Cell Phones Could Increase Cancer Risk

Saliva from heavy cell phone users shows increased risk factors for cancer, says a TAU researcher.

Scientists have long been worried about the possible harmful effects of regular cellular phone use, but so far no study has managed to produce clear results. Currently, cell phones are classified as carcinogenic category 2b — potentially carcinogenic to humans — by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). A new Tel Aviv University study, though, may bring bad news.

To further explore the relationship between cancer rates and cell phone use, Dr. Yaniv Hamzany of Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery Department at the Rabin Medical Center, looked for clues in the saliva of cell phone users. Since the cell phone is placed close to the salivary gland when in use, he and his fellow researchers, including departmental colleagues Profs. Raphael Feinmesser, Thomas Shpitzer and Dr. Gideon Bahar and Prof. Rafi Nagler and Dr. Moshe Gavish of the Technion in Haifa, hypothesized that salivary content could reveal whether there was a connection to developing cancer.

Comparing heavy mobile phone users to non-users, they found that the saliva of heavy users showed indications of higher oxidative stress — a process that damages all aspects of a human cell, including DNA — through the development of toxic peroxide and free radicals. More importantly, it is considered a major risk factor for cancer.

The findings have been reported in the journal Antioxidants and Redox Signaling.

Putting Stress on Tissues and Glands

For the study, the researchers examined the saliva content of 20 heavy-user patients, defined as speaking on their phones for a minimum of eight hours a month. Most participants speak much more, Dr. Hamzany says, as much as 30 to 40 hours a month. Their salivary content was compared to that of a control group, which consisted of deaf patients who either do not use a cell phone, or use the device exclusively for sending text messages and other non-verbal functions.

Compared to the control group, the heavy cell phone users had a significant increase in all salivary oxidative stress measurements studied.

“This suggests that there is considerable oxidative stress on the tissue and glands which are close to the cell phone when in use,” he says. The damage caused by oxidative stress is linked to cellular and genetic mutations which cause the development of tumors.

Making the Connection

This field of research reflects longstanding concerns about the impact of cell phone use, specifically the effects of radiofrequency non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation on human tissue located close to the ear, say the researchers. And although these results don’t uncover a conclusive “cause and effect” relationship between cellular phone use and cancer, they add to the building evidence that cell phone use may be harmful in the long term, and point to a new direction for further research.

One potential avenue of future research would be to analyze a person’s saliva prior to exposure to a cell phone, and then again after several intense minutes of exposure.

This will allow researchers to see if there is an immediate response, such as a rise in molecules that indicate oxidative stress, Dr. Hamzany says. (Culled from http://www.wirelessdesignmag.com)

For more information visit http://www.aftau.org.

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Cyber-sex Trafficking: A 21st Century Scourge

Andrea was 14 years old the first time a voice over the Internet told her to take off her clothes.
“I was so embarrassed because I don’t want others to see my private parts,” she said. “The customer told me to remove my blouse and to show him my breasts.”
She was in a home in Negros Oriental, a province known for its scenic beaches, tourism and diving. But she would know none of that beauty. Nor would she know the life she’d been promised.
Andrea, which is not her real name, said she had been lured away from her rural, mountain village in the Philippines by a cousin who said he would give her a well-paid job as a babysitter in the city. She thought she was leaving her impoverished life for an opportunity to earn money to finish high school. Instead, she became another victim caught up in the newest but no less sinister world of sexual exploitation — cyber-sex trafficking. (dfinews.com)

PayPal Mistake See Account Credited with 92 Quadrillion Dollars

An error saw a PayPal account credited with a staggering US$92 quadrillion last week — or roughly equivalent to 14 months worth of the entire planet’s Gross Domestic Productivity.

Delaware County resident Chris Reynolds told the Daily News newspaper that he initially thought it was a debt, until he realised they had credited his account.

The email said that his balance stood at $92,233,720,368,547,800, although when he went to check the figure on the website, it showed a more conventional balance of zero.

Reynolds has been a PayPal customer for about 10 years, using it mainly for eBay transactions.

A side note, this reveals that in some way, the PayPal account balance tables in their database has the ability to carry values greater than the planet’s annual GDP — which maybe an indication of how large the firm thinks its financial services will grow to in the future.

On the web: Daily News, Culled from Cellular-News.com

Rivers crisis: Call your wife to order, Soyinka tells Jonathan


Rivers crisis: Call your wife to order, Soyinka tells Jonathan

… Nobel Laureate laments president’s silence

BY NDUBUISI ORJI

As the political crisis in Rivers State continues to elicit comments, Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to call his wife, Patience, to order.

He said the crisis is eroding democratic grounds in the country. Soyinka, who took a swipe at the First Lady, for her alleged overbearing tendencies, spoke his mind during his State of the Nation address in Lagos yesterday.

He said though the Presidency has tried to absolve Jonathan from the crisis, “the perception out there in the world is that he bears a vicarious liability in the crisis”.

Besides, he said the indifference exhibited by the President creates an enabling environment for his followers to act on his behalf. Referring to events during the 11th Century, he said: “What I want to do here is to remind you of a certain historic figure.

I am sure most of us here must be familiar with Thomas Becket, who was ArchBishop of Canterbury in the 11th Century, who was murdered at the altar by four Knights of King Henry II.” Soyinka said: “Now, I have read on the pages of newspapers and watched on television that the President’s spokesmen have been trying to distance him (President) from what is happening in Rivers State.

They are doing their job and I wish them well, but they have to understand that the President has to understand the perception out there in the world, is that he bears a lot of responsibility for what is happening in Rivers State.”

Drawing a parallel, the Nobel Laureate said: “My reference to Thomas Becket was this: the absolute Monarchism that obtained at that time, was that King Henry II saw that Thomas Becket was becoming too influencial and what he said was that: will no one rid me of this pestilence?

What happened after that, was that four knights of the courts, went and attacked the Archbishop at the Cathedral. Historically now, we have five operators carrying out the imaginary will of the absolute monarch, again another parallelism.” “Again, I have been asking myself: are we not tilting towards absolute monarch?

There are many ways of saying: will no one rid me of this pestilence in Rivers State?

You don’t have to utter a word directly but from your conduct which can convey very strong signals or better still, say I will come after you,” Soyinka said.

While stating that he was not casting aspersions on any individual, Soyinka said, “ but I am saying that one can establish certain conducts in the mind of one’s followers, all of which circle around impunity. There are certain ways you can convince your followers, your officials, and your cohorts that they can act with impunity.

There are many ways, for instance, you can expose a prey and say: that prey is available. Let us go back to that historical story about 11 centuries ago, I want you to imagine King Henry saying: find some way of making the Archbishop’s carriage unserviceable or the carriage maker makes the carriage grounded. Even after the king’s counsel said this is unfair and that the Archbishop’s carriage should be released.

I hope you see the parallelism. I am yet to see a parallelism where the governor’s plane, under dubious circumstances, has been grounded, for I don’t know how many weeks now. And so, they pretend, nobody has spoken, nobody said anything in how one of your Barons or Dukes can function without a carriage. Now that kind of indifference can create an enabling ground for your followers or officials to take further actions, which can endanger that Baron or that Duke.

I am using this parallel so that we can understand that something strange is going on.” The Nobel Laureate said it is unfortunate that a mere domestic appendage of power could go to a state and take over the state for 11 days. “ A queen goes to the archbishop’s domain, stays 11 days. And the Baron is not even allowed to move. Creating an enabling environment for that Baron to be dealt with. He is stopped by a sheriff and that Baron is responsible for security and governance.”

Soyinka said: “I am calling on the President, please, curb the excesses of your wife. Too much is too much. Is she the first First Lady we have had? She is now being used to abuse the authority of an elected governor.

The Governor’s Lodge was teargased. Anybody who said teargas was not thrown into Amaechi’s lodge is either ignorant or lying. Some of Amaechi’s security have been removed. The democratic grounds are being eroded. With a teargas thrown, the next one may be a smoke gun”. Chiding the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Joseph Mbu for his role in the political imbroligio, Soyinka described him as a political policeman.

Also speaking at the briefing, Mr Femi Falana (SAN) said it is regrettable that exactly 10 years after a group of thugs attempted to abduct a sitting governor in Anambra State, another set of thugs attempted to undermine democratic institutions in Rivers.

He said the President’s silence on the unfortunate development in the state is tantamount to an endorsement of the political crisis.

His words: “We have been through this route before. We must tell them that we are not conquered people. The case of Rivers is more absurd, more odious , where five members of the Assembly aided by the state invaded the Assembly chambers and chased away their colleagues. The silence of the President is an endorsement of the crisis. Let no one fool Nigerians, we know where this is coming from.”

Falana called on the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Abubakar, to remove Mbu as the Commissioner of Police for allegedly violating the police code of conduct which prohibits officers from engaging in partisan politics.

Proposed 4th Mainland Bridge

Everyone seems to be getting mixed signals on the proposed 4th mainland bridge in Lagos, Nigeria’s economic nerve centre. Questions are being asked on if its still on or a cancelled project. Well,the project is still on. 4th mainland bridge is going to happen for real. The way I see it , if you’re setting up a structure of such magnitude and complexity,it can’t possibly be so straight -forward. You have to return to the drawing board a few times , tweak the plan, carry out a series of preliminary tests etc.

For the young ones , lets look forward to the completion of an architectural masterpiece in our time. And if you’re in your golden years , hang on.There’s still a lot of good things that can happen in this nation.

Source : Guardian Newspaper , GistPage.com.ng

Brave New World: OTTs Address Security, Privacy Concerns

Participants in the current debate over the NSA’s surveillance programs seek a balance between security and privacy. While some argue that the government has overstepped its bounds, others say that the monitoring of communications is an essential tool for keeping the country’s citizens safe.

Whichever way you lean, there is no doubting that mobile privacy and security has become a hot button topic. From consumer- and enterprise-facing anti-virus software to data encryption, everyone is aware that electronic threats, both foreign and domestic, are very real.

Not surprisingly, there’s big business in protecting against these kinds of nefarious entities. Recent numbers from Infonetics Research forecast sales of mobile device security client software to soar, reaching $2.9 billion by 2017. The same study suggests a CAGR for consumer clients from 2012 to 2017 (28 percent) is forecast by Infonetics to outpace that of enterprise clients (20 percent).

Harvey Boulter, chairman of a company called Seecrypt, which provides a double-encrypted VoIP calling app, says recent revelations about how and what the government is actually watching only highlight the uncertainty in today’s world of electronic communications.

Seecrypt has responded with a double-layer encryption software that generate call keys on the device from ambient background noise. He says this kind of double-layer, native encryption would take years for anyone to hack and Boulter says its preferable to having call keys generated on a centralized server, which can be hacked.

“It’s elegantly simple, and, I might add, patented,” Boulter said. “You keep half of the key on your device, swap half of the key with the person you’re calling, and then the data flows peer to peer.”

Boulter says that after Edward Snowden’s leaks came to light, Seecrypt has seen a boost in users.

Boulter says that United States has created so many backdoors in its systems that those same entryways are now being compromised by the “bad guys”.

“The government needs to start to have an eye, or really has a duty, to protect its citizens,” Boulter said but admits the whole thing is a balancing act.

Seecrypt only costs $3 per month, and the company is hard at work on developing versions for BlackBerry, Windows Phone and the desktop. It’s also ad-free, which he says was a conscious one.

“That’s one of the reasons why we have charge. By definition a security and privacy service shouldn’t be mining a user’s data to serve up advertising. We just didn’t want to do that.”

Referencing the recent reports that the Department of Justice had targeted the call logs of journalists, Boulter said Seecrypt is offering media a special perk. By entering a code, they can get 12-month subscription for free.

Seecrypt is just one example of an Over-the-Top solution that has emerged to meet demand from users who are starting to take privacy, as well as the security of their communications, into their own hands. But given the intensity of the debate happening right now, you can bet there will be many more companies looking to enable consumers to protect themselves. (Andrew Berg, Wireless Week)

What do you think? Has the government overstepped its bounds, or is the monitoring of communications an essential tool for keeping the country’s citizens safe?  I’ll love to hear from you. Please drop a line or two below.

Nearly Half of European Internet Users Willing to Upgrade or Change Supplier for Speed

Internet speed is emerging as a top issue for internet users according to the latest European Union-wide survey of how Europeans use the internet. Nearly half (45%) of Europeans households would upgrade their Internet subscription or switch supplier for a higher speed broadband, closing the gap with price as in the race for most important factor when choosing an internet plan.

European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes: “Consumers increasingly care about their internet being fast enough to watch videos, for example. And for those who run businesses from their home, speed is also a competitiveness issue. Consumers now focus on both speed and price when making their choices.”

The survey also found that over half (54%) of households limit their national and international mobile phone calls because of concerns about cost.

Kroes says “This is the smartphone era, where high quality mobile services are an essential part of daily life. It’s not acceptable for half the population to be limiting their phone calls because of cost issues, and it’s not acceptable that the lack of a connected single market encourages those limitations.” However, the 2013 survey saw an 11% drop (from 60% to 49%) in the numbers concerned about the cost of calls to networks other than their own domestic networks. This is a clear sign that the Commission’s efforts to reduce mobile termination rates are having a positive effect for consumers.

Other highlights of this Eurobarometer survey include:

Speed matters more and more

  • Competition has effectively delivered affordable prices, while more attention will be needed to ensure demands for higher speeds are met
  • Around 40% have found it difficult to access online content and applications because of insufficient speed or download capacity.

Quality of service

  • 20% said they sometimes found it difficult to access online content or had apps blocked on mobile phones (up 4 pp on December 2011). This was more likely to occur when trying to watch videos (42%), listen to music (22%), download video content for free (22%), watch live events (20%) or play online games (19%).
  • Sound quality was a concern. Only 38% agreed that sound quality is very good on their mobile phones compared with 49% for landline phones and 25% for Internet calls.

Open internet and net neutrality

  • Video blocks are the most annoying net neutrality / copyright issue
  • 34% of adults use VOIP calling services (up from 27% in 2012)

Purchasing trends

  • 44% of households have at least one mobile internet subscription (up from 30% in 2012)
  • 45% of households purchase a bundle of communications services (eg a combination of television, broadband, phone, mobile services) from the same provider (45%)
  • 40% (of the 45% of households) have considered changing their bundle provider, but 29% say it is it is not easy to compare the terms of bundle packages

-Culled from Cellular News.