World Health Organization declares Zika virus global health emergency

In May of last year, an outbreak of the Zika virus was discovered in Brazil.  Less than a year later, the virus has spread to over twenty countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, prompting the World Health Organization to declare it an international public health emergency in early February. An increasing body of evidence links the Zika virus, which is transmitted by mosquitoes, to microcephaly, a condition which causes babies to be born with unusually small heads and, consequently, inco...
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Sweden’s experiment with the 6-hour work day

Happier staff.  Increased profits.  Lower turnover rate.  These are just a few of the reported benefits of the six-hour work day, adopted this year by employers across Sweden - from retirement homes to car centers and hospitals. This approach is not entirely new.  Thirteen years ago, Toyota service centers in the coastal city of Gothenburg cut shifts for their mechanics.  The company reported rising profits and increased staff satisfaction as a result, and the concept has been in place ever s...
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U.N. crowdfunding app helps feed Syrian refugees

On Thursday, the United Nations World Food Programme released a new crowdfunding app in order to help feed Syrian children in Jordanian refugee camps. ShareTheMeal, available for iPhone and Android smartphones, encourages users to “share their meals” with these young refugees by donating as little as $0.50, enough to feed a child for one day.  Those who log in to the app through Facebook can even compare their charity efforts to those of their Facebook friends -- a special gamification featur...
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PowerPoint: Not Just for Classrooms

Fill in the blank: College is the time to ____________. Likely answers include: drink a lot of beer, build up your resume, get a decent summer internship. I bet none of you would have said learn how to make a PowerPoint presentation. We’ve all made one and probably complained about it in the process, and our professors love making really text-heavy ones that no one can feasibly read through during lecture. Maybe we’ll use them later in our jobs, hopefully we won’t. Well attention, everyone: Powe...
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Global Cloud Computing Atlas: From Amazon to Snowden

  Imagine you need to conduct a complicated calculation or run a storage consuming program, but you don’t have such capacity on your own laptop. Fortunately, instead of investing in a better machine or driving to a highly equipped laboratory to complete your job, you can simply connect to the “cloud” through the internet – send your data and request to the cloud database, have it computed or run, and get the result sent back to you. What, you may ask, is this convenient but mysterious clou...
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Weekly Recap – Feb 18th to 25th

What's inside....?
The Blade Runner Can't Run Last week Oscar Pistorius, lauded last year as the first double-amputee athlete to compete in the Olympic games, was accused of murdering his girlfriend. The South African runner pleaded not-guilty in court, claiming that he mistakenly shot his girlfriend - model  Rena Steenkamp, believing there was an intruder in the house. He was subsequently released on bail later that week.   Hacking Chinese Style Last week American security firm, Mandiant, released a repo...
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Why North Korea’s purported space program poses a threat to the international community

  On January 30, 2013, South Korea successfully launched its first rocket with significant Russian help. The culmination of the decade long effort was a direct response to North Korea’s unsuccessful intermediate-range rocket testing in 1998. At the time, the progression of North Korean rocket technology alarmed the South Korean government so much so that South Korea took radical steps to hasten the launch of its rocket. Even so, North Korea’s “military first” approach prevailed and the No...
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Microsoft, Google, and Apple: Tech Wars

The story began in 1998, the year in which Microsoft first released its Windows98 system, Apple first introduced its iMac, and Google was founded by two Stanford students. Since then, along with the world-changing development of the internet and high technology, the three companies have entered into a series of battles, struggling for control over different digital areas. Though the mastery of light sabers is not required, the wars in the tech industry today are featuring equal intensity and u...
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Weekly Recap – November 11th to 17th

Former Director of the CIA
The Spy Who Loved Me CIA Director, David Petraeus, resigned last week after it was revealed he was having an affair with his biographer. The FBI uncovered the story, working off the original claims of 'jealousy' that led them to the woman. Petraeus was a four-starred General with extensive experience in Libya and Afghanistan when he was made Director. He has also come under scrutiny for the attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, and whether or not it was a terrorist act. The case raises severa...
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Drones: A Blessing or a Curse?

It is no secret that the U.S. increasingly uses drones to achieve its counterterrorism goals. During the recent presidential debates, there was no contention over drone usage. Indeed, much of the skepticism surrounding drones appears to have subsided as they have become the Obama administration’s primary tool for fighting terrorism. This is unsurprising considering the lack of serious ramifications stemming from their usage. [1] There are indeed many advantages to using drones. They are much mo...
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