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WhatsApp fixes issue that put user phone numbers on Google

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whatsapp fixes issue that put user phone numbers on google

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WhatsApp says it has rectified an issue that cause some users’ phone numbers to show up in Google search results.

The platform’s resolution of the issue comes just days after it was reported by a researcher who traced the problem to WhatsApp’s ‘Click to Chat’ feature which creates a simplified link that can be used to join a chat.

According to researcher Athul Jayaram, the issue affected at least 300,000 phone numbers which appeared in Google when searching for, ‘site:we.me’.

WhatsApp says it has resolved an issue that was causing some users' phone numbers to be indexed by Google and made accessible through search results (stock)

WhatsApp says it has resolved an issue that was causing some users' phone numbers to be indexed by Google and made accessible through search results (stock)

WhatsApp says it has resolved an issue that was causing some users’ phone numbers to be indexed by Google and made accessible through search results (stock)

Jayaram says that the numbers were indexed by Google because WhatsApp failed to request that they be ignored by the search giant’s web crawler – a feature that TechCrunch notes is available to web administrators.

WhatsApp told TechCrunch that it won’t be awarding a bounty for Jayaram’s identification of the bug since the research only contained publicly available Google results.

‘While we appreciate this researcher’s report and value the time that he took to share it with us, it did not qualify for a bounty since it merely contained a search engine index of URLs that WhatsApp users chose to make public,’ WhatsApp said in a statement.

‘All WhatsApp users, including businesses, can block unwanted messages with the tap of a button.’

This isn’t the first time that WhatsApp has had issues with being crawled by Google’s algorithm.

25121268 0 image a 2 1591816105092

25121268 0 image a 2 1591816105092

Earlier this year, around 470,000 invite links were found on Google’s index which could be pulled up with simple search terms.

The issue exposed chat groups for the sharing of ‘nude live videos’ and child sex abuse images and also people working for the United Nations.

Anyone finding a group link online could conceivably join the chat — enabling them to see potentially private or confidential exchanges as well as the members’ phone numbers and WhatsApp usernames.

 

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Amazon’s Alexa will ask humans questions using a new ‘teachable’ AI

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amazons alexa will ask humans questions using a new teachable ai

Amazon just gave Alexa a mind of its own by enabling it to ask humans questions.

The tech giant is set to add ‘teachable’ artificial intelligence to the virtual assistant, allowing it to ask questions in order to understand the contextual conversation and learn from its owners.

During the firm’s annual product launch event, Amazon also introduced natural turn taking, which allows users to speak to Alexa with using a wake wording to provide ‘more natural and expressive’ conversations.

Rohit Prasad, vice president of Amazon, said: ‘You can ask ‘Alexa, join my conversation,’ and Alexa will join in the conversation to help you and friend decide what pizza to order, or get a movie recommendation for a night at home with your family.’

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Amazon is set to add 'teachable' artificial intelligence to the virtual assistant, allowing it to ask questions in order to understand the contextual conversation and learn from its owners

Amazon is set to add ‘teachable’ artificial intelligence to the virtual assistant, allowing it to ask questions in order to understand the contextual conversation and learn from its owners

Prasad explained that Amazon has been working years to advance Alexa, noting to teach the assistant instantaneously took three to four years to complete.

‘I am excited to show you the AI advancements bringing us closer to our long-term vision of making interactions with Alexa as simple as speaking to another person,’ he shared in a statement.’

‘Alexa already uses similar self-learning to automatically correct her mistakes by learning from customer feedback. These feedback signals include vocal frustration such as ‘Alexa, that’s wrong,’ or an interruption such as ‘Alexa, stop.’ Once Alexa determines a particular action was unsatisfactory, she automatically corrects herself.

‘Today, we’re taking this self-learning a step further by giving you the ability to directly teach Alexa.’

Amazon also introduced natural turn taking, which allows users to speak to Alexa with using a wake wording to provide 'more natural and expressive' conversations

Amazon also introduced natural turn taking, which allows users to speak to Alexa with using a wake wording to provide ‘more natural and expressive’ conversations

‘This new capability helps Alexa get smarter by asking questions to fill gaps in her understanding—just like we do as humans.

Alexa is using machine learning to determine if a user’s request is a teachable moment and if it is, the assistant will ask follow up questions to better understand.

‘As an example, when reading the latest best seller, Alexa won’t automatically know that my preferred setting is 40% brightness when I ask, ‘Alexa, set the light to Rohit’s reading mode’,’ Prasad explained.

‘With interactive teaching, Alexa learns these definitions and associated actions instantaneously, and they are stored only for your account for future use.’

Amazon is set to roll out these capabilities to its other smart device in the coming months.

Along with the teachable AI, Alexa will also be equipped with a multi-sensory AI to observe acoustic, linguistic and visual cues to determine if an action is directed at it or a human in the room.

Using this information, the virtual assistant will then decide how to respond or which action to take

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Massive three mile wide meteorite crater is found in Australia that formed 100 MILLION years ago

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massive three mile wide meteorite crater is found in australia that formed 100 million years ago

Gold miners stumbled upon a massive meteorite crater in Western Australia’s Outback that was created some 100-million-years-ago.

Using electromagnetic surveys, researchers were able to create images of the impact, dubbed Ora Banda Crater,  site below the surface to determine it stretches three mile across.

Shoot cones were recovered around the site that form from the high pressure, high velocity shock waves produced by a large impacting object – ‘tell-tale signs of a meteorite impact.’ 

Ancient plant material was also discovered in sediments, which will be further analyzed for microscopic pollen to gather a more accurate date of when the hole was filled. 

Gold miners stumbled upon a massive meteorite crater in Western Australia's Outback that was created some 100-million-years-ago. Using electromagnetic surveys, researchers were able to create images of the impact site below the surface to determine it stretches three mile across

Gold miners stumbled upon a massive meteorite crater in Western Australia's Outback that was created some 100-million-years-ago. Using electromagnetic surveys, researchers were able to create images of the impact site below the surface to determine it stretches three mile across

Gold miners stumbled upon a massive meteorite crater in Western Australia’s Outback that was created some 100-million-years-ago. Using electromagnetic surveys, researchers were able to create images of the impact site below the surface to determine it stretches three mile across

The miners were working near the historic Goldfields mining town of Ora Banda, north-west of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, when they spotted rocks that looked out of place.

Geologist and geophysicist Dr Jayson Meyers said: ‘The Ora Banda crater was a bit of a gift.’

‘The geologists who were working on it were drilling holes for gold, and they saw some very unusual rocks.’

‘They had it in the back of their mind that this really didn’t fit in to anything else they have seen and thought this could be a result of a meteorite impact.’

Shoot cones were recovered from the site, which form from the high pressure, high velocity shock wave produced by a large impacting object – 'tell-tale signs of a meteorite impact'

Shoot cones were recovered from the site, which form from the high pressure, high velocity shock wave produced by a large impacting object – 'tell-tale signs of a meteorite impact'

Shoot cones were recovered from the site, which form from the high pressure, high velocity shock wave produced by a large impacting object – ‘tell-tale signs of a meteorite impact’

The miners were working near the historic Goldfields mining town of Ora Banda, north-west of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, when they spotted rocks that looked out of place

The miners were working near the historic Goldfields mining town of Ora Banda, north-west of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, when they spotted rocks that looked out of place

The miners were working near the historic Goldfields mining town of Ora Banda, north-west of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, when they spotted rocks that looked out of place

He told ABC that ‘based on its position and levels of erosion and some of the soil that is filling the sides, we estimate it could be around 100 million years old.’

The team discovered sediments with ancient plant material that will be analyzed by paleontologists looking for microscopic pollen that could reveal when the crate was filled.

Curtin University is assisting Meyers and will investigate droplets of glass along with zircons and other minerals cemented in the shoot cones to hopefully determine a more exact date of when the impact occurred.

Although the team estimates the crater is 100-million-years old, they said it likely happened between 250 million and 40 million years ago.

Zircons and other materials deep in the hole that were vaporized and re-crystallized may also shed light on when the event occurred, resource.ly reports.

‘The energy released when the asteroid impacted would have been more than the combined energy from every atomic test ever conducted,’ Meyers told resource.ly.

Curtin University is assisting Meyers and will investigate droplets of glass along with zircons and other minerals cemented in the shoot cones to hopefully determine a more exact date of when the impact occurred

Curtin University is assisting Meyers and will investigate droplets of glass along with zircons and other minerals cemented in the shoot cones to hopefully determine a more exact date of when the impact occurred

Curtin University is assisting Meyers and will investigate droplets of glass along with zircons and other minerals cemented in the shoot cones to hopefully determine a more exact date of when the impact occurred

Ancient plant material was also discovered in sediments, which will be further analyzed for microscopic pollen to gather a more accurate date of when the hole was filled

Ancient plant material was also discovered in sediments, which will be further analyzed for microscopic pollen to gather a more accurate date of when the hole was filled

Ancient plant material was also discovered in sediments, which will be further analyzed for microscopic pollen to gather a more accurate date of when the hole was filled

The Or Banda crater is, however, five times larger than Australia's famous Wolfe Creek Crater located more north in the state. Wolfe Creek was formed by a meteorite which is estimated to have crashed into earth 300,000 years ago

The Or Banda crater is, however, five times larger than Australia's famous Wolfe Creek Crater located more north in the state. Wolfe Creek was formed by a meteorite which is estimated to have crashed into earth 300,000 years ago

The Or Banda crater is, however, five times larger than Australia’s famous Wolfe Creek Crater located more north in the state. Wolfe Creek was formed by a meteorite which is estimated to have crashed into earth 300,000 years ago

If this crater hit during the Cretaceous period it would not have had an impact on the dinosaur era, which fell victim to an asteroid that left an impact crater of about 90 miles across in what is now Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula some 66 million years ago.

The Or Banda crater is, however, five times larger than Australia’s famous Wolfe Creek Crater located more north in the state.

Wolfe Creek was formed by a meteorite which is estimated to have crashed into earth 300,000 years ago.

The meteorite left a massive 2,890 feet hole in the ground, which is visible on the surface.

And it was believed to be the second largest crater in the world.

KILLING OFF THE DINOSAURS: HOW A CITY-SIZED ASTEROID WIPED OUT 75 PER CENT OF ALL ANIMAL AND PLANT SPECIES

Around 65 million years ago non-avian dinosaurs were wiped out and more than half the world’s species were obliterated.

This mass extinction paved the way for the rise of mammals and the appearance of humans.

The Chicxulub asteroid is often cited as a potential cause of the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event.

The asteroid slammed into a shallow sea in what is now the Gulf of Mexico.

The collision released a huge dust and soot cloud that triggered global climate change, wiping out 75 per cent of all animal and plant species.

Researchers claim that the soot necessary for such a global catastrophe could only have come from a direct impact on rocks in shallow water around Mexico, which are especially rich in hydrocarbons.

Within 10 hours of the impact, a massive tsunami waved ripped through the Gulf coast, experts believe.

Around 65 million years ago non-avian dinosaurs were wiped out and more than half the world's species were obliterated. The Chicxulub asteroid is often cited as a potential cause of the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event (stock image)

Around 65 million years ago non-avian dinosaurs were wiped out and more than half the world's species were obliterated. The Chicxulub asteroid is often cited as a potential cause of the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event (stock image)

Around 65 million years ago non-avian dinosaurs were wiped out and more than half the world’s species were obliterated. The Chicxulub asteroid is often cited as a potential cause of the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event (stock image)

This caused earthquakes and landslides in areas as far as Argentina.

But while the waves and eruptions were  The creatures living at the time were not just suffering from the waves – the heat was much worse.

While investigating the event researchers found small particles of rock and other debris that was shot into the air when the asteroid crashed.

Called spherules, these small particles covered the planet with a thick layer of soot.

Experts explain that losing the light from the sun caused a complete collapse in the aquatic system.

This is because the phytoplankton base of almost all aquatic food chains would have been eliminated.

It’s believed that the more than 180 million years of evolution that brought the world to the Cretaceous point was destroyed in less than the lifetime of a Tyrannosaurus rex, which is about 20 to 30 years.

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Most accurate coronavirus antibody testing kits revealed

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Finger prick antibody testing kits for detecting coronavirus ‘are as accurate as sophisticated lab analysis’ and have a 98 per cent accuracy race, a new study found.

Researchers from Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College London examined a range of antibody tests as part of the study. 

All of the commercial testing kits could tell if someone has or already had Covid-19 but they vary in terms of their performance in terms of overall accuracy.

All the tests examined by the team had a 95 per cent accuracy more than 20 days after coronavirus symptoms had shown – but performance varied before that point. 

Antibody tests made by Accu-Tell, SureScreen and Spring came out top as they are able to provide accurate results within 20 days of symptoms appearing.

Co-author Jonathan Edgeworth said: ‘We found that some of the quick single-use kits are as accurate as our sophisticated laboratory technologies.’ 

Antibody tests made by Accu-Tell, SureScreen and Spring came out top as they are able to provide accurate results within 20 days of symptoms appearing

Antibody tests made by Accu-Tell, SureScreen and Spring came out top as they are able to provide accurate results within 20 days of symptoms appearing

The team created a ‘rigorous comparison’ system that would allow doctors to more easily determine the best option for their hospital. 

Unlike the throat and nose swab tests designed to say if someone is currently infected with the virus, antibody tests can tell if someone has had the virus.  

For diagnosis later in disease, or in delayed-onset syndromes, antibody tests could form an important part of hospital diagnostic capabilities, authors say.

In the study the researchers developed a sensitive and specific antibody testing system and used it to conduct an unbiased comparison of the ten top testing kits.

They put the kits against each other in a head-to-head examination involving identical blood samples from patients admitted to hospital with Covid-19.

They then compared those tests to 50 pre-pandemic negative blood samples.  

There was a broad range of performances among the tests, with the ability to identify those with the disease ranging from 82 per cent success to 100 per cent.  

All gave the best results when used 20 days or more after the start of symptoms, with most tests reaching a sensitivity value greater than 95 per cent. 

Unlike the throat and nose swab tests designed to say if someone is currently infected with the virus, antibody tests can tell if someone has had the virus

Unlike the throat and nose swab tests designed to say if someone is currently infected with the virus, antibody tests can tell if someone has had the virus

In addition, antibody levels were higher in individuals with severe illness compared to those with asymptomatic or mild disease. 

When all commercial tests were compared, Accu-Tell, SureScreen and Spring demonstrated highest sensitivity at earlier time points, while maintaining a success rate in detecting the virus of 98 per cent or above. 

These are ‘affordable, quick and easy to use, according to the team, who say if deployed appropriately they could be useful in healthcare settings. 

‘Encouraged by these findings we are piloting them in the hospital to give doctors a quick reliable answer in a range of clinical settings,’ said Edgeworth. 

The findings have been published in the journal PLOS Pathogens

‘STRIP’ BLOOD TESTS FOR CORONAVIRUS WORK MUCH LIKE PREGNANCY TESTS 

Simple blood tests for coronavirus, like Premier Biotech’s, work much like pregnancy tests. 

27177352 8769069 image a 20 1600969013117

After the sample of blood is collected, a technician injects it into the analysis device – which is about the size of an Apple TV or Roku remote – along with some buffer, and waits about 10 minutes. 

The blood droplet and buffer soak into the absorbent strip of paper enclosed in the plastic collection device. 

Blood naturally seeps along the strip, which is dyed at three points: one for each of two types of antibodies, and a third control line. 

The strip is marked ‘IgM’ and ‘IgG’, for immunoglobulins M and G. Each of these are types of antibodies that the body produces in response to a late- or early-stage infection. 

Along each strip, the antibodies themselves are printed in combination with gold, which react when the either the antigen – or pathogen, in this case, the virus that causes COVID-19 – or the antibody to fight are present.

Results are displayed in a similar fashion to those of an at-home pregnancy test. 

One line – the top, control strip – means negative. 

Two lines – the top control line and the bottom IgM line – in a spread-out configuration means the sample contains antibodies that the body starts making shortly after infection. 

Two lines closer – control and IgG – together mean the person is positive for the later-stage antibodies. 

Three lines mean the patient is positive for both types of antibodies. 

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