How to Meet the Demands of the Socially Conscio… Tags:#data#federal trade commission#Ferenstein Wire#FTC#Lumos Labs#science How to Cultivate the Skill of Being a Creative … gregory ferenstein How Connected Communities Can Bolster Your Busi… AI Will Empower Leaders, Not Replace Them Related Posts This post appears courtesy of the Ferenstein Wire, a syndicated news service. Publishing partners may edit posts. For inquiries, please email author and publisher Gregory Ferenstein. Government agencies and watchdog groups are going after tech companies that make promises they can’t deliver to consumers. The recent flood of lawsuits and exposés is a reaction to Silicon Valley’s bad habit of unscientific propaganda.Just in the last few months, the press has lambasted unicorn medical company, Theranos, for inaccurate blood tests, and food startup Hampton Creek Foods for questionable claims about its egg substitute. The Federal Trade Commission extracted a $2 million settlement with Lumos Labs for exaggerated conclusions of the benefits of brain games. And users are suing Fitbit for inaccurate heart-rate monitoring. Science Versus TechnologyWhile this may seem like a string of bad luck, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. In my experience as a professional reviewer of consumer technology, this is how much of Silicon Valley operates with respect to scientific claims.More often than not, tech companies will make big promises to consumers, using their early adopters as a research base to verify the accuracy of their products, and then release limited conclusions if the data turns out positive. That is, in their pursuit of short-term profit, tech companies have an incentive to release a product, advertise big benefits, and then hope the experience of an ever-expanding user base retroactively validates their conclusions.Case in point: Soon after a Stanford report contradicted the claims of Lumos Labs—that brain-training games dramatically improve cognition—I asked the company’s executives for a response. They told me that they were confident in their brain-training product and that their users were seeing big benefits. I asked them for the data and whether they would let independent researchers verify the claims.I was told that Lumos Labs had data scientists working on proving the claims and that the company would probably release the findings shortly. I never received the data.Waiting For DataI’ve seen this over and over again. When I tested the accuracy of health trackers, I personally experienced wide variation in heart-rate monitoring and calorie burning during exercise. One of my trackers showed that I was burning 1,000 more calories per day than the others I was wearing at the exact same time. If it was accurate, I should have looked a lot more like a shirtless Hugh Jackman than I actually do. When I confronted a company executive at a conference, he told me that some people, like myself, who do high-intensity training, can throw off the device. In other tests, optical heart-rate monitors varied widely—by 30 to 60 beats per minute during exercise (the difference between an all-out sprint and a mild jog). Prior to the test, I had asked one company about independent scientific research and got no response. After the bad review, I was contacted by the company. I told them how I did my review and never heard back from the engineers (again). The Numbers Don’t Ad(d) UpIt’s not just health: Advertisers are some of the worst offenders. Research scientists have long shown that making causal inferences about the effects of advertising is extremely difficult. Because click-through rates are so small, the sample sizes necessary to understand what works can reach into the millions, if not higher. When I inquired with one major social network about how they measured return on investment, I was told that if was looking for academic-quality research, I would come up “empty-handed”. I was then referred to data scientists on their team who were conveniently unavailable.Again (and again and again), statistical experts would tell me that they could not understand how companies could make scientific claims and the companies, when faced with this criticism, would tell me that the research was ongoing. The Revenge Of Real ScienceIt appears that these days of unscientific propaganda are coming to an end. Bad press is one thing. It’s going to be far harder for companies to brush off government agencies going after them when they can’t back up quantitative claims with solid research. In some cases, this could make life more difficult for tech companies. Proving things quantitatively can be very difficult—whether it be a heart monitor, calorie counter, brain game, or advertising campaign. In my opinion, the best strategy is to be honest and release what data you can to the public. If scientists have doubts, give researchers secure access to test the data and do independent verification. Otherwise, users become unwitting lab rats for the efficacy of products we can’t verify. Hiding data and exaggerating claims was always unethical. It may soon be legally dubious as well. And ultimately, it may prove to be a losing strategy. For Silicon Valley startups looking to win over consumers and regulators, that’s what really matters.For more stories like this, subscribe to the Ferenstein Wire newsletter here.Photo courtesy of Theranos
Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/ Milan drop Suso and go with Samu Castillejo and Ismael Bennacer against SPAL in Serie A this evening. Suso’s performances have been heavily criticised this season, despite Stefano Pioli’s defence of the Spaniard. He makes way for countryman Castillejo on the left wing, with Krzysztof Piatek and Hakan Calhanoglu joining him in a three-pronged Milan attack. Elsewhere, Leo Duarte is given a rare start at right-back, replacing Andrea Conti as Davide Calabria is similarly overlooked. Bennacer replaces Lucas Biglia at the heart of the Rossoneri’s midfield, flanked by Lucas Paqueta and Franck Kessie. SPAL, meanwhile, change two from their 1-1 draw with Napoli as Thiago Cionek and 37-year-old striker Sergio Floccari come in for Igor and Alberto Paloschi. Milan: Donnarumma, Duarte, Musacchio, Romagnoli, Hernandez, Paqueta, Bennacer, Kessie, Castillejo, Piatek, Calhanoglu SPAL: Berisha; Tomovic, Vicari, Cionek; Espeto, Missiroli, Murgia, Kurtic, Reca; Petagna, Floccari Referee: Piccinini
About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Arsenal keeper Leno: We can cope with injury crisisby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno is confident the club can cope with their current injury crisis.Hector Bellerin injured himself during Sunday’s loss to Southampton, joining Rob Holding (knee), Shkodran Mustafi (hamstring) and Konstantinos Mavropanos (groin) on the sidelines.”We have a big squad so we have many players who can play in defence or at centre-back so hopefully it won’t be a problem,” he told Standard Sport. “Sokratis will be back but I hope there will be no more injuries after yesterday and we won’t have any problems with our defence.”In the last games against Huddersfield or Tottenham, when Mustafi was injured, we changed systems but it was not a big problem because we know what to do with different systems. That’s not a problem.”Of course, it was not easy defensively. This line of defence didn’t play together before. But it was OK. It was a good performance but not a perfect performance. Southampton have a new manager, they have new passion and they played with it.”
About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Pepe admits confidence low after slow start to Arsenal career: But I’m not worriedby Freddie Taylor24 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveNicolas Pepe admits his confidence is low after a slow start with Arsenal.The Ivory Coast international became the club’s most expensive player this summer, but he has failed to register a goal from open play in eight games.”The truth is that my first few weeks in Premier League are not easy,” Pepe told reporters. “I think that I haven’t performed well enough yet.”In terms of stats or my impact on the game, for sure it’s not the same as in Lille last season or against Liverpool at the beginning of the season.”It’s a matter of confidence. My confidence must come back. I’m not worried about it. Probably some people are worried with my stats, but I’m not.”
OTTAWA – It may be harder this year for Canadians to get their flu shots because of delays in producing and distributing the vaccine.The federal government says some provincial flu vaccination programs may need to wait until supplies are worked out.The Public Health Agency of Canada co-ordinates purchases by the provinces.It says 55 per cent of the total order is currently available to be distributed across the country.The agency aims to have 90 per cent of the supply by the end of the month.The problem is being blamed on a shortage at the manufacturing level.Health Canada recommends the flu vaccine for everyone over six months of age, especially the elderly, kids under five, pregnant woman and people with cancer, diabetes and other diseases.
BURNABY, B.C. – The City of Burnaby is evicting protesters from a make-shift camp set up outside one of Kinder Morgan’s terminals, citing fire safety and public health concerns.City manager Lambert Chu says the city is worried about how the footprint of the site, dubbed Camp Cloud, has grown to include a two-level wood structure, additional tents and even shower facilities.“We’ve been trying to work with the camp occupants and seek compliance with no success and that’s why we had to take the step of issuing the eviction notice,” Chu said.The Metro Vancouver city issued a 72-hour eviction notice Wednesday.The notice does not apply to the Watch House, which a separate group of protesters working under the banner “Protect the Inlet” has erected in the woods just outside the terminal.No one from Camp Cloud, made up of Indigenous protesters and environmentalists, was immediately available for comment.In videos posted to Facebook, Kwitsel Tatel identifies herself as the camp’s court monitor.She says there are no public safety issues related to the camp, which formed in order to educate the public about water protection.“We’re asking now for clean water to be protected for all living things, for all people for all time,” she says in the video.In March, the B.C. Supreme Court ruled that both Camp Cloud and the Watch House could remain in place in response to a court injunction filed by Kinder Morgan.Tatel says the eviction notice violates both that court order and Indigenous rights on the land.The city is seeking legal advice about how the court order might affect enforcement of the eviction notice, Chu said.
Staff are also recommending that the Regional Board provides clarification regarding the types of zones which could potentially be amended to allow a Cannabis-Related Business after taking the feedback from the City of Fort St. John into account.The public hearing is taking place at the Northern Grand Hotel in Grand Room 1 at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, September 27th. Since then, the Regional District has received feedback from a number of government agencies on the proposed bylaw.The Village of Pouce Coupe’s Corporate Officer Sandy Stokes said that the Village does not approve of the bylaw being implemented in the Pouce Coupe area, and that the Village’s mayor and council would like to talk more about the bylaw.The Fort St. John City Council passed a motion at the end of August, recommending that the Regional District select a specific zone for cannabis retail such as Highway Commercial and that the PRRD consult with relevant agencies regarding buffer zones, similar to the process the City engaged in over summer when it implemented its Cannabis Retail bylaw.In its feedback, Northern Health recommended removing the term ‘Cannabis Accessory’ from the definitions of Cannabis-Related Business, saying that access to such accessories should be protected for both medical and non-medical cannabis users.“Access to lower-risk cannabis consumption paraphernalia can reduce the harms associated with cannabis consumption, e.g. using a water filtered pipe vs. using a rolling paper or unfiltered metal pipe,” said the health authority’s rationale for the recommendation.Staff said that after taking into account the feedback from Northern Health, they are now recommending that the proposed bylaw be amended to remove the term ‘cannabis accessory’ from all sections. CLARIFICATION: We have amended the headline to read ‘PRRD hosting public hearing in Fort St. John tomorrow on amended bylaw prohibiting cannabis sales’ from ‘PRRD hosting public hearing on amended bylaw prohibiting cannabis sales in Fort St. John tomorrow,’ since the meeting is taking place IN Fort St. John but DOES NOT affect properties INSIDE city limits. The proposed bylaw only impacts properties that are located in the Electoral Areas of the Peace River Regional District (i.e. Charlie Lake, Baldonnel, Wonowon, Farmington, etc.)FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Peace River Regional District is hosting a public hearing on Thursday regarding its proposed bylaw that would prohibit the sale of recreational cannabis, though the bylaw has been amended to omit the proposed prohibition on selling pipes, bongs, vaporizers, and other items that could be used to consume cannabis.The proposed bylaw passed a second reading at the Regional Board meeting on July 26th.
New Delhi: Alumni of IIT Delhi from the 1969 batch have contributed over Rs 1 crore to their alma mater for establishing an award to promote innovation and entrepreneurship. The alumni have signed an MoU with premier institute and named the award– ‘Batch of 1969 Innovation Fellow (Award)’ on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee reunion of the batch here. The Award will be executed and managed by the Foundation for Innovation and Technology Transfer (FITT) of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi. “While funds are usually available for students to continue with their projects in the incubation mode, most investors do not permit their funds to be used as stipends or salary for the students themselves,” Rajat M Nag, an alumnus of the 1969 batch said. Also Read – Bangla Sahib Gurudwara bans use of all types of plastic items”Many, if not most, graduating students thus find it difficult to continue with their projects as the alternative of a high paying jobs are much more attractive than the risk of supporting themselves using personal resources to work on projects which ultimately may not find venture capital support,” he added. The batch has proposed to partially fund this gap by establishing the corpus at IIT Delhi for providing an annual stipend to a graduating student at any level and of any discipline or programme in any department, centre or school. The award would enable the recipients to continue working on their near finished project to bring it to a level of preparation for serious consideration by investors. It will carry a monthly stipend of Rs 1 lakh for a period of one year. In exceptional cases, the awardee may be considered for further support for a maximum of six months.
Telefónica has improved its offer for Netherlands-based KPN’s German mobile operator E-Plus, winning the approval of KPN’s biggest shareholder America Movil.As part of the improved terms, KPN will receive €5.0 billion in cash and a 20.5% stake in Telefónica Deutschland post transaction, for a total transaction value of €8.55 billion. This compares to the previously announced value of €8.10 billion.In a statement, America Movil said it had agreed with Telefónica to vote in favour of the E-Plus transaction at the improved terms. However, the deal is still subject to regulatory clearance.The renegotiated agreement comes just weeks after America Movil announced plans to make a €7.2 billion bid for all issued and outstanding shares in KPN. Currently it owns 29.77% of the Dutch operator.