replace only the damaged part of the knee, saving all the other normal structures and healthy tissues, which are otherwise replaced in total knee replacement surgery.

It has opened up a host of possibilities while raising hopes to millions of patients suffering from end-stage osteoarthritis of the knee, doctors told TOI.

The technology has been procured by two more hospitals in Delhi and Hyderabad. However, the Pune-based Lokmanya Hospital has become the first in the country to successfully use it.

"It is a game changer surgery. It's proven outcome has been fantastic as revision/failure rates have significantly reduced. This technology overcomes the mal-alignment of the prosthesis (knee implant) and its subsequent loosening," joint replacement surgeon Narendra Vaidya, who performed the surgery, said.

Vaidya has carried out more than 150 robotic-assisted partial knee replacement (unicompartmental) knee replacement surgeries in the past.

Knee osteoarthritis not only causes pain and disability but also takes a huge toll on the entire family and the society at large.

Beyond certain stage (stage II), medicines, physiotherapy and other arthroscopic interventions are not useful in the treatment of arthritis and such patients require total knee replacement as a definitive treatment.

Total knee replacement is a time-tested and proven method to treat terminal arthritis. However, it involves prolonged hospitalisation and physiotherapy.

"However, the robotic-assisted surgery offers the patient a huge advantage of early recovery, discharge and minimal pain and blood loss," Vaidya said.

Keeping in view the need of a large number of patients requiring this technology, the hospital has decided not to add any cost of robotic instrumentation to the patients.

"The technology is available to common man at Lokmanya Hospital at the same cost as that of conventional surgery," he added.

The technology helps the patient get the discharge in three days as against seven to eight days in conventional surgery. "As against prolonged physiotherapy post-discharge, there is the minimal amount of post-operative physiotherapy involved in the robotic-assisted total knee replacement surgery," Vaidya said.
The live webcast of the robotic surgery was watched by over 400 doctors in the Western Maharashtra. The surgery was performed in the presence of robotic orthopedic surgeon Vivek Neginhal from the US-based Scott Orthopedic Centre, a leading global expert in this field.
The conventional total knee replacement surgery involves cutting of bones and ligaments. "There are chances of human error. Use of rods to stabilize the prosthesis to the joint may lead to life-threatening complications like pulmonary embolism, myocardial infarction, and stroke," experts said.
They added that the new technique helps in achieving accuracy and alignment of implant thus enhancing the life of the prosthesis.

Published in Health

GujaratSchoolBag-kDJC--621x414LiveMintAkhilesh Yadav may have lost power in Uttar Pradesh, but he can claim that he is ruling the roost in BJP-ruled Gujarat’s Chhota Udepur.

For some 12,000 school bags distributed in government run primary schools in this tribal-dominated district bear the picture of the Samajwadi Party leader.

The state education department has ordered an inquiry into how these bags ended up in Gujarat.

The school bags came with stickers of school enrolment drive of Gujarat government. However, beneath these stickers is a picture of a smiling Akhilesh Yadav.

The bags were distributed to students under the state government’s Shala Praveshotsav programme, an annual drive to enrol students in class 1.

That they have Akhilesh’s picture was first discovered by teachers at a school in Vasedi village when the stickers reading Jilla Panchayat Shala Praveshotsav came off.

District panchayat had procured 12,000 of these bags through an e-tender from a Surat-based company, said the district primary education officer Mahesh Prajapati.

Minister of state for education Bhupendrasinh Chudasama said an inquiry will be conducted and “action will be taken” against those responsible for this goof-up.

The bags were apparently manufactured for distribution in Uttar Pradesh when the Samajwadi Party was in power. Opposition Congress took this opportunity to take a swipe at the BJP government.

“Instead of providing teachers, the government is distributing recycled bags of a former UP government by carrying out this drama of Shala Praveshotsav. It shows how serious the government is towards education,” Gujarat Congress spokesman Manish Doshi said.

News Source: LiveMint News

Published in Politics

health mediIndia added 450 million people over the 25 years to 2016, a period during which the proportion of people living in poverty fell by half. This period of rising prosperity has been marked by a "dual - disease burden", a continuing rise in communicable diseases and a spurt in non - communicable or "lifestyle" diseases, which accounted for half of all deaths in 2015, up from 42 per cent in 2001-03.

The result of this disease burden on a growing and aging population, economic development and increasing health awareness is a healthcare industry that has grown to $81.3 billion (Rs 54,086 lakh crore) in 2013 and is now projected to grow at 17 per cent by 2020, up from 11 per cent in 1990.

As that happens, in rural areas, mobile technology and improved data services are expected to play a critical role in improving healthcare delivery. Although limited, some companies are also investing in innovative services and creating lucrative yet low - cost digital and device solutions, an example of which would be GE Healthcare's Lullaby Baby Warmer.

However, despite some advances, India's healthcare sector must deal with a plethora of challenges.

With the lowest government spend and public spend, as a proportion of gross domestic product (GDP), and the lowest per capita health spend China spends 5.6 times more, the US 125 times more Indmet more than 62 per cent of their health expenses from their personal savings, called "out - of - pocket expenses", compared with 13.4 per cent in the US, 10 per cent in the UK and 54 per cent in China.

India's existing infrastructure is just not enough to cater to the growing demand.

While the private sector dominates healthcare delivery across the country, a majority of the population living below the poverty line (BPL) the ability to spend Rs 47 per day in urban areas, Rs 32 per day in rural areas continues to rely on the under - financed and short staffed public sector for its healthcare needs, as a result of which these remain unmet.

Moreover, the majority of healthcare professionals happen to be concentrated around urban areas where consumers have higher paying power, leaving rural areas underserved.

India meets the global average in a number of physicians, but 74 per cent of its doctors cater to a third of the urban population, or no more than 442 million people, according to a KPMG report.

India compares unfavourably with China and the US in a number of hospital beds and nurses. The country is 81 per cent short of specialists at rural community health centres (CHCs), and the private sector accounts for 63 per cent of hospital beds, according to government health and family welfare statistics.

New source: health news

Published in Health

chimp main 1Hercules and Leo are only 11 years old, but they’ve already come close to retiring twice. The two chimpanzees, born and raised at Louisiana’s New Iberia Research Center, became lab animals at the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 2011. There they shared a three-room enclosure, where scientists inserted small electrodes into their muscles to study the evolution of bipedalism. In 2013, they were the subject of an unusual legal gambit. An animal rights group sued to declare the pair legal persons and retire them to a Florida sanctuary, but the effort failed.

Two years later, Hercules and Leo returned to New Iberia, where they mingled with other chimps in outdoor domes with ladders and ropes. But retirement to a sanctuary, where they could climb real trees and have more room to roam, again seemed imminent: The U.S. government had just effectively ended invasive work on chimpanzees, and many observers expected all lab chimps to move to sanctuaries in short order. Yet today, Hercules and Leo, along with nearly 600 of their kind across the country, remain at research facilities. It’s unclear when or whether they’ll leave.

In the past 2 years, only 73 chimps have entered sanctuaries, and the slow pace has heightened tensions between the laboratory and sanctuary communities. There’s plenty of blame to go around. Labs have dragged their feet, sanctuaries haven’t expanded quickly enough, and the government itself didn’t have a concrete plan for retirement, despite setting the process in motion in the first place.

“The biomedical community has spent years defending the use of chimpanzees in research instead of figuring out how to retire them,” says Brian Hare, an evolutionary anthropologist at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, who has studied chimpanzee behavior at sanctuaries around the world. “Now we’re scrambling to do something about it.”

New source: science news

Published in Science

iStockThere's open-source software, open-source pharma research, and open-source beer. Now, there are open-source seeds, too. Breeders from Göttingen University in Germany and Dottenfelderhof agricultural school in Bad Vilbel, Germany, have released tomato and wheat varieties under an open-source license. Their move follows similar schemes for sharing plant material in India and the United States but is the first that provides legal protection for the open-source status of future descendants of plant varieties.

The idea behind the open-source license is that scientists and breeders can experiment with seeds and improve them unimpeded by legal restrictions. The license “says that you can use the seed in multiple ways but you are not allowed to put a plant variety protection or patent on this seed and all the successive developments of this seed,” says agricultural scientist Johannes Kotschi, who helped write the license last year. Kotschi manages OpenSourceSeeds for the nonprofit Agricole in Marburg, Germany, which announced the tomato and wheat licensing in Berlin in late April.

Since then, university, nonprofit, and organic breeders have expressed interest in issuing open-source licenses for their hop, potato, and tomato varieties, Kotschi says. Many have also requested the open-source tomato seeds, he adds. People have been breeding plants in search of desirable features, such as drought and pest resistance, for millennia. But until 1930, when the United States began applying patent law to plants, there was little a breeder could do to assert ownership over a new variety.

New source: science news

Published in Science

wildfireWashington , June 13 (IANS) Smoke from wildfire worldwide could impact the atmosphere and climate much more than previously thought, new research using data collected during NASA  airborne science  campaigns has found. 

Brown  carbon particles released into the air from burning trees and other organic matter are much more likely than previously thought to travel  to the upper levels of the atmosphere, where they can interfere with rays from the Sun sometimes cooling the air and at other times warming it, the findings showed.

"Most of the brown carbon released into the air stays in the lower atmosphere, but we found that a fraction of it does get up into the upper atmosphere, where it has a disproportionately large effect on the planetary radiation balance much stronger than if it was all at the surface," said Rodney Weber , Professor at Georgia Institute of Technology  in the US.  

The research used air samples collected during two airborne science missions supported by researchers from NASA's Langley-Research-Center  in Hampton, Virginia. The two missions together made observations in the central, southeast and western US.  

The researchers found surprising levels of brown carbon in the samples taken from the upper troposphere about seven miles above the Earth 's surface but much less black carbon, according to the study published online in the journal Nature-Geoscience.

While black carbon can be seen in the dark smoke plumes rising above burning fossil or biomass fuels at high temperature, brown carbon is produced from the incomplete combustion that occurs when grasses, wood or other biological matter smolders, as is typical for wildfires.

As particulate matter in the atmosphere, both can interfere with solar radiation by absorbing and scattering the Sun's rays.

The researchers found brown carbon to be much more likely than black carbon to travel through the air to the higher levels of the atmosphere where it can have a greater impact on climate.

New source: economictimes news

Published in Science

PTI6 12 2017 000081AThe government offices here recorded "normal" attendance although some stray incidents were reported during Gorkha Janmukti Morcha sponsored indefinite bandh in Darjeeling hills which began today.     

The GJM has called the shutdown in central, state government and Gorkhaland Territorial Administration offices in the hills in support of their demand for Gorkhaland.     

State Tourism minister Gautam Deb claimed that attendance in government and GTA offices was normal in Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kurseong and Mirik.     

"The people have defied GJM's diktat and attended office. We hope good sense will prevail on the GJM leadership", he said.     

"The situation is peaceful here and everything is normal. Attendance in schools is also normal. We have taken all precautionary measures to check any untoward incident", Darjeeling District Magistrate Joyoshi Dasgupta told PTI.     

Police pickets and barricades were placed in front of the government and GTA offices while Rapid Action Force (RAF) and a sizable number of women police personnel were also deployed, Dasgupta said.     

She said the Army was present in the hills as a "backup".     

"The administration will act as per law if anybody is found forcing others as well as establishments to participate in the bandh", the DM said.     

"The administration will also see that no tourist faces trouble because of the bandh. We will not allow anything or anybody to disturb normal life here in the hills", she said.     

GJM general secretary Roshan Giri claimed that the response to the bandh was good.     

"We could have enforced the bandh but we have not done that. We only appealed to the people," he said, adding "The state government may claim almost cent per cent attendance but that is not the case".    

"We want central intervention. Our party chief has written to the prime minister and Union home minister to sympathetically consider our demand (for Gorkhaland)," Giri said.     

The GJM activists allegedly damaged a panchayat office and a PWD office in the hill and resorted to picketing at some places in Kurseong and Kalimpong.     

Police said that eight GJM activists were detained for allegedly trying to set fire to a BDO office at Phulbazar in Bijanbari block.     

The GJM workers also damaged a PWD office in Darjeeling, the police said, adding that another office at Sonada was damaged.     

News Source: The NewIndian Express


Published in Politics
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