OnePlus debuts referral program ahead of OnePlus 5 launch

first_imgAndroid fans are eagerly awaiting the launch of the OnePlus 5 in the coming weeks, and OnePlus knows this. Along with announcing this week that it’s discontinuing its previous OnePlus 3T model, the company has revealed a new referral program, just in time to capitalize on the debut of their next flagship device. But unlike the hated invite system OnePlus experimented with for its first two phones, this promotion is easy to understand and benefits everyone involved. The referral program is open to anyone who’s purchased (or will purchase) a OnePlus smartphone; the only catch is that purchase must be made from OnePlus’ own website. These users will be able to get a unique referral code, which they can then give to anyone who’s going to buy any phone from OnePlus, in turn scoring an instant $20 discount on accessories for their new device.Within 30 days the referrer will be awarded points that can be used to score discounts on OnePlus purchases. The options are slim at this moment, including things like free standard shipping, a discount on accessories, and a free “Never Settle” t-shirt, but OnePlus says in the future the rewards will be expanded to include discounts on phone purchases.Going with a referral program is an interesting choice, and it shows that OnePlus has at least learned from their mistakes with the invite fiasco. But at this point it only seems to reward new customers who get a code from a friend, leaving existing with little to look forward to, unless they have some specific accessories in mind. Hopefully in the future it will include some nice deals for those upgrading to a newer device.SOURCE OnePlus Story TimelineOnePlus 5 shows off its dual camera in leaked prototypeOnePlus enlists DxOMark team to make its cameras betterOnePlus 5 colors teased, headphone jack fate still in questionOnePlus 5 confirmed with Snapdragon 835, front fingerprint sensorOnePlus 3T dicontinued, most likely because of OnePlus 5last_img read more

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Amazon Echo Spot alarm clock is smart and semispherical

first_imgThe Amazon Echo Spot was introduced today as a smart alarm clock with Alexa inside. This device works as an alarm clock first and foremost, but also rolls with the feature every single Amazon hardware product seems to have here in 2017: Alexa. The smart assistant will live within the device, the device also acting as a screen for multiple different purposes. This little monster is essentially an Echo Show with fewer abilities and a more focused approach. While there’s always the possibility that the 2.5-inch spherical display could be used for odd media bits, it’s made for just a few activities right out the box. This device works as an alarm clock, a nursery camera, or a video call machine.The sound quality isn’t going to be as magnificent as it is in other, larger Echo devices. The same goes for the video quality – especially since we’re on such a tiny display, here. But the price, as a result, might be up more people’s alley than the slightly larger Alexa-infused devices on Amazon’s sale list.The Amazon Echo Spot will be available for pre-order starting this afternoon. The final release date for this product will be somewhere inside of December in the United States – that’s in the year 2017. For the rest of the world, there may be a bit more of a wait. The Amazon Echo Spot will cost right around $130 USD. Story TimelineGoogle yanks YouTube from Amazon Echo Show citing ToS violationAmazon’s surprise event makes new Echo likelyAmazon’s new Echo brings multi-room audio and a stylish new designGoogle Home Max tipped to better battle EchoAmazon Echo Connect gives your landline hands-free capabilitieslast_img read more

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Google Pixel 2 Motion Photos magic revealed

first_imgThe Pixel and Pixel 2 phones, especially the Pixel 2 XL, have been faulted for many things. But most owners are willing to forgive Google its lapses because of one thing: the phones’ unbelievably good camera performance. One of the tricks that Google has to spice up the Pixel 2’s camera is Motion Photos and now the company is sharing some of the secrets behind it. Unsurprisingly, it has a good amount of machine learning and sophisticated algorithms involved. For the majority of the world who don’t have a Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL, Motion Photos is pretty much like the Live Photos feature Apple introduced back in iOS 9. For those who don’t know what either of those means, it’s basically a feature that records a video or series of photos before and after you press the shutter button. It’s basically a fun way to capture candid moments before taking a shot, presented in moving pictures format.Naturally, Google’s Motion Photos does things differently. For one, it only captures a few seconds, up to 3 seconds, before the picture is taken and not after. It also uses some stabilization magic to make it look like the background is barely moving or not at all. Google actually already has something with the same effect in the Motion Stills app for iOS and Android but Motion Photos is a step up from that.Motion Stills is purely software-based and relies on solely on computer vision, machine learning, and algorithms to distinguish foreground elements from the background. It can be tripped by noisy backgrounds or complex scenes. In contrast, Motion Photos relies on both software and hardware to do its work. It processes the motion data gathered by the Pixel 2’s gyroscope as well as its optical image stabilization, which is probably why the feature is only available on the Pixel 2 pair.Using that data, Motion Photos can compensate for the background motion of a video clip. It also trims the video to remove the few seconds when you suddenly put down your phone. Motion Photos clips can be viewed by anyone as long as they’re viewing it on Google Photos. Or in a huge exported GIF file.last_img read more

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Abarth 124 spider packs 170hp and spawns rally version

first_imgThat turbo powerplant does deliver 250nm of torque. Fiat says that the car has a top speed of 230 km/h and can reach 100km/h in 6.8 seconds. The car comes standard with a Record Monza exhaust and can be had with a 6-speed manual or an automatic Sequenziale Sportivo transmission. The manual has a short-throw shifter and the auto can be shifted with paddles behind the wheel promising extremely fast shifts. If you ask a handful of Mazda MX-5 buyers just what they think the new MX-5 needs to be the perfect car, a bunch of them will tell you more power. Fiat has now offered details on its Abarth 124 spider and this is the version of the MX-5 that folks wanting more power have been waiting for. Granted it’s not a lot more power with a rating of 170hp from the 1.4L MultiAir turbo engine. Abarth 124 spider drivers can completely turn off the electronic controls at the track, which is a big deal. The Abarth 124 spider also gets what is called the Racing anti-glare kit meaning a matte black hood and trunk lid. The result is very attractive. Each of these cars also gets a metal plate to show its sequential number unique to each car.AdChoices广告Abarth 124 spider also gets LED headlights and rear lights with rear inserts in body color. There are five body colors available including special solid “Turini 1975 White ” and “Costa Brava 1972 Red, metallic “Isola d’Elba 1974 Blue”, “Portogallo 1974 Grey” and “San Marino 1972 Black.” Abarth appears to want to take the 124 spider racing on the rally circuit, the red and yellow racing version of the car is ready to go. Pricing and availability for the car is unknown.SOURCE: Abarthlast_img read more

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Marriott Starwood system breach exposes information on half a billion people

first_imgStory TimelineMarriott mobile app: providing backdoor access since 2011Westin, Marriott, and Hyatt hotels hit with payment malwareMarriott shower door can record your doodles and notes Marriott today revealed a massive security breach that affected its Starwood reservation system. The breach played out over four years and potentially exposed the personal information of around 500 million guests. A portion of those affected guests may have had credit card information exposed too, so to say this breach is “pretty bad” would likely be understating it a bit. Marriott discovered this extensive breach following an investigation on November 19, 2018. It notes that a third-party gained unauthorized access to a database for Marriott’s Starwood brand, which held information on guest reservations for those properties placed on or before September 10, 2018. It sounds like that third-party had copied and encrypted the information housed in that database before Marriott discovered that there was an issue. That, as you’ve probably already guessed, is not good.Even more troubling is that this third-party had access to the database since 2014. Though Marriott says that it’s still working to decrypt the information that was stolen, it believes that it “contains information on up to approximately 500 million guests who made a reservation at a Starwood property.” For around 327 million of those guests, the compromised data includes some combination of “name, mailing address, phone number, email address, passport number, Starwood Preferred Guest (“SPG”) account information, date of birth, gender, arrival and departure information, reservation date, and communication preferences.”Further, for some of those guests – Marriott wasn’t clear on just how many – the compromised data includes card numbers and expiration dates. Marriott says that the card information stored on that database was encrypted using AES-128, but it also notes that the third-party may have made off with the two components needed to decrypt that information. Here’s a list of Starwood properties that potentially had information stored on that server:AdChoices广告W Hotels, St. Regis, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, Westin Hotels & Resorts, Element Hotels, Aloft Hotels, The Luxury Collection, Tribute Portfolio, Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts, Four Points by Sheraton and Design Hotels. Starwood branded timeshare properties are also included.So, if you stayed at one of those properties at any point in the last four years, there’s a possibility that your information was compromised in this breach. Marriott has set up a dedicated website and call center to provide information about the breach, and it’ll begin sending out emails to affected guests today. It’s also offering affected customers a free year-long subscription to WebWatcher, which you can sign up for at the website linked above.If you think that your information was included in this breach – or, indeed, you receive a notification that it was – it’s probably a good idea to at least watch your credit card statements closely for a while. We’ll see what happens from here, but as far as security breaches go, this is one of the worst we’ve heard about in a long time. Stay tuned.last_img read more

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State Abortion Clinic Restrictions Could Impact Womens Health Care Access

first_imgState Abortion Clinic Restrictions Could Impact Women’s Health Care Access This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Stateline reports that abortion opponents are advancing new clinic standards that may be impossible to meet. Abortion rights supporters fear these rules could force many clinics to close, making it more difficult for some women to get a broad array of health care services.Stateline: New Laws Turn Focus To Women’s Health Care AccessNew state restrictions on clinics that provide abortions could leave millions of women—many of them poor and uninsured—without easy access to cancer screenings and other basic health care services. In recent years, abortion opponents have tried to limit abortions by barring them after a certain number of weeks and by requiring women who want to end their pregnancies to have ultrasounds. Those strategies target abortion directly. Now abortion opponents in some states are pushing for new standards for clinics, such as requiring doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, that may be difficult or impossible for them to meet. Abortion rights supporters fear the new rules could force many clinics to close—a result that would make it more difficult for women to get a broad array of health care services, not just abortions (Grovum, 7/24).And in the news about Plan B – Boston Globe: Plan B One-Step Gets Exclusive RightsThe US Food and Drug Administration decided late Monday night to grant exclusive rights to Teva Pharmaceuticals to put its brand name form of emergency contraception on drugstore shelves without any age restrictions for the next three years. Plan B One-Step, Teva’s product, has started to appear in some drugstores this week on shelves next to spermicides and pregnancy tests. It has new packaging saying it can safely be taken by women and girls of all ages to prevent pregnancy within three days of unprotected sex. The FDA will allow generic manufacturers of the one-pill form of emergency contraception — which contains high doses of the female hormone progestin — to place their products directly on drugstore shelves (Kotz, 7/23). last_img read more

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Insurers Seek Clarity On Whos Responsible If Consumers Who Receive Subsidies Dont

first_imgInsurance officials are asking the Obama administration to make clear who is responsible financially if people who get federal subsidies to buy health insurance don’t pay their premiums.Bloomberg: Hospitals May Absorb Risk Of Insurers’ Debtor Patients Less than two months before health exchanges open to the public, hospitals are asking to change a part of the Affordable Care Act that leaves them at financial risk for patients who fall behind on their insurance premiums. The hospitals said in an Aug. 15 letter that the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services should reconsider the way health-insurance exchanges divide the financial responsibility for delinquent customers. The letter was signed by the American Hospital Association, the Federation of American Hospitals, and the Association of American Medical Colleges (Adams, 8/17).CQ HealthBeat: Who’s On The Hook If Subsidy Recipients Don’t Pay Their Premiums?What happens if people signing up for subsidized coverage through the new insurance exchanges don’ make their premium payments? That’s the subject of a tug-of-war right now between hospitals and insurers. Hospitals are on the losing end — but pushed back this week in hopes of pulling the issue back in their direction (Reichard, 8/16). Insurers Seek Clarity On Who’s Responsible If Consumers Who Receive Subsidies Don’t Pay Their Share This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

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Study Based On Political Donations Doctors Are Favoring The Left

first_img This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. These donor physicians have also become more generous, and the shift of these medical professionals from their historic preference for Republican candidates to their recent affinity for Democrats is attributed to the increase in women doctors and the decline in the number who run their own practice or work in small practices.The Associated Press: Doctors Lean More Left, Political Donations ShowThe first rigorous look at donor doctors also finds they’ve become increasingly generous, with political contributions surging to almost $200 million in recent years. An increase in female doctors — who more often than men donated to Democrats — and a decline in physicians working on their own or in small practices occurred during study years. Those changes likely contributed but reasons for the political shift are unclear, said study co-author David Rothman, a social medicine professor at Columbia University’s medical school (6/2).The Washington Post’s Wonkblog: Doctors Are Donating Less Often To Republican CandidatesThere have a few been recent hints at how the sweeping changes within the medical industry are reshaping the politics of being a doctor. But a new study suggests a profession once solidly aligned with Republicans has become more Democratic in the past 20 years, as the number of female doctors grows and the traditional small physician’s office is on the wane. Researchers analyzing doctors’ federal campaign contributions between the 1991-92 and 2011-12 election cycles found that doctors — who once contributed to Republican campaigns at consistently higher rates than the entire donor population — have become less enthusiastic donors to the GOP (Millman, 6/2). Study: Based On Political Donations, Doctors Are Favoring The Leftlast_img read more

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Sanders Becomes Third Senator To Block Obamas FDA Nominee

first_img Reuters: Sanders Blocks Obama Nominee To Lead FDA, Citing Industry Ties The Hill: Sanders Places Hold On Obama’s FDA Nominee Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is formally blocking President Obama’s pick to lead the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after announcing his opposition late last year. He [said] that he’s placed a hold on Califf’s nomination because “we need a leader at the FDA who is prepared to stand up to drug companies.” (Carney, 1/26) Sanders Becomes Third Senator To Block Obama’s FDA Nominee “Dr. [Robert] Califf’s extensive ties to the pharmaceutical industry give me no reason to believe that he would make the FDA work for ordinary Americans, rather than just the CEOs of pharmaceutical companies,” Democratic presidential primary candidate Bernie Sanders says. center_img This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said on Tuesday he has placed a hold on President Barack Obama’s nominee to head the Food and Drug Administration, claiming he is too close to the pharmaceutical industry to be an impartial regulator. The move by the U.S. senator from Vermont comes one day after Democratic Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts also placed a hold on the nomination until the agency agrees to reform its process for approving opioid painkillers. (Heavey, 1/26) last_img read more

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Adoption of digital IDs would help unlock Canadas economy bankers say

first_img Canada needs to embrace digital identification to “unlock the full potential” of banking and the economy, Canadian Bankers Association Chief Executive Officer Neil Parmenter said.“We should be open to innovative identity verification methods like document review through a live video connection, use of blockchain, biometrics and other methods that have begun to see widespread adoption in other parts of the economy,” Parmenter said Tuesday in a lunch speech in Toronto. “These methods have the potential to prove a person’s identity more securely and accurately than showing physical identification.”The Canadian Bankers Association’s push comes as the country revamps its payments system and the federal finance department seeks public consultations on “open banking,” a process that would let customers share financial data with other companies. The CBA represents more than 60 domestic and foreign banks operating in Canada. OSC looking to lighten regulatory load on companies — and it wants suggestions RBC denies having ability to see users’ Facebook messages after NYT report Canada stokes concerns with decision to accept Alipay credit reports on visa applications “With Ottawa exploring the possibilities of open banking, the modernization of our payments system now underway, blockchain and artificial intelligence pushing into new frontiers, the need for digital ID will only grow more urgent,” Parmenter said.The CBA is urging the country to let go of outdated paper-based processes and move to a “federated model” of digital IDs that links federal and provincial systems and allows identity to be authenticated electronically. The private sector needs to be involved and legislation must be passed to allow businesses and governments to accept digital IDs, the association said.Canada’s six-biggest banks, along with Desjardins Group and insurer Sun Life Financial Inc., have been collaborating with SecureKey Technologies Inc. for more than two years on such a blockchain-based system called Verified.Me, though it has yet to launch despite its earlier goal of being in place last year. SecureKey CEO Greg Wolfond said “this is definitely the year” for launching Verified.Me.Bloomberg.com 0 Comments Related Stories Comment January 16, 20197:36 AM EST Filed under News FP Street More Share this storyAdoption of digital IDs would help unlock Canada’s economy, bankers say Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn Twitter Email The Canadian flag blows in the wind in the heart of the financial district in Toronto.Tijana Martin/The Canadian Press Sponsored By: Join the conversation → Facebookcenter_img What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generation Doug Alexander How Ottawa’s new consumer protection plans would affect banks Big banks tighten grip on mortgage market after rule changes stifle competition Reddit Featured Stories Adoption of digital IDs would help unlock Canada’s economy, bankers say Canadian Bankers Association pushing Canada to get rid of outdated paper-based processes and move to a ‘federated model’ of digital IDs advertisement Bloomberg News Canada’s big bank CEOs find solace in strong economic fundamentals amid market volatility ← Previous Next →last_img read more

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Climate conundrum emissions reduction policies work — is that enough to save

first_imgSource: Charge Forward Two new major reports are offering two starkly different views of climate change. While one report reveals the progress made by developing countries aiming to reduce CO2 emissions, the other hints at a future which could find global warming accelerating even faster than in current “worst-case” scenarios. more…The post Climate conundrum: emissions reduction policies work — is that enough to save the clouds? appeared first on Electrek.last_img

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Tesla TSLA is going to get up to 2 billion from FiatChrysler

first_imgSource: Charge Forward We recently learned that Tesla and Fiat-Chrysler (FCA) reached a deal to pool their fleet together in Europe for the purpose of the latter avoiding emission requirement fines.It was first reported to be worth a few hundred million dollars, but FCA now says that it will pay Tesla up to $2 billion for the emission credits. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09bIEmS_KdYThe post Tesla (TSLA) is going to get up to $2 billion from Fiat-Chrysler to meet emission standards appeared first on Electrek.last_img read more

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Save on electric leaf blowers trimmers and riding lawn mowers in todays

first_imgHome Depot offers the Ryobi 110MPH 40V Cordless Electric Jet Leaf Blower for $99 shipped. That’s down as much as $50 from the regular going rate and the best price we can find. You can count on “gas-like power” with up to 110 MPH speeds, making it easy to clean up around your property this summer. Includes a 3Ah battery and wall charger. Rated 4.3/5 stars by over 3,000 Home Depot reviewers. More Green Deals below. more…Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1zk7Eb8r-s&list=PL_Qf0A10763mA7Byw9ncZqxjke6Gjz0MtThe post Save on electric leaf blowers, trimmers, and riding lawn mowers in today’s Green Deals appeared first on Electrek. Source: Charge Forwardlast_img read more

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The SECs Shrinking FCPA Jurisdiction

first_imgAs stated in the DOJ/SEC issued FCPA Guidance: “SEC is responsible for civil enforcement of the FCPA over issuers and their officers, directors, employees, agents, or stockholders acting on the issuer’s behalf.”The Guidance then states: “[A] company is an ‘issuer’ under the FCPA if it has a class of securities registered under Section 12 of the Exchange Act or is required to file periodic and other reports with SEC under Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act. In practice, this means that any company with a class of securities listed on a national securities exchange in the United States, or any company with a class of securities quoted in the over-the-counter market in the United States and required to file periodic reports with SEC, is an issuer.”As highlighted in this post, currently there are substantially fewer issuers subject to SEC FCPA jurisdiction compared to prior decades.This recent Wall Street Journal op-ed was titled “Where Have All The Public Companies Gone?” and noted:“The number of public companies in the U.S. has been on a steady decline since peaking in the late 1990s. In 1996 there were 7,322 domestic companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges. Today there are only 3,671. Easy access to venture, growth and private-equity capital means that companies no longer need to pursue an initial public offering to fund growth or access liquidity. Increases in regulations, shareholder lawsuits and activist demands have also diminished the appeal of a public listing. Over the past two decades, the number of annual IPOs has fallen sharply  to 128 in 2016 from 845 in 1996.”See also, this recent Bloomberg article also titled “Where Have All the Public Companies Gone?”In this 2017 speech, SEC Chair Jay Clayton noted “the roughly 50% decline in the total number of U.S.-listed public companies over the last two decades” and observed:“While there are many factors that drive the decision of whether to be a public company, increased disclosure and other burdens may render alternatives for raising capital, such as the private markets, increasingly attractive to companies that only a decade ago would have been all but certain candidates for the public markets.  And, fewer small and medium-sized public companies may mean less liquid trading markets for those that remain public.  Regardless of the cause, the reduction in the number of U.S.-listed public companies is a serious issue for our markets and the country more generally.  To the extent companies are eschewing our public markets, the vast majority of Main Street investors will be unable to participate in their growth.”The above figures perhaps do not capture the full range of “issuers” subject to the FCPA, but it is clear that the SEC currently has jurisdiction over fewer “issuers” compared to prior decades.One might then expect fewer SEC FCPA enforcement actions for the same reason one might expect fewer speeding tickets on a particular road if traffic on that road is significantly down compared to prior years.However, the opposite has generally occurred in the FCPA’s modern era. In other words, there are fewer “issuers” subject to SEC jurisdiction, but FCPA enforcement against those issuers has generally increased or stayed relatively the same. (See here for SEC FCPA enforcement actions against issuers).Once again, what does this say about the “success” of the FCPA? (See here for a 25 minute video).Should not the dwindling number of “issuers” foreshadow less, not more, SEC FCPA enforcement?What the dwindling number of “issuers” also instructs is that it is even more improper (than it always has been) to compare SEC FCPA enforcement to DOJ FCPA enforcement. (See here for a 2014 post on the same topic).As demonstrated by the below visual, the SEC has FCPA jurisdiction over only “issuers” (78dd-1 – a relatively narrow slice of the full range of persons (both legal and natural) subject to the FCPA).The DOJ, by contrast, has FCPA jurisdiction over “issuers” (78dd-1), as well as domestic concerns (78dd-2 – all U.S. companies regardless of form of business organization and U.S. persons) and persons other than issuers or domestic concerns (78dd-3 – literally any company in the world or any person in the world to the extent certain jurisdictional requirements are met).last_img read more

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Kirkland and Latham Work on PE Investment in San Antonio Midstream Co

first_img Remember me Password Username Lost your password?center_img Alberta Investment Management Corp. (AIMCo) has agreed to purchase a 28 percent ownership stake in San Antonio-based Howard Energy Partners from its EnLink Midstream Partners, AIMCo said Tuesday. Both companies turned to a group of Houston lawyers to handle the deal . . .You must be a subscriber to The Texas Lawbook to access this content. Not a subscriber? Sign up for The Texas Lawbook.last_img

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Rocking Our Views on Aging

first_imgby, Jeanette Leardi, ChangingAging ContributorTweet2Share204Share24Email230 SharesThe possibilities for society of this new third age can hardly be seen now, obscured as they are by misconceptions and prejudices –– age-as-‘problem.’ They have to be seen as solution and not just problem for change to be possible. And we have to name our own need to move in society in new ways in age to make it happen. — Betty Friedan The Fountain of Age, 1993No revolution springs to life overnight. It requires gestation, during which a gradual confluence of ideas (such as Friedan’s) and thwarted actions builds up, until the right moment when society is finally ready to encounter its full force. Such is the case with the movement to transform aging. And now we’ve reached a clear tipping point with Ashton Applewhite’s impressive and engaging work, This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism. It’s a book whose time has definitely come. Dedicated to Applewhite’s mentor, the pioneering pro-aging activist Dr. Robert Butler, this work sets aging’s realities against its ubiquitous myths that allow ageism to influence (infect, really) every aspect of modern life. A manifesto, This Chair Rocks declares the need to end age-based discrimination, which hinders the potential of all generations. Writing in a crisp, vivid, and witty style, Applewhite shows us how and why our culture’s preoccupation with –– and deification of –– youth has resulted in society-wide fear and dread of life’s later years, which are actually filled with potential and opportunity for growth, if only we would be more mindful and empathetic of others, and get out of our own internally ageist way. “This punishing old/young binary –– old/no-longer-young, actually –– consigns two-thirds of us to second-class status,” she writes, “a meekly self-imposed exile to the wrong side of the velvet rope.”She drives her points home using startlingly on-target images and analogies: “My darkest nightmare was the possibility of ending my days drooling under a bad botanical print in some ghastly institutional hallway.”“Take ‘middle age,’ to which so many cling like flotation cushions, although who knows where the middle lies anymore?”“The Helen Mirrens and Judi Denchs of the world are forging a footpath that needs to become a highway.” “I used to think that those [‘senior moments’] quips were self-deprecatingly cute, until it dawned on me that when I lost the car keys in high school, I didn’t call it a ‘junior moment.’”To help us understand our own journeys dealing with ageism, Applewhite shares the gradual raising of her own consciousness, a process she freely admits is ongoing, as it should be for all of us. She proudly embraces the role of “Old Person in Training,” stating that the process to become one “acknowledges the inevitability of oldness while relegating it to the future, albeit at an ever-smaller remove. It swaps purpose and intent for dread and denial. It connects us empathically with our future selves.” Never preachy, always conversational, Applewhite engages the reader in a supportive co-experiment. Here’s how ageism defeats us, she says, and here’s what we can do together to defeat it. Throughout the book and in chapter-ending “PUSH BACK!” sections, she shares practical ways to deal with such challenges as ageist language, identity issues, and intergenerational relationships.       In nine engrossing chapters, she explores ageism’s many impacts on life, including on health care, sex and intimacy, the workplace, community and housing, and at the end of life. Each argument is so thoroughly researched and clearly presented that the book should be required reading for medical students and established health-care professionals, businesspeople, aging-services providers, policy makers –– and anyone who is getting older.Throughout the book, Applewhite cheers us on as she helps us arrive at newer, fresher, more life-affirming understandings of what being and getting older are really about. Wrestling with our society’s insistence on the “age-as-problem” approach can feel daunting, she admits, but it’s not as intimidating and difficult as the greater challenges all of us will face if we don’t apply ourselves as soon as possible to the task of defeating ageism. As she states, “…it’s clear that upending discrimination on the basis of age will require fundamental changes in the way society is structured. We have to come up with fairer and broader ways to assess productivity, devise more ways for older people to continue to contribute, support them in these endeavors, and decouple the value of a human being from success along any of these metrics. This social change demands that we join the struggle against racism, sexism, ableism, and homophobia as well. Likewise, activists for other social justice causes would do well to consider how ageism hampers their efforts, and to raise awareness and work against it.”    Abolishing ageism is a revolutionary cause whose time has come. This Chair Rocks, is its inspiring manifesto. If we diligently apply its ideas, we’ll arrive at the solution that Betty Friedan passionately urged us to find more than two decades ago. Let’s all read the book –– and get to work.  Related PostsA New, Powerful Tool to Defeat AgeismAshton Applewhite, activist and author of This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism, recently delivered an 11-minute barn-burning TED Talk called “Let’s End Ageism” that is the clearest and most concise, entertaining, and impactful introduction to the scourge of ageism I’ve ever heard.The Manifesto Against Ageism is HereAbout eight years ago, Ashton Applewhite began interviewing people over 80 for a project called “So when are you going to retire?” It didn’t take her long to realize that almost everything she thought she knew about aging was wrong. So she wrote a book to set the record straight.Review — This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against AgeismAshton Applewhite’s new book This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism is a wake-up call, especially for those who have the urge to make a difference while here, alive, and with the heart for change.Tweet2Share204Share24Email230 SharesTags: Ageism Ashton Applewhite bookslast_img read more

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Research uncovers new mechanism involved in bone formation

first_img Source:http://ewww.kumamoto-u.ac.jp/en/news/329/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 5 2018BACKGROUNDOsteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to fracture easily due to a reduction in both bone mass and quality. Aging is one of its leading causes, and it is estimated that around 200 million people are affected worldwide. Fractures of the femoral neck–the connection between the femur and the hip joint–or of vertebrae can leave a person bedridden which increases the need for care, reduces quality of life and systemic function, and increases mortality.Bone is a living tissue that is repeatedly broken down (bone resorption) and remade (bone formation) little by little every day. If this balance collapses and bone resorption exceeds bone formation, bone density decreases and can lead to osteoporosis. Several medications are available to treat this disease, but the number of drugs that promote bone formation are far fewer compared to those that suppress bone resorption. The development of therapeutic agents that regenerate bones is highly desired.Sirtuins are enzymes that play important roles in controlling aging, stress responses, various areas of the metabolism, and several other body functions. In mammals, there are seven types of sirtuins, SIRT1 to SIRT7. Although SIRT7 has been reported to be involved in cancer and lipid metabolism, its role in bone tissue and bone aging was unknown.RESEARCH1. The effect of SIRT7 on bone formationRecent experiments performed by a research group led by scientists from Kumamoto University, Japan showed that mice lacking the SIRT7 gene had reduced bone mass. A bone morphometry analysis showed that bone formation and the number of osteoblasts (bone-building cells) had been reduced. Furthermore, the researchers obtained similar results using osteoblast-specific SIRT7 deficient mice, thereby showing that (osteoblast-specific) SIRT7 is important for bone formation.2. Expression of sirtuins in bone tissue of old miceReduced bone formation is common in people with osteoporosis, and the mechanism for this reduction is not well known. To clarify the mechanism, the researchers compared sirtuin (SIRT1, 6, and 7) expression in the skeletal tissue of young and old mice, and found that SIRT7 decreased with age. They then considered that this decrease in SIRT7 in the older specimens may be associated with decreased osteogenesis, and may even be a cause of osteoporosis.Related StoriesResearchers examine strains between bone and graft from animal modelsInjectable hydrogel offers double punch against bone infectionsCommon antibacterial agent may be bad news for bone health3. The effect of SIRT7 on osteoblast differentiationWhen the researchers cultured osteoblasts (in vitro) with decreased SIRT7 expression in their next experiment, the formation of a bone-like mass (calcified nodule) was markedly suppressed compared to cultures of normal osteoblasts. Additionally, the expression of genes indicating osteoblast differentiation was also decreased, thereby revealing that SIRT7 controls the differentiation of osteoblasts.4. Transcriptional activation of SP7/Osterix by SIRT7To clarify the mechanism by which osteoblastic SIRT7 positively regulates the differentiation of osteoblasts, researchers investigated the transcription activity of the gene expression regulatory factor essential for osteoblast differentiation. They found that the transcription activity of SP7 (also known as Osterix), a protein known to induce differentiation of pre-osteoblasts into mature osteoblasts and osteocytes, was markedly decreased in osteoblasts that lacked the SIRT7 gene.They also realized that to get high transcription activation of SP7/Osterix, it is important for SIRT7 to deacylate the 368th lysine residue of the SP7/Osterix protein. In other words, SIRT7 enhances the transcriptional activity of SP7/Osterix by chemically modifying it (deacylating the 368th lysine residue). Furthermore, the researchers were able to recover osteoblast functionality in the calcified nodule formation by introducing a mutant SP7/Osterix, which deacylated the 368th lysine of SP7/Osterix, into the osteoblasts that had reduced SIRT7 expression.The research group is confident that their results show a new mechanism for SIRT7 as a deacylating enzyme important for transcriptional activation of the gene expression regulator SP7/Osterix and is essential for osteoblast differentiation.”In situations where SIRT7 does not work sufficiently, such as in an older individual, osteoblast formation is impaired due to low SP7/Osterix transcriptional activity. We believe that this decreased osteogenesis is associated with osteoporosis,” said study leader Dr. Tatsuya Yoshizawa of Kumamoto University. “Our results, show that the regulatory pathway of SIRT7 – SP7 / Osterix is a promising target for new therapeutic agents to treat decreased osteogenesis and osteoporosis.”last_img read more

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