Enterprises to Build Applications in IBM Cloud Soon


IBM will enable developers to build applications through its new blockchain service.

International Business Machines Corporation managed to score in 24 consecutive years a record thanks to its broad number of patents created for businesses. One of such innovative projects regards a connection between its cloud computing services and enterprises’ need to build applications. The result is a blockchain code borrowed from the Hyperledger Project.

Developers Will Be Able to Build Applications with Hyperledger Project

On Monday, the American multinational technology firm inaugurated its latest product called IBM Blockchain. This is the first time the organization enables developers to build applications directly on its IBM Cloud service. From now on, clients will be able to create personalized technology at the level of an entire enterprise.

The new service will use Hyperledger Fabric which is the result of collective work. At the beginning of 2016, the Hyperledger Project started by the Linux Foundation asked worldwide developers for codebase proposals. In the end, the new asset was a construct of several incubated technologies, such as Digital Asset Holdings and libconsensus from Blockstream. IBM was itself a contributor to this project through its own project called OpenBlockchain. The product was later on named as Fabric.

The chaincode Fabric has the capacity to conduct 1,000 transactions in the span of a second. IBM stated that the blockchain is going to become the main business logic of any enterprise. The technology is endowed with all the necessary processes for large organizations to build applications. The company continued by admitting that it collaborated with SecureKey Technologies, a tech company, and a consortium of Canadian banks to come up with a complex digital identity network.

IBM Blockchain Will Be Released at the End of 2017

As a result, IBM Blockchain is going to be a network of networks where consumers have it easier to navigate through. The asset is going to be officially launched by the end of 2017. Basically, it will allow users to prove their identities and get fast access to important accounts such as bank accounts, utilities or driver’s license. The banks that will take part in this social innovation are Bank of Nova Scotia, Bank of Montreal, Toronto-Dominion Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, and Canadian Imperial Bank.

A blockchain first emerged on the market as a way to organize the cryptocurrency bitcoin. Later on, it developed into a modern digital shared record of transactions that happen without the approval of centralized power. There is only an online network of computers that handles this record. IBM put its blockchain technology to use for business giants such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc, Northern Trust Corp, and the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation.

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‘Healthiest Hearts In The World’ Found In An Amazonian Tribe

tsimane healthiest hearts people

A team of researchers found the Tsimane people to be the healthiest hearts in the world’.

A team of researchers found the healthiest hearts in the world’. These were established to be the Tsimane people, a remote tribe in the Amazon.

The study was carried out by an international team of researchers. They released their results on March 17th in the Lancet journal. Their paper is titled: “Coronary atherosclerosis in indigenous South American Tsimane: a cross-selection cohort study”.

Where And How Do The Tsimane Live?

The Tsimane, also known as the Chimane, live in lowland Bolivia. They are indigenous to the area and have a mostly subsistence agricultural culture. Besides this, they also rely on fishing and hunting. These two contribute to their food supplies.

According to the researchers, the Tsimane are “an incredible population”. They have a radically different way of living when compared to the rest of the world. Also, they have a very different diet. These differences are believed to have contributed to their latest denotation.

There are around 16,000 people in the Tsimane tribe. They live in the Amazon rainforest on the Maniqui River. Their lifestyle is similar to that of thousands of years old civilizations. The research team admits that the globe cannot return to an agricultural or hunting and fishing way of life. Nonetheless, civilization could “learn something” from the Tsimane.

How Did The Tsimane Come To Be Declared The Healthiest Hearts?

The team named the remote tribe the people with the ‘healthiest hearts’. This appellation came after a series of tests. For their study, the scientists gathered a team of over 700 volunteers. The study team collaborated with another research group. This latter was studying mummified bodies.

The 705 volunteers went through a CT scanner. Researchers were looking to analyze their “CAC” levels. This is the coronary artery calcium or a sure sign of clogged up blood vessels. CAC is also a potential sign that shows the risk of heart attacks.

According to the study report, up to 45 years old, almost no Tsimane had CAC. In contrast, by the same age, almost 25 percent of the American exhibit this sign. As they reach the age of 75, just about one-third of the tribe’s people present CAC. In comparison, almost 80 percent of the US population shows CAC signs.

The team studied the population over a longer period of time. As such, it was not the case of a mostly young population or unhealthy members dying young. Besides CAC levels, they also looked for signs of inflammations. Research also carried out blood tests. These looked for cholesterol and glucose levels as well as blood pressure.

According to a study researcher, their CAC level “[…] is much lower than in every other population where data exists.”.

Despite the fact that they present high levels of inflammation, the tribe nonetheless has very low levels of heart diseases. Putting it simply, the healthiest hearts population shows that maintaining a healthy diet and a constantly active life can help reduce the clogging up of the blood vessels.

The research team will be carrying out a new study. In it, they will be studying each element of the Tsimane lifestyle. Based on the results, they will try to adapt and apply this to the modern, urbanized way of living.

Image Source: Flickr

Montblanc Entered the Smartwatch Market with Summit

montblanc summit smartwatch

The smartwatch market is going to receive a new addition with decent features and high-end looks.

Montblanc is a luxury company that produces top-notch writing instruments, leather goods, watches, and jewelry. The manufacturer has been flirting with the smartwatch market since 2015. This was when the company presented its e-Strap, which is an interchangeable strap that attaches to the back of a wristwatch. The piece of technology endows all Montblanc luxury watches with the same features of a smartwatch. Based on the success of this product, the company decided to focus on its first ever smartwatch.

Summit Will Enter the Smartwatch Market at $890

On March 16, the luxury brand Montblanc revealed during a London tech event its latest product. This time, the asset clearly shows that the company intends to seize the smartwatch market entirely. After its e-Strap product that was capable of turning Montblanc wristwatches into hybrids, the company decided that it is ready to appear in front of the public with its first luxury smartwatch.

“Meet Montblanc Summit. Our first smartwatch. Introducing a world-first for wearable technology: 1.39″ of traditional curved sapphire glass meets the latest Google power. Powered by Android Wear 2.0, it works with both iPhone and Android smartphones,” the company expressed in a Facebook post.

The new product is called Summit. It still wears the traditional Montblanc imprint of high-end traditional design. However, the new smartwatch is also powered by the latest technology. The company set its target public to be those consumers who always seek greatness and accomplishments. This might limit the clients to wealthy professionals who may represent the only segment that can actually afford such a product of $890.

A Look into the Technical Specs of Summit

A Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor is going to power the entire accessory. The watch will have a 1.39 inch AMOLED display that will show the capacity of Android Wear 2.0 operating system. Users will enjoy 512 MB of RAM and a storage capacity of 4 GB. A whole day performance will be supported by a 300 mAh battery.

As for the front-end features, Montblanc clients will benefit a decent range of apps. This list includes a gyroscope, heart rate monitor, barometer, e-compass, microphone, and light sensor. On the other hand, the Summit will not have NFC chip which allows users access to Android Pay and GPS. This points out that the first Montblanc smartwatch is more about looks and less about innovative features. The gadget is compatible with both iOS and Android smartphones.

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Ocean Medallion Will Be The New Carnival Cruise Concierge

carnival cruise ocean medallion

The Ocean Medallion will a wearables technology that will serve you on a Carnival cruise.

The Ocean Medallion will be a wearables technology that will serve as your own, personal concierge whilst aboard a Carnival Corporation cruise.

Carnival Corporation & plc is a cruise company. The American-British firm is considered as being the largest travel leisure company in the world.

Now, its Carnival Cruise Line will be introducing a new feature. Carnival Cruise Line is a company subsidiary. The cruise line is headquartered in Miami, Florida.

Just this week, Carnival Corp representatives announced the introduction of the Ocean Medallion. This will be a wearable technology piece. But how will it work?

The Ocean Medallion will be a 1.8-ounce disk. Its small size will not hinder its great importance. More likely, it will advantage it.

The Ocean Medallion, this small disk, will be sent to the travelers before they board the ship. It will carry both pre-registered, as well as real-time information.

This quartered shaped device will store all the needed information provided by the passenger. Data will be gathered from the online registration form. But it will also be synced with the Ocean Compass.

As such, the Ocean Medallion will be kept up to date. This should help provide a perfect travel experience. The Medallion will be easy to carry. Its shape allows it to be worn either around your neck or on your wrist. It could also simply be kept in a pocket.

Ocean Medallions will offer various benefits. They will include streamlined debarkation or embarkation data. The device should account for a better interaction with the crew members, as they will also have devices.

The Ocean Medallion will offer an easier access to entertainment and dining data. If wished for, it can also help locate family and friends aboard the ship.

The tiny device should be able to do most anything. It should basically come to take care of anything, from delivering food to suggesting activities.

Carnival Princes Cruises are set to be the first company cruises to adopt the wearable tech. It should come to be introduced sometime this year. Ships to support the wearable will be specifically titled.

They will be marked as Medallion Class Oceans Vacations. Travelers going on such cruises will create a personal profile before boarding.

Such profiles will include hobby and activities preferences. Entertainment and recreational preferences will also be supplied.

The Ocean Medallion will be a simple device. It will not have buttons, a menu, and should not need to be changed. Through it, passengers can access the digital concierge Ocean Compass.

They will be able to do so via laptops, smartphones, or tablets. Digital kiosks, designated port terminals, or other similar access devices will be available for access.

Crew members will have a similar device. As the crew – passenger devices sync, the member will readily identify the customer and their preferences.

Ocean Medallion will be connected by a local network. As such, they will not depend on roaming or data packages. This, in turn, will remove the need for additional charges when using the devices. However, this will only be applicable to devices that are part of the network.

John Padgett, the Carnival Corp experience and innovation chief officer, went to offer the first details. According to him, the Ocean Medallion will help create “an elevated level of service”. As it will be made possible by the new tech, it will not feel like one.

Padgett stated that the wearable is like nothing else created before. It does not have to be swiped, touched, or tapped. It functions by simply being there.

Arnold Donald, the Carnival Corporation CEO, will present the wearable tech. More details will be revealed during the CES 2017.

Additional information about the Medallion will be probably released throughout the year. As such, it should help clarify various aspects. Losing, or maybe choosing not to use it details will be offered.

Image Source: Wikimedia

Mafia III Developers Looking Forward To Fixing Glitches

Mafia III

Mafia III succeeds in creating a great story, but is filled with hilarious glitches.

It’s already been more than two weeks since Mafia III was released worldwide. Developed by 2K Games and Hangar 13, the game is the third entry in a critically acclaimed series. Expectations were obviously high. It’s only natural that critics and gamers alike have been filling the internet with reviews and opinions. Some were positive, others, less so…

As with the first two entries of the series, Mafia III was especially praised for its storyline. Departing from the Godfather and Goodfellas inspired stories and characters, Mafia III brings forth the black mob universe of New Orleans (dubbed New Bordeaux in the game).

The Story So Far

The action takes place in 1968 and centers Lincoln Clay, a biracial orphan adopted by the mob, who had just returned from the Vietnam War. Naturally, the protagonist hasn’t returned home to join the flower-power movement but to get some guns and wreck some chaos among rival gangs.

While the game looks as great as any released in 2016, critics and gamers were quick to notice a lot of glitches that are said to ruin the realism that Mafia III boasts. And it’s not just about the occasional enemy floating in the air after being killed (which does happen a lot).

Mafia III Meets Twilight Zone

Some of them are hilarious, such as a boat continuing to spin in the air after being hit. Another time you can see the hero continuing to move like he’s swimming, even after leaving the water environment. And speaking of water, you shouldn’t always trust bridges, as players are known to just fall through them while driving.

Other glitches are just outright creepy, like enemy bodies piling on top of one another in a grotesque fashion. Hangar 13 has promised to fix these glitches in an upcoming update that should also offer more customization for the lead character, and for the plethora of vintage cars that he uses throughout the game.

Surely, the patches will be appreciated, but critics were quick to note that Mafia III should have probably spent more time in development. Some gameplay aspects were deemed generic and repetitive.

The game’s map is larger than Mafia I’s and II’s combined but is said to offer an empty open-world environment, with not much to do outside the main storyline. This does not bode well for Mafia III’s replay value.

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It Might Take One Year To Getting Final Fantasy XV On PC

Final Fantasy XV

A Final Fantasy XV port to PC may take longer than expected.

After its presentation at the New York Comic-Con, gamers can hardly wait to get their hands on Final Fantasy XV, the latest console RPG from Japanese developer Square Enix. However, the term “console RPG” may be as right as ever. The much-anticipated port for PCs may take at least one year to happen.

Final Fantasy games were usually set in more… fantasy environments, though more futuristic technologies would come to play among various game elements. This installment gives us a different medium, a fantasy story set in more contemporary times.

A Different Fantasy

The story takes place in a modern Earth-like world called Eos. The hero is Noctis, a prince on a quest to retake his rightful throne in a kingdom recently conquered by the empire of Niflheim.

The atmosphere is set to be darker and more realistic compared to other previous installments. The players are given an open-world experience, and the combat system looks very exciting from the demos presented.

While only Noctis is controllable, the player has ways of interacting with other party members even during combat. The hero is also able to perform warp attacks for short distances, making the combat fast, fluid and exciting.

It’s a small wonder that the latest presentation got gamers of all mediums anxious to play Final Fantasy XV.

Porting Final Fantasy XV To PC Is A Very Slow Process

When the game was announced, not many details were given regarding a PC port, but Square Enix did not rule anything out. And while the transfer may still happen, game director Hajime Tabata says that it’s unlikely for it to happen soon.

Tabata states that the work on adapting the graphics engine would be “laborious.” No confirmation on whether the process had even started was given.

Final Fantasy XV is set to launch on November 29. It will be released worldwide, and be available only for the PS4 and Xbox One consoles. In Japan, the game will also be used to boost the new PS4 Slim, by also being released in a bundle with the eighth generation console.

Will you play Final Fantasy XV on a console, or are you prepared to wait for a PC release?

Image source: Flickr

Water Bears Are Indestructible, and Scientists Know Why

Water bears survive in hostile environments

Water bears walk like bears

Water bears are fascinating little creatures, whose secrets have been recently revealed by scientists. They proved themselves to be remarkably resistant under numerous hostile conditions, and a particular protein of the organisms is responsible for this behavior. Specialists intent to use the protein to the benefit of humans and develop a way of protecting human DNA under similar conditions.

Experiments and Testing

A group of Japanese scientists led interesting studies on water bears. They managed to sequence the genome of these micro-animals and identify the special protein in their genes. It is called Dsup, and its’ role is to prevent their DNA from being irradiated, among others. In other words, it makes the tiny organisms indestructible.

A previous study proved that these little animals could survive extremely cold temperatures, as scientists froze some individuals, and revived them later. Two of then resisted for thirty years. They also can live without oxygen and water, although they are aquatic creatures. Scientists believe that they can also live in space, where there are no breathable and life-sustaining conditions.

Researchers also tried the protein on human DNA. Their experiment consisted in damaging the sample with X-rays, then allowing the cells to heal with the help of the substance produced by water bears. What the scientists observed was that the protein prevented the DNA of our species from being damaged by forty percent, which is an impressive achievement. According to specialists, water bears developed this property as a result of their adaptation to dehydration. Previous experiments showed that these incredible aquatic animals could survive dehydration too.

Predictions on Water Bears and Dsup

Further implications of these studies are concerned with the Dsup protein being used on humans. Researchers state that the substance can be transplanted into a living person. The result of such an action is making the human organism more resistant.

The experiments conducted by several groups of experts show that human DNA can be protected from damaging radiations thanks to the properties of water bears. As the micro-animals are also resistant when it comes to lack of oxygen, scientists predict that humans could live in space, if their DNA is modified with the protein.

Water bears are also called moss piglets, but their scientific name is Tardigrades. They have eight legs and enjoy aquatic environments. They were called “water bears” because of the way they walk. The largest specimen can reach 1.5 mm.

The study on the indestructibility of water bears was published in the journal Nature Communications.

Image courtesy of: Wikipedia

Healthy Diets Can Be Overturned by Stressful Situations

a woman in a stressful situation

Stressful situations cause so much harm on our bodies that they even overthrow a healthy diet.

According to a new study, people who experience stressful situations are deprived of all the benefits of healthy eating. This means that a healthy lifestyle doesn’t just include a balanced meal and regular workouts, but also a stress-free environment.

Balance Between Healthy Meals and a Stress-Free Environment

A team or researchers from the Ohio State University found that people who regularly and consciously eat nutritious morning meals lose all of the benefits of their breakfasts if they are exposed to stressful situations.

The paper details that the effects of stress on the body include a predisposition to heart diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, and even diabetes.

Stressful Situations Are the Cause of Inflammation

Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, the lead author of the study, declared that inflammation is currently being associated with a number of diseases that are specific to old age.

The sample of volunteers was made up out of women over the age of 53. Their diets were diverse, ranging from diets rich in saturated fats to diets rich in non-saturated fats.

In order to obtain relevant results, all of the women were given the same breakfast; all the while-while being asked about the way in which they spent the day before, the focus being on the amount of stress they had to endure.

A stressful day was one in which the participant was exposed to an amount of stress large enough to have a physiological impact.

According to the results of the study, the women who had a stress-free day before being given the healthy breakfast were healthier than those who were exposed to large amounts of stress.

The difference in health was measured by taking the participants’ blood before and after eating the nutritious breakfast.

The women who were not exposed to stressful situations assimilated the nutrients from their morning meal better than those who had to deal with stress.

The scientists declared that were not able to prove if

“a bad reaction to stress overwhelms the potential benefits of a healthy meal, or if it could be that the stress itself alters the body’s processing of the meal.”

The paper can be consulted in the Nature online journal.

Image source: Pixabay

Ovarian Cancer Symptoms and Signs, Learn the Basics

ovarian cancer symptoms explained

Ovarian cancer symptoms can be easily confused with the signs of other diseases.

According to the specialists, ovarian cancer has a high death risk due to its late diagnosis rates. Women who are tested positive for the illness wait too long to consult a doctor, ignoring their symptoms. That is why an awareness campaign detailing ovarian cancer symptoms has begun.

Dr. David Fishman, director of the center of gynecologic oncology at new Presbyterian/Queens – New York Hospital declared that in the majority of cases, ovarian cancer is diagnosed too late, the patient having fewer survival chances.

“It’s important for women to know their risk of contracting this deadly disease, and its earlier warning signs,” Fishman declared.

According to the statistics, every woman is at risk of developing the illness, and one in seventy-five will have to fight with the disease at some point in her life. Every year over 250,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, the condition proving fatal for more than 140,000.

Ovarian Cancer Symptoms

Also dubbed the “silent killer,” ovarian cancer comes with mild symptoms in its early stages, most of them being easily mistaken for signs of fatigue, menopause, or the ovarian cysts.

According to Fishman, women should be alerted if they often experience the following symptoms:

  • Indigestion;
  • Bloating;
  • Nausea;
  • Pain in the back and abdomen;
  • Frequent urination;
  • A sensation of feeling full after a small meal;
  • Shortness of breath;
  • Weight gain.

The specialist is advising all women who experience a part of these symptoms for more than a week to check with their gynecologist as soon as possible.

If detected early, ovarian cancer has high rates of survival. In stage one, when the cancerous cells are found only in the ovary, the average survival rate is of over 90 percent. However, the more advanced the condition is, the lower the survival odds get.

It’s important to mention that a clean pap test only clears the patient from the probability of developing cervical cancer, not ovarian cancer. That is why Fishman is trying to stress out the importance of being on a lookout for the symptoms mentioned above and getting periodical check-ups.

Other Risk Factors

Women that battled other types of cancer, especially breast cancer are more prone to develop cervical cancer. Moreover, infertility, gene mutations, obesity, early menstruation, age are important factors that must be taken into consideration.

Factors That Can Reduce Risks

In order to avoid the condition, women are advised to adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes a low-fat diet, giving birth naturally, undergoing tubal ligation surgery, and using birth control medication. Furthermore, patients that are tested positive for the BRCA gene mutation can opt for a surgical removal of their fallopian tubes and ovaries.

Image source: Wikipedia

Extreme Temperatures and Premature Birth Risks

extreme temperatures

Researchers discovered that extreme temperatures can lead to premature birth.

The National Institutes of Health conducted a study that showed extreme temperatures as a factor in premature births. The correlation is valid for both hot and cold extremes occurring in the first seven weeks of pregnancy. The authors recommend pregnant women to avoid extreme temperatures.

Moreover, women that had been exposed to extreme temperatures during all the length of the pregnancy were also likely to deliver before the term.

The association was stronger when it came to extreme heat than it was the case with extreme cold. The authors think that during cold times, people can easily escape the cold by taking shelter.

The issues arise with high temperature when women are conditioned to use air conditioning, which is not compulsory, and some people might not afford its cost.

The Extreme Temperatures Study

A full-term pregnancy is considered to be between 39 and 40 weeks. On the other hand, a preterm birth happens before 37 weeks. Premature birth can lead to an increased risk of disability and infant death.

The authors cannot explain how extreme temperatures can influence the term of birth. One explanation may be that the development of the placenta may be affected. Another hypothesis is that the blood flow to the uterus might have been altered.

The study involved the medical records of 223,375 births in the US. The researchers correlated the data with hourly temperature information in the 12 regions where the births occurred.

The effect of temperature can vary from one person to another. Thus, the researchers decided to consider extreme heat to be above the 90th percentile of the area’s average, and extreme cold to be under the 10th percentile.

The Correlation

The results showed that women exposed to extreme cold in the first seven weeks of pregnancy were 20% at risk of delivering the baby before the 34th week of pregnancy. Moreover, 9% were more prone to give birth between the 34th and the 36th week, and 3% in the weeks 37 and 38.

When it comes to extreme heat, the risk was up to 11% for premature births that occurred before week 34, and 4% of births occurring in week 37 and 38.

The correlation was consistent with women being exposed to extreme temperatures later in their pregnancy.

The researchers say that an increase of hot days because of the climate change could raise the risk of premature births. The authors further recommend policy makers and health professionals to create interventions that will limit the exposure of pregnant women to extreme temperatures.

Image Source: Pixabay