Zambian President misses UN speech raising speculation of his ill health

Zambian President Michael Sata misses his scheduled United Nations speech last week, mounting reports the 77-year-old is suffering poor health, which the Zambian government denies.
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New copper-based fabric promises germ-free hospital environment

A children’s burn unit in Chile is using a newly developed copper-based material in its hospital gowns that limits the spread of bacteria, fungi and viruses, creating a safer environment for patients and doctors. Elly Park reports.
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Oxford University scientist uncovers physics of the guitar

An Irish scientist, who is also a a semi-professional guitarist, has devised what he says are the first known equations explaining the physics behind playing the instrument. Dr David Robert Grimes, of the University of Oxford, says that mastering the physics of guitar playing could help instrument manufacturers and musicians alike. Jim Drury went to meet him.
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‘Bendgate’ is overhyped – Armstrong

Apple is struggling to restore momentum to the rollout of its new iPhones following complaints about the phones bending. Plurimi Investment Management’s Managing Partner Patrick Armstrong says “bendgate” is overhyped and has led to a good entry point into Apple.


JOURNALIST ASKING PATRICK ARMSTRONG: “Let’s just kick off with a general equities call. You’re shorting S&P and Russell, right. What do you think of Europe?”

ARMSTRONG: “Europe, we’re long. We like companies that are in Europe that have dollar revenues, have revenues coming from the Asian consumer. I think the weak euro is going to be a big tailwind for these companies. So it was a big headwind last year and that’s turning into a big tailwind with the weak euro now.”

JOURNALIST: “I mean I chatted with someone yesterday, expecting a short-term correction or a technical correction in european equities. You don’t think that’s coming?”

ARMSTRONG: “Not so sure about Europe. Europe is cheap. Europe sold off for good reason. There’s a lot going on with Russia and the economy in general. I might be a bit more worried about the United States that’s outperformed significantly this year. Multiples are quite a bit higher in the United States and the strong dollar I think, you’re going to have the opposite effect of the multinationals in the U.S..”

JOURNALIST: “Clearly, Apple was a big story yesterday. I mean you don’t buy this weakness we’re seeing now. You own Apple. I think you bought more Apple yesterday, right?”

ARMSTRONG: “Yeah and I think we’ll be buying a bit more today. I think “bendgate” is overhyped. They’re selling millions and millions of these phones. You’re getting a gross margin of probably about 45% to almost 50% on the 6 Plus. So this is very good for their margin, good for their revenues and I think this dip is something that’s a good attractive entry point.”

JOURNALIST: “Back in Europe, two convictions you have. One of them is that rates, long-end rates are going to go up in the euro zone over the next 12 months, right?”

ARMSTRONG: “Yeah, they’re just too low. I think the ECB will be effective in I think their unstated goal is a weaker euro. You need a weaker euro for the periphery to become competitive and I think they’re definitely going to achieve that. And interest rates are too low at the long end when you’ve got German bunds at around 0.9%. We’ve got a 10% short position we’ve put on today on short bunds. And the weak euro is something that’s going to play out for the next year. Euro is the carry currency, you want to borrow in euro and invest anywhere else in the world, I believe.”

JOURNALIST: “So how much further is it going to go down, the euro?”

ARMSTRONG: “I think euro is going to fall another 5% or 6% this year and probably another 6% or 7% next year. So I think you’re looking at almost 15% over the next 18 months.”


Neuroscience is redefining Early Childhood Development

The United Nations children’s Agency, UNICEF call on world leaders to adopt comprehensive early childhood development programmes. According to experts early childhood is the most vital period for the child’s survival, growth and development. It includes crucial processes shaping the brain and influencing a range of health and social outcomes through life.
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New smartphone app gauges mental health

Next Media Online – A new app developed by Dartmouth College researchers uses a smartphone’s sensors to gauge a person’s mental health.

StudentLife, developed by a team headed by computer science professor Andrew Campbell, collected 52.6GB of data from 48 Dartmouth students over a period of 10 weeks. Physical and mental health baselines were established based on accompanying surveys the students completed daily.

The app uses the smartphone’s accelerometer to pick up movements and taps into GPS data to track the its users’ locations. It also looks heavily into social interactions, analyzing phone call durations, the number of text messages and the length of in-person interactions as picked up by the phone’s microphone.

“Much of the stress and strain of student life remains hidden. In reality faculty, student deans, clinicians know little about their students in and outside of the classroom. Students might know about their own circumstances and patterns but know little about classmates. To shine a light on student life, we developed the first of a kind smartphone app and sensing system to automatically infer human behavior,” Professor Campbell said in a CNET report.


CNET, Engadget, MIT Technology Review