Stock market shows greater reaction to forecasts by analysts with favorable surnames

Financial analysts whose surnames are perceived as favourable elicit stronger market reactions to their earnings forecasts, new research from Cass Business School has found. The researchers found that following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, market reactions weakened for forecasts from analysts with Middle Eastern surnames. They also found that following the French and German governments’ opposition Read more about Stock market shows greater reaction to forecasts by analysts with favorable surnames[…]

Visualizing the Crime Rate Perception Gap

  The Crime Rate Perception Gap There’s a persistent belief across America that crime is on the rise. Since the late 1980s, Gallup has been polling people on their perception of crime in the United States, and consistently, the majority of respondents indicate that they see crime as becoming more prevalent. As well, a recent Read more about Visualizing the Crime Rate Perception Gap[…]

Why nonviolent resistance is more successful in effecting change than violent campaigns

Chenoweth and Stephan collected data on all violent and nonviolent campaigns from 1900 to 2006 that resulted in the overthrow of a government or in territorial liberation. They created a data set of 323 mass actions. Chenoweth analyzed nearly 160 variables related to success criteria, participant categories, state capacity, and more. The results turned her Read more about Why nonviolent resistance is more successful in effecting change than violent campaigns[…]

Twins get some ‘mystifying’ results when they put 5 DNA ancestry kits to the test

Last spring, Marketplace host Charlsie Agro and her twin sister, Carly, bought home kits from AncestryDNA, MyHeritage, 23andMe, FamilyTreeDNA and Living DNA, and mailed samples of their DNA to each company for analysis. Despite having virtually identical DNA, the twins did not receive matching results from any of the companies. In most cases, the results from Read more about Twins get some ‘mystifying’ results when they put 5 DNA ancestry kits to the test[…]

The Dirty Truth About Turning Seawater Into Drinking Water

A paper published Monday by United Nations University’s Institute for Water, Environment, and Health in the journal Science of the Total Environment found that desalination plants globally produce enough brine—a salty, chemical-laden byproduct—in a year to cover all of Florida in nearly a foot of it. That’s a lot of brine. In fact, the study Read more about The Dirty Truth About Turning Seawater Into Drinking Water[…]

Relying on karma: Research explains why outrage doesn’t usually result in revolution

If you’re angry about the political feud that drove the federal government to partially shut down, or about a golden parachute for a CEO who ran a business into the ground, you aren’t alone—but you probably won’t do much about it, according to new research by Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business. The research, Read more about Relying on karma: Research explains why outrage doesn’t usually result in revolution[…]

GPU Accelerated Realtime Skin Smoothing Algorithms Make Actors Look Perfect

A recent Guardian article about the need for actors and celebrities — male and female — to look their best in a high-definition media world ended on the note that several low-profile Los Angeles VFX outfits specialize in “beautifying actors” in movies, TV shows and video ads. They reportedly use a software named “Beauty Box,” Read more about GPU Accelerated Realtime Skin Smoothing Algorithms Make Actors Look Perfect[…]

I Tried Predictim AI That Scans for ‘Risky’ Babysitters. Turns out founders don’t have kids

The founders of Predictim want to be clear with me: Their product—an algorithm that scans the online footprint of a prospective babysitter to determine their “risk” levels for parents—is not racist. It is not biased. “We take ethics and bias extremely seriously,” Sal Parsa, Predictim’s CEO, tells me warily over the phone. “In fact, in Read more about I Tried Predictim AI That Scans for ‘Risky’ Babysitters. Turns out founders don’t have kids[…]

Empathetic machines favored by skeptics but might creep out believers

Most people would appreciate a chatbot that offers sympathetic or empathetic responses, according to a team of researchers, but they added that reaction may rely on how comfortable the person is with the idea of a feeling machine. In a study, the researchers reported that people preferred receiving sympathetic and empathetic responses from a chatbot—a Read more about Empathetic machines favored by skeptics but might creep out believers[…]

Sans Forgetica font May Help You Remember What You Read

We’re all used to skimming past the boring parts of a reading assignment or a web article. But when researchers from RMIT University in Australia printed information in a weird, hard-to-read font, they found that people were more likely to remember what they read. There’s a sweet spot, their experiments suggest: If the font is Read more about Sans Forgetica font May Help You Remember What You Read[…]

Uptight robots that suddenly beg to stay alive are less likely to be switched off by humans

You might think folks would be less willing to pull the plug on a happy chatty bot begging to stay powered up, but you’d be wrong, much to the relief of us cold-hearted cynics. And this is all according to a study recently published in PLOS ONE. For this investigation, psychology academics in Germany rounded Read more about Uptight robots that suddenly beg to stay alive are less likely to be switched off by humans[…]

Work less, get more: New Zealand firm’s four-day week an ‘unmitigated success’

The New Zealand company behind a landmark trial of a four-day working week has concluded it an unmitigated success, with 78% of employees feeling they were able to successfully manage their work-life balance, an increase of 24 percentage points. Two-hundred-and-forty staff at Perpetual Guardian, a company which manages trusts, wills and estate planning, trialled a Read more about Work less, get more: New Zealand firm’s four-day week an ‘unmitigated success’[…]

Fur, Feathers, Hair, and Scales May Have the Same Ancient Origin

New research shows that the processes involved in hair, fur, and feather growth are remarkably similar to the way scales grow on fish—a finding that points to a single, ancient origin of these protective coverings. When our very early ancestors transitioned from sea to land some 385 million years ago, they brought their armor-like scales Read more about Fur, Feathers, Hair, and Scales May Have the Same Ancient Origin[…]

Two Cancer Drugs Found to Boost Aging Immune Systems 

A new clinical trial published Wednesday in Science Translational Medicine has found evidence that low doses of two existing drugs can boost the immune system of an elderly person, helping it fight common deadly infections, including the flu, with seemingly little to no side effects. The trial, run by scientists at the pharmaceutical company Novartis, Read more about Two Cancer Drugs Found to Boost Aging Immune Systems […]

First 3D colour X-ray of a human using CERN technology

What if, instead of a black and white X-ray picture, a doctor of a cancer patient had access to colour images identifying the tissues being scanned? This colour X-ray imaging technique could produce clearer and more accurate pictures and help doctors give their patients more accurate diagnoses. This is now a reality, thanks to a Read more about First 3D colour X-ray of a human using CERN technology[…]

Humans Didn’t Evolve From a Single Ancestral Population

In the 1980s, scientists learned that all humans living today are descended from a woman, dubbed “Mitochondrial Eve,” who lived in Africa between 150,000 to 200,000 years ago. This discovery, along with other evidence, suggested humans evolved from a single ancestral population—an interpretation that is not standing the test of time. The story of human Read more about Humans Didn’t Evolve From a Single Ancestral Population[…]

EU asks you to tell them if you want Daylight Savings Time

Objective of the consultation Following a number of requests from citizens, from the European Parliament, and from certain EU Member States, the Commission has decided to investigate the functioning of the current EU summertime arrangements and to assess whether or not they should be changed. In this context, the Commission is interested in gathering the Read more about EU asks you to tell them if you want Daylight Savings Time[…]

Versius Robot allows keyhole surgery to be performed with 1/2 hour training instead of 80 sessions

It is the most exacting of surgical skills: tying a knot deep inside a patient’s abdomen, pivoting long graspers through keyhole incisions with no direct view of the thread. Trainee surgeons typically require 60 to 80 hours of practice, but in a mock-up operating theatre outside Cambridge, a non-medic with just a few hours of Read more about Versius Robot allows keyhole surgery to be performed with 1/2 hour training instead of 80 sessions[…]

Open plan offices flop – you talk less, IM more, if forced to flee a cubicle

Open plan offices don’t deliver their promised benefits of more face-to-face collaboration and instead make us misanthropic recluses and more likely to use electronic communications tools. So says a new article in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, by Harvard academics Ethan S. Bernstein, Stephen Turban. The pair studied two Fortune 500 companies Read more about Open plan offices flop – you talk less, IM more, if forced to flee a cubicle[…]

More on how social media hacks brains to addict users

In a followup to How programmers addict you to social media, games and your mobile phone Ex-Facebook president Sean Parker: site made to exploit human ‘vulnerability’ He explained that when Facebook was being developed the objective was: “How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?” It was this mindset Read more about More on how social media hacks brains to addict users[…]

Could electrically stimulating criminals’ brains prevent crime?

A new study by a team of international researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Nanyang Technological University suggests that electrically stimulating the prefrontal cortex can reduce the desire to carry out violent antisocial acts by over 50 percent. The research, while undeniably compelling, raises a whole host of confronting ethical questions, not just over Read more about Could electrically stimulating criminals’ brains prevent crime?[…]

How programmers addict you to social media, games and your mobile phone

If you look at the current climate, the largest companies are the ones that hook you into their channel, whether it is a game, a website, shopping or social media. Quite a lot of research has been done in to how much time we spend watching TV and looking at our mobiles, showing differing numbers, Read more about How programmers addict you to social media, games and your mobile phone[…]

Stanford brainiacs say they can predict Reddit raids

A study [PDF] based on observations from 36,000 subreddit communities has found that online dust-ups can be predicted, and the people most likely to cause them can be identified. “Our analysis revealed a number of important trends related to conflict on Reddit, with general implications for intercommunity conflict on the web.” Among the takeaways were Read more about Stanford brainiacs say they can predict Reddit raids[…]

If you’re so smart, why aren’t you rich? Turns out it’s just chance.

The most successful people are not the most talented, just the luckiest, a new computer model of wealth creation confirms. Taking that into account can maximize return on many kinds of investment. […] The distribution of wealth follows a well-known pattern sometimes called an 80:20 rule: 80 percent of the wealth is owned by 20 Read more about If you’re so smart, why aren’t you rich? Turns out it’s just chance.[…]