2017 Journal news

Computerised face recognition is an important part of initiatives to develop security systems, in building social networks, in curating photographs, and many other applications. Systems that allow a computer to estimate with precision a person’s age based on an analysis of their face are discussed in the International Journal of Applied Pattern Recognition [...]

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Stress is not a recent phenomenon, but the modern work environment seems to highlights its detrimental effects on employees. This is no more obvious than during times of organisational change. Research published in the International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion, considers the impact of such changes on workers in a healthcare authority in New Zealand, highlighting the problems that any organization might face under such circumstances and pointing to possible methods to cope and remediate employee stress [...]

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One of the most contagious of the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, is chronic wasting disease (CWD) which affects deer and represents a risk to human health and the health of farm animals. There are many problems facing livestock managers in North America in the face of CWD, a research paper published in the International Journal of Global Environmental Issues, summarizes the efforts in disease surveillance and risk management of CWD and shows that past management strategies such as selective culling, herd reduction, and hunter surveillance have had only limited effectiveness. The summary points towards new advice for optimal, cost-effective strategies in aggressive disease control [...]

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Copyright is contentious...to say the least. It is at the centre of much debate in academia, in society, and certainly between corporate entities and consumers. Companies' share price and profits often hinge on the protection of their intellectual property and copyrighted materials whether movies, TV shows, music, photographs, articles and much more. In the age of the Internet, of course, there are few barriers to individuals and organizations breaking copyright law, and in some countries copyright laws are permissive [...]

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Tracking the Twitter updates of a random sample of 300,000 active users over the course of a month reveals that this particular corner of social media and social networking is not quite as equitable and democratic as popular perception might have us believe. Indeed, the research published in the International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising reveals that there is a two-step flow of information through which a minority of users accounts for the majority of influence. Opinion leaders follow other opinion leaders and effectively form a community of influencers within the wider user base and the information they disseminate then follows a power-law distribution as everyday users share, retweet and reuse that information [...]

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Christoph Bezemek of the Institute of Public Law and Political Science, at the University of Graz, Austria, tells a tale of his school history teacher who purported that only “scoundrels” sent letters to a newspaper anonymously. His teacher’s argument being that public discourse as a democratic society’s bonding agent and so those who wish their voice to be heard should not hide behind a veil of anonymity. And yet, in a free society, surely one should have the right to a voice whether anonymous or not, after all throughout history often the messenger was at the lethal end of the phrase: the pen is mightier than the sword [...]

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The advent of mobile communications devices and in particular the internet-connected smart phone and tablet means that users can have access to almost any information they desire with the tap or swipe of a screen. That evergreen conversational topic, the weather forecast, is perhaps one of the most universally accessed pieces of information that people access. Now, writing in the International Journal of Social and Humanistic Computing, a research team from Southern Cross University, Gold Coast Campus, Australia, explain how they have developed a predictive model of user acceptance and the value of weather software applications, so-called “apps”. Their research could help future research into this burgeoning area of human activity as well as offering the developers of such apps insights into user needs and other information [...]

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Researchers from Canada and Morocco are working together to define globalization and to place it in the context of culture. They write in the Journal of Global Business Advancement how globalization is a self-contradictory phenomenon. Across academia where efforts are made to understand the nature of engagement and interaction in the global market with respect to cultural diversity, the negotiated exchanges of human capital, the allocation and distribution of financial resources, the fair exchange of goods and services, and the flow of shared information in a borderless world, there are controversies surrounding how culture affects globalization and vice versa [...]

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Back in September 2015 the world discovered that a leading car manufacturer had been cheating in its emissions tests. The company had illicitly installed engine management software, known as a “defeat device”, in its diesel vehicles. The software switched the engine to a lower performance, cleaner exhaust emissions mode that allowed it to pass the US Environmental Protection Agency, and other regulators’ emissions tests. When the car was on the road rather than on the test ramp, however, the software switched the engine to a more polluting, higher performance mode and allowed the vehicles to spew out higher levels of pollution than are allowed under regulations [...]

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An international African collaboration has turned to statistical analysis to determine the cost effectiveness of major HIV/AIDS interventions in South Africa with a view to advising policy makers on the optimal approach to managing the disease. Details are reported in the International Journal of Economics and Business Research [...]

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We define human history through the materials we use: the stone age, the bronze age, the iron age. Perhaps we now live in the plastic age. The next epoch may well be the nanocomposite age. Art and architecture, transport and healthcare, the industrial revolution, the electronics revolution, and beyond all depend on materials and the formulation of novel materials in particular for their evolution [...]

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Terrorism is a fact of life (and death) as are the collectives and networks to which counter-terrorism organizations and the media have given various labels and names. These networks are well versed in exploiting modern information technology through social media awareness, marketing and recruitment campaigns. However, there is the more insidious use by terrorists groups of online networks and exploits in the creation of so-called bots (computers that have been compromised through the implementation of malware and control over which has been assumed by a third party, or more likely a third party control a lot array of such bots in a botnet. [...]

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Sabarinath Sankaran Nair, Kumarapillai Prabhakaran Nair, and Perikinalil Krishnan Rajendrakumar of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the National Institute of Technology, Calicut, Kerala, India, explain that there is a pressing need to find alternatives to the mineral oils currently produced by the petrochemicals industry from fossil reserves of crude oil. Sustainable alternative feedstocks that might be grown as agricultural crops could offer a potentially less polluting alternative especially in the face of dwindling resources [...]

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New research suggests that art, music, and dance, which we perceive as unique to human beings are a natural adaptation wrought on the human brain by evolution that provides a sub-conscious way for the old brain, the paleoencephalon to coordinate the conflicting signals from the new brain, the neocortex. Art may well be as hard-wired an impulse as the drive to eat and drink and our sex drives, according to research published in the International Journal of Arts and Technology [...]

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Desert lands cover about a quarter of the Earth’s land mass and are home to some half a billion people and yet they are commonly portrayed as extreme places with marginalized communities. The people who live there are perceived as living in hardship and isolation and surviving largely due to subsidies from the “mainstream” economy. New research published in the International Journal of Sustainable Development suggests that for some desert regions, particularly Australia’s “outback”, there is huge potential given appropriate infrastructure and investment for desert regions to become places of great prosperity and wellbeing [...]

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Driverless cars are hitting the headlines across the globe but for the foreseeable future we will still have drivers. The pressure then is how might some of the safety features of driverless cars be incorporated into conventional vehicles? Writing in the International Journal of Vehicle Autonomous Systems, researchers from India describe a real-time automatic obstacle detection and alert system for driver assistance [...]

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Can humour on social media help managers find the most appropriate candidates for the job vacancies they hope to fill? Writing in the International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising, researchers from Finland, suggest that humorous recruitment campaigns can increase exposure for a given job advertisement but conversely the approach might lead to flippant applications at which point it might be difficult to separate the serious candidate from an inappropriate one. The team also suggests that choosing a particular social media channel over another may skew the type of applicants they receive for a given job, for better or worse [...]

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Twitter and other social media tools are commonly used around the world. Now, many government and not-for-profit organizations have a presence on at least one of these systems and use them in various ways to share information about their activities and engage with people [...]

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Computer scientists in Italy are working on a new concept for remote and distributed storage of documents that could have all the benefits of cloud computing but without the security issues of putting one’s sensitive documents on a single remote server. They describe details in the International Journal of Electronic Security and Digital Forensics [...]

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Until the industrial revolution almost the complete gamut of poisons and toxins lay in the natural realm. Lethal alkaloids from toxic plants, arsenic-containing rocks, noxious fumes from fires and plenty of other sources of risk. It wasn’t until the Industrial Revolution and the maturation of alchemy to chemistry, that synthetic chemicals became an issue. In the 19th and 20th century, chemists identified literally tens of millions more chemicals in nature and in their laboratories and turned what was essentially a world of arsenic and old lace into the vast chemical space of toxicity we know, but cannot comprehend fully today [...]

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The pharmaceutical industry has created value primarily by generating, and assembling information into knowledge applicable to human health,” explains Elham Elshafie Mohamed of the Business School at King Saud University in Riyadh. “Therefore, it is critical to improving R&D productivity and reduce product cycle time.” Critical to successful knowledge management in this context is to capture internal knowledge and information in parallel with assimilation from external sources, she suggests. “Effective knowledge management can provide very significant and measurable advantages for enhancing the pharmaceutical innovation,” says Mohamed [...]

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mobile technology, using smart phones for communications, mapping and social networking during their journeys. Moreover, many economic or political refugees find themselves in camps that sometimes even offer them recharging stations for their devices or a wireless internet connection [...]

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A visionary edifice, a revolutionary feat of engineering, a blot on the landscape, a brutalist carbuncle. Rarely does architecture lead to subtle superlatives. But, sometimes architects design with only a vague notion of the users of their constructions. In the absence of personal profiles of the people that will swing through those grand front doors and ride the escalator to the giddy heights of the top floor, what guides an architect in planning their stucco stairwells, their fantastical fenestrations, and their vaulted visions? [...]

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Rechargeable lithium ion batteries power our phones and tablets they drive us from A to B in electric vehicles, and have many applications besides. Unfortunately, the devices that they power can fail and the batteries themselves are commonly only usable for two to three years. As such, there are millions batteries that must be recycled. Research published in the International Journal of Energy Technology and Policy describes a new way to extract the lithium and the cobalt that make up the bulk of the metal components of these batteries. [...]

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Governments and politicians have attempted to exploit social media for their own ends. However, a study published in the International Journal of Electronic Governance reveals that governmental Twitter accounts across the European Union have almost totally failed. These accounts do not widely engage members of the public and have not created the "communities" their advocates desired in the quest to elicit public adoption of e-government [...]

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What more is there to say about gravity? Extensive astronomical observations by Galileo and Tycho Brahe laid the foundations for Kepler to formulate his laws of planetary motion and then for Newton to come up with his theory of gravity. In the twentieth century Einstein recognised that the universe is not a clockwork machine and that it has no fixed frame of reference, everything is relative. Then we had black holes, planetary precession, gravitational waves and the enigma that is sub-atomic quantum theory that we cannot yet square with the cosmic scale [...]

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Popular music is jam-packed with classic songs about cars, racing engines, heading down the highway, backseat romance at the drive-in, and simply feeling safe in one’s car. The list is long, but, with the advent of the self-driving, autonomous, car will we see an emerging generation of songwriters crooning about these digitised vehicles with their fuel cells, silent motors and blocked up ashtrays? Will the list of songs about such cars be inexhaustive? [...]

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A security system is being developed that analyses the user’s brainwaves. The system then determines whether the user is in a fit mental state and grants them access to resources only if appropriate. Such a system might be used to control entry to a building, access to computer resources or even the withdrawal of money from an automated teller machine. It could also have applications in the military, electronic learning, and healthcare, according to research published in the International Journal of Advanced Intelligence Paradigms [...]

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Regulations on exposure to cosmic radiation for air passengers and crew exist but the public and air crews generally know very little about the risks, according to a new study published in the International Journal of Sustainable Aviation. [...]

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Cyber terrorism is a controversial term. In considering terrorism, the popular image is of hijacked aeroplanes, buildings and lives destroyed by bombs, multiple shootings and other large-scale life-threatening incidents. It would be easy to marginalise cyberterrorism as nothing more important as a bit of hacking, a few leaked emails and passwords, a website blocked. Unfortunately, one must consider the scenario in which a cyberterrorist takes control of important infrastructure, transport systems, power grids, and defence installations. Where a network of terrorists might organise a large-scale terror attack involving conventional weapons, the cyberterrorist might take control of or even destroy infrastructure on which millions of lives depend [...]

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To industrial designer Gustavo Ostos Rios, music improvisation is all about the emotion but he and his two supervisors in the Department of Industrial Design at Eindhoven University of Technology in The Netherlands have now found a way to understand the complex interactions that take place between instrumentalists and singers during a jam with the aim of using those insights to add greater emotional expression to a performance involving digital instruments [...]

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Unauthorized downloading of digital goods, including copyright music, videos, computer games, and images has become an increasing problem for content providers and those who hold the copyright on such goods and expect remuneration for distribution. A new research study in the International Journal of Business Environment suggests that content providers must take a pragmatic view based on social consensus to persuade illicit downloaders that their behaviour is economically and ethically unacceptable behaviour among their peer group or other social group to which they belong [...]

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