Email in the Cloud still one of the most secure enterprise options

(Credit: iStock)

(Credit: iStock)

Another week, another phishing scam. This time, users of Google’s “Gmail” service were at risk. Millions of people fell for a phishing email that seemed to come from a friend or colleague who was keen to collaborate on a document; if they clicked on the link and approved an application called “Google Docs”, they compromised their full email address book and most of the emails they’ve ever sent.

The breach, however, should not deter companies from using Google Apps for Business – the professional version of Gmail – to host corporate email, security experts say.

Google Docs is a real online service, offering users a word processor and spreadsheets that runs in a browser; documents can easily be shared online. The hackers, however, created a fake app called “Google Docs”, which then spread itself to the inboxes of both Gmail account holders and the users of the business version of Gmail. Whoever fell for the trick then saw a link to the scam forwarded to everyone in their address book.

“Generally, Google’s security is pretty good, and probably better than some of the alternatives out there,” says independent security expert Graham Cluley. “In this instance, Google responded quickly after the attack started, and managed to put an end to it – protecting the vast majority of its customers.”

“Obviously, what happened is embarrassing and ideally wouldn’t have occurred,” he adds – but “shifting providers might just expose you to other risks.”

Choosing the right provider for email and online productivity services is an important consideration for any company. For small firms, “using services provided by an industry giant such as Google can give more security at a lower cost compared to running everything in-house,” says Jarno Niemelä, a cyber-security expert at F-Secure Labs. “Tomorrow, the attack vector will be something different and changing service providers every time there’s an attack is not a viable solution.”

Companies have to be extra vigilant, he adds, and have to strive to achieve good security through understanding what really is important for the business and protecting these assets with a combination of technology, processes and security awareness.

(Credit: iStock)

One specific thing to be aware of, says Niemelä, is that “credentials have more power than ever before, and a lot of people authenticate to third party services using their Google credentials. Thus, a rogue Google app which has rights to do things for a user can be really powerful. The Google Docs part in this attack was just a social engineering lure, the rogue app had nothing to do with Google Docs except the pretext. It could have been anything else that a user would have trusted to answer “OK” when it asks permission to do things.

The target didn’t need to be a Google Docs user to be affected – the attack was against Google’s whole “walled garden” ecosystem, says Paul Ducklin, senior technologist at Sophos, “where everything is supposed to be security-vetted up front”.

Google should have taken better care over who gets to register as a developer, and what sort of apps and plugins are acceptable, Ducklin adds. “It’s astonishing that Google allowed anyone to register a third-party app called ‘Google Docs’ at all – let alone to let a crook register a rogue app going by that name – because this effectively gave Google’s brand and imprimatur to an imposter.”

Google stopped the attack “within approximately one hour,” the search giant said in a statement. But some still fell victims of the scam; despite Google’s high levels of security, “there will always be hackers who can out-smart the big guys,” says Ross Brewer of LogRhythm.

To prepare themselves, firms have to provide greater employee education, he adds. “Employees must be made more aware of the dangers of phishing attacks, so that they have a better chance of identifying an illegitimate email as soon as it hits their inbox. These types of emails are undoubtedly difficult to catch, but employees need to be encouraged to take just one minute to double-check the sender and validity of an email they have been sent.”

It’s vital to always assess any links that may seem suspicious, Brewer says. “Hackers know that employees can be the weakest line of defence, and will do everything they can to exploit this,” he says, so removing or mitigating this weakness could make all the difference between an unsuccessful and successful attack.

“Good thing that Google shut [the scam] down so quickly,” says Cluley. “It could have been a lot worse.”

To secure Google accounts, F-Secure gives a few pointers:

  • Be conscious where you enter your account password (do you trust the end-point device and is the site a legitimate Google service) 
  • Use a strong passphrase 
  • Enable two-factor authentication
  • Use Google’s built-in Security Checkup and Privacy Checkup tools
  • Periodically review forwarding and mail filter settings, Connected apps & sites, Devices and Activities, shared files
  • Disable POP and IMAP access if you don’t need them for a desktop or mobile client
  • Check what applications have been authorised to access users data in Google ecosystem:


Xiaomi Mi 6


Product Features:

  • Dual Sim, VoLTE, 4G, 3G, Wi-Fi, NFC
  • Octa Core, 2.45 GHz Processor
  • 6 GB RAM, 64 GB inbuilt
  • 3350 mAh Battery
  • 5.15 inches, 1080 x 1920 px display
  • 12 MP Rear + 8 MP Front Camera
  • Memory Card Not Supported
  • Android, v7.1.1

Product Review:

  • Android Nougat
  • Snapdragon 835 chipset
  • Dual-stereo speakers
  • Premium looks
  • No 3.5mm audio jack
  • No external storage capacity
  • Limited Availability


Display In Groups

Has Dual Sim
Use multiple sims at the same time. It allows you to use two services without the need to carry two mobile phones at the same time.
Has A Responsive Touch Screen
Capacitive, MultiTouch
Touch Displays offer a more interactive experience.
Quite Big Screen
5.15 inches
Reading, browsing internet and watching videos is more pleasing experience on a bigger screen.
High Resolution Screen
Images, videos and text will look more sharp and clear.
Sharp Screen
~ 428 ppi
Images, videos will look amazing on this sharp and clear screen. Text will be easier to read.
High Resolution Camera
12 MP with AutoFocus
High resolution camera for taking sharp and clear photos.
Has Flash For Camera
Dual LED
Having a camera flash allows you to take photos in low light.
Supports UHD Video Recording
2160p @ 30fps
You can record videos of beautiful moments, sceneries and watch them later.
Has Front Camera
8 MP
Front Camera enables you to take your own photos and do videocalling (on supported devices).
Lots Of Storage Capacity
64 GB
More storage allows you to store more songs, videos, photos and install more applications.
Octa Core CPU
More cores result in better parallelism, meaning more tasks can be processed in parallel without slowing down the User Interface.
Faster CPU
2.5 GHz

Faster CPU means more smooth experience.

Lots Of RAM
6 GB

Lots Of RAM means more applications can run at the same time, which makes the phone faster.

Supports 3G

3G Enabled Handsets give you more download speed and a faster internet experience.

Supports 4G

4G Enabled Handsets give you more download speed and a faster internet experience than 3G.

Supports VoLTE

You can use this to make calls over 4G network. It is compatible with Reliance Jio.

Supports WiFi

You can connect to wifi hotspots in your area to experience a superior internet experience.

Supports WiFi Hotspot
Wifi Tethering

Allows you to use your internet connection on your wifi enabled laptop.

Supports Bluetooth v5.0

Bluetooth enables you to wirelessly listen to music and calls using bluetooth headsets.

Has Fingerprint Sensor

You can use fingerprint sensor to quickly unlock your phone using your finger.

Supports GPS

GPS is used for determining your location. You can get directions to a place with the help of GPS.

Supports NFC

NFC enables wireless payments through phone. You can also connect two NFC enabled mobile phones just by touching them with each other.

Supports DLNA

DLNA standard enables easy sharing of music, photos, and videos over wifi. You can stream video from your DLNA phone to your DLNA TV via WiFi.

Has Accelerometer

Detects motion as well as the orientation of a device (horizontally or vertically).

Has Gyroscope

Determines orientation and rotation and provides more accurate 3D motion tracking than an accelerometer.

Has Compass

Determines direction facing relative to North, East, West and South.

Supports Video Player

Watch your favourite video songs and movies in video player. It supports MP4, DivX, XviD, WMV file types.

Supports Music Player

Listen to your favourite songs in music player. It supports MP3, WAV, eAAC+, FLAC etc. file types.


Display In Groups

No Memory Card Support
Memory cards give your device more storage capacity. So you can store more songs, photos and videos.
Can’t Output To TV
You can’t connect your phone to a TV.
Doesn’t Have A FM Radio
You Can’t Listen to your favourite radio stations on your phone.
Non-Removable Battery
Cannot switch off phone by removing battery when your phone freezes. Also cannot replace the battery or use spare battery when battery performance is degraded.



Samsung Galaxy S8 vs LG G6: How do they compare?

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs S8 Plus vs LG G6: What's the difference?

LG’s new flagship smartphone, the LG G6 was announced at Mobile World Congress at the beginning of March, while Samsung waited until its separate Unpacked event at the end of March to announce its 2017 devices.

Despite LG going for a more innovative route in 2016 with its modular device, ultimately Samsung was the company with the more appealing devices. Is it the same story in 2017 though?

Here is how the now available Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus compare to the LG G6.

  • Premium metal and glass designs on all three
  • All waterproof with IP68 rating
  • All three about big screen, small body

The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus both feature an all-screen front with very slim bezels, no physical home button and curved displays. The metal and glass sandwich remains intact with IP68 waterproofing, delivering a very premium build and stunning design that although similar to previous Galaxy S devices, push a few more boundaries.

The LG G6 ditches the modular design that arrived with 2016’s G5. Instead, its new flagship follows in Samsung’s footsteps with a metal core and glass front and rear, bringing IP68 waterproofing to the party. It has a lovely big screen but with a similar sized-body to the G5, measuring 148.9 x 71.9 x 7.9mm and weighing 163g, meaning it is all about its screen like the Samsung devices.

The Galaxy S8 measures 148.9 x 68.1 x 8mm and weighs 155g, while the S8 Plus measures 159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1mm and hits the scales at 173g. This means the S8 and G6 are almost identical in physical size, with the S8+ being that little bit taller and slightly wider.

The LG G6 retains its 3.5mm headphone jack, which Samsung also does and it keeps its rear-mounted fingerprint sensor too, another thing Samsung has done, though this is a new position for Samsung. The S8 and S8 Plus see the fingerprint sensor on the right of the camera lens, while LG’s is positioned in the centre below the camera. The S8 and S8 Plus also have iris scanning however, which the G6 does not.

  • S8 has 5.8-inch display, S8+ has 6.2-inch, both curved and Mobile HDR Premium
  • Quad HD+ resolution on S8 and S8+, AMOLED
  • G6 has 5.7-inch Quad HD+ LCD display with HDR

The Samsung Galaxy S8 has a 5.8-inch display, while the S8 Plus offers a 6.2-inch screen. Both have an aspect ratio of 18.5:9 and a resolution of 2960 x 1440, which delivers a pixel density of 570ppi and 529ppi respectively.

They are also both AMOLED, both Infinity Displays, which translates to dual-edged curved screens and they both have Mobile HDR Premium on board, certified by the Ultra HD Alliance.

The LG G6 on the other hand, has a 5.7-inch LCD display. It offers a 2880 x 1440 Quad HD+ resolution for a pixel density of 564ppi, along with an ultra wide aspect ratio of 18:9 and HDR with support for Dolby Vision and HDR 10.

The Samsung devices therefore both have larger screens than the LG G6, though only just when it comes to the S8. The Galaxy S8 is the sharpest of these three handsets on paper however, while the S8 Plus is the softest.

  • Dual-rear camera on G6
  • S8 and S8+ have autofocus on front camera
  • G6 has 5MP front camera, S8 and S8+ have 8MP

The Samsung Galaxy S8 has a 12-megapixel single lens rear Duo Pixel camera with a f/1.7 aperture like the S7, which means the results are likely to be as fantastic as they were with last year’s device. There is OIS and PDAF on board and Samsung has introduced multi-frame image processing, which means the camera takes three shots and combines the information for a more detailed final image.

In terms of the front camera, the S8 and S8+ both have an 8-megapixel front-facing camera with autofocus and there is an iris scanner on board too, as we mentioned. The rear camera on the S8 and S8+ also support a feature called Bixby Visual which allows you to scan things and receive information on them, as well as shopping options.

LG retained the dual-camera setup that worked so well on the G5, but increased the resolution resulting in two 13-megapixel sensors, one of which has a 125-degree wide angle lens. The front facing camera is 5-megapixel and although there is no iris scanner on board, it too has a wide-angle lens like the rear, only slightly narrower at 100-degrees.

  • S8+ has largest battery capacity, all three have USB Type-C
  • G6 has Qualcomm SD821 chip, S8 and S8+ have SD835 or Exynos 8895
  • All have microSD and 4GB RAM

The Samsung Galaxy S8 will come with either the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip or the Exynos 8895 chipset, depending on region, as it did with the S7. There is 4GB of RAM on all models, along with 64GB internal storage and microSD support for storage expansion.

The LG G6 has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chip, which we presume was to meet the earlier announcement. It has 4GB of RAM and a choice of 32GB or 64GB of storage, both of which have with microSD. The G6 offers a Quad DAC for improved audio, though it will only be available in certain countries.

The G6 has USB Type-C, which the Samsung S8 and S8+ also have and the G6 also has wireless charging, on US models, which is also a feature on the S8 and S8+ but worldwide. Samsung’s S8 arrives with a 3000mAh battery, the S8 Plus with a 3500mAh battery and LG’s G6 has a 3300mAh battery.

  • All three Android Nougat with manufacturer specific skins
  • S8 and S8+ have Bixby
  • G6 offers Google Assistant

The LG G6 launches on Android Nougat with the company’s UX 6.0 software skin over the top, while the Samsung S8 and S8+ also launch on Android Nougat but with Samsung’s TouchWiz bloatware.

The LG G6 and Samsung devices will offer their own unique features and the user interface will be different but all will deliver good experiences. The Galaxy S8 has its own personal assistant Bixby on board, along with Google Assistant, while the LG G6 will also come with Google Assistant support.

The Samsung S8 and S8+ are also compatible with a new docking station called Samsung DeX, which will allow users to connect them to a monitor for a desktop view of Android. Once connected, users will be able to see apps, along with take calls and view messages.

  • LG G6 likely to be cheaper
  • S8 costs £689, S8+ costs £779

The Samsung Galaxy S8 launches with a price tag of £689 and the S8+ with a price tag of £779.

LG has yet to confirm the price of the G6 but as the G5 went on sale for around £500, it is likely the G6 will be a little cheaper than Samsung’s devices.

LG’s G6 has a much more premium build than the company’s previous generations, along with a larger display and higher resolution camera, as well as the software enhancements.

The Samsung S8 and S8+ offer the same though, a beautiful premium design that is different to its predecessors, larger display, camera improvements, software enhancements and hardware improvements.

The G6 is likely to be cheaper than the S8 and definitely the S8+, but which device is right for you will come down to budget, design preference and which interface and features appeal to you most. Ultimately, all three of these handsets have lovely premium designs, big screens and powerful hardware.

Strict new ban on inefficient bulbs to cut Zimbabwe’s carbon output

A range of modern LED bulbs

A range of modern LED bulbs

A strict new ban on inefficient light bulbs could cut energy usage and dramatically reduce carbon emissions, the Zimbabwean Government has said.

A law banning the sale of incandescent bulbs and fluorescent tubes came into force in the country on Monday (May 1), with offenders facing fines or six-month jail terms. The ban will force a switch from the old-fashioned bulbs – wasting vast amounts of energy by emitting excess heat – to alternatives such as compact fluorescents and light emitting diodes (LEDs).

The Herald reports that the efficiency upgrade and a new prepaid metering programme could prevent the equivalent of 1,300 gigatonnes, or 130bn tonnes, of carbon dioxide emissions over the next 13 years – part of the country’s plan under the Paris climate agreement. “Using less energy means less burning of coal and other fossil fuels, thus reducing [Zimbabwe’s] carbon footprint,” said Gloria Magombo, chief executive of energy regulator Zera, to the news website.

The switch to the low-energy bulbs, which have a higher initial cost than traditional bulbs but last much longer, aims to reduce demand on the strained power grid. According to Thomson Reuters, shortages in 2015 left thousands of homes without electricity for up to 18 hours per day.

With nearly 80 % of the country’s power coming from thermal power plants and drought-hit hydro-power, outages have also affected manufacturing and mining. The new ban could cut demand by 30 to 40 megawatts from a total of 2,200 megawatts during peak consumption.

Off-the-shelf solution

Zimbabwe is following suit after successful switches to more efficient bulbs in the EU and countries such as China, where incandescent bulbs were banned following a surge in demand for modern alternatives from around the world. Matt Prescott, who led the successful Ban The Bulb campaign in the UK, told PE prices have dropped by 80 % for compact fluorescents and the development cycle for better LEDs was brought forward by five to 10 years by the reduction in efficient bulb use worldwide in the last decade.

He said the new law “has got various advantages for countries like Zimbabwe where they don’t necessarily have the budget to keep building new power stations and just increasing the supply. They are looking at the demand side as well and light bulbs are a solution that you can pick off the shelf and suddenly be saving yourself substantial proportions of your electricity use”.

He added that African countries “are now very well placed to benefit from relatively mature energy efficient alternatives, and all the arguments against them have more or less been knocked over and they still save you a lot of money on one of your main household costs.”
Using LEDs can reduce energy use on lighting by 90%, he added.

Peter Hunt, chief operating officer of the Lighting Industry Association, told PE that changes in the UK have led to a 46 % drop in energy consumption for domestic lighting and an average household saving of £50 a year. He said the switch will have a positive impact on the rate of climate change, as lighting “has made one the most significant contributions to energy saving of all industries.”

Neuralink wants to wire your brain to the internet – what could possibly go wrong?

(Credit: iStock)

(Credit: iStock)

Neuralink – which is “developing ultra high bandwidth brain-machine interfaces to connect humans and computers” – is probably a bad idea. If you understand the science behind it, and that’s what you wanted to hear, you can stop reading. The Conversation

But this is an absurdly simple narrative to spin about Neuralink and an unhelpful attitude to have when it comes to understanding the role of technology in the world around us, and what we might do about it. It’s easy to be cynical about everything Silicon Valley does, but sometimes it comes up with something so compelling, fascinating and confounding it cannot be dismissed; or embraced uncritically.

Putting aside the hyperbole and hand-wringing that usually follows announcements like this, Neuralink is a massive idea. It may fundamentally alter how we conceive of what it means to be human and how we communicate and interact with our fellow humans (and non-humans). It might even represent the next step in human evolution.


But what exactly is Neuralink? If you have time to read a brilliant 36,400-word explainer by genius Tim Urban, then you can do so here. If you don’t, Davide Valeriani has done an excellent summary right here on The Conversation. However, to borrow a few of Urban’s words, NeuraLink is a “wizard hat for your brain”.

Essentially, Neuralink is a company purchased by Elon Musk, the visionary-in-chief behind Tesla, Space X and Hyperloop. But it’s the company’s product that really matters. Neuralink is developing a “whole brain interface”, essentially a network of tiny electrodes linked to your brain that the company envisions will allow us to communicate wirelessly with the world. It would enable us to share our thoughts, fears, hopes and anxieties without demeaning ourselves with written or spoken language.

One consequence of this is that it would allow us to be connected at the biological level to the internet. But it’s who would be connecting back with us, how, where, why and when that are the real questions.

Through his Tesla and Space X ventures, Musk has already ruffled the feathers of some formidable players; namely, the auto, oil and gas industries, not to mention the military-industrial complex. These are feathers that mere mortals dare not ruffle; but Musk has demonstrated a brilliance, stubborn persistence and a knack for revenue generation (if not always the profitability) that emboldens resolve.

However, unlike Tesla and Space X, Neuralink operates in a field where there aren’t any other major players – for now, at least. But Musk has now fired the starting gun for competitors and, as Urban observes, “an eventual neuro-revolution would disrupt almost every industry”.

Part of the human story

There are a number of technological hurdles between Neuralink and its ultimate goal. There is reason to think they can surmount these; and reason to think they won’t.

While Neuralink may ostensibly be lumped in with other AI/big data companies in its branding and general desire to bring humanity kicking and screaming into a brave new world of their making, what it’s really doing isn’t altogether new. Instead, it’s how it’s going about it that makes Neuralink special – and a potentially major player in the next chapter of the human story.

Depending on who you ask, the human story generally goes like this. First, we discovered fire and developed oral language. We turned oral language into writing, and eventually we found a way to turn it into mechanised printing. After a few centuries, we happened upon this thing called electricity, which gave rise to telephones, radios, TVs and eventually personal computers, smart phones – and ultimately the Juicero.

Fire: a great leap forward. Shutterstock

Over time, phones lost their cords, computers shrunk in size and we figured out ways to make them exponentially more powerful and portable enough to fit in pockets. Eventually, we created virtual realities, and melded our sensate reality with an augmented one.

But if Neuralink were to achieve its goal, it’s hard to predict how this story plays out. The result would be a “whole-brain interface” so complete, frictionless, bio-compatible and powerful that it would feel to users like just another part of their cerebral cortex, limbic and central nervous systems.

A whole-brain interface would give your brain the ability to communicate wirelessly with the cloud, with computers, and with the brains of anyone who has a similar interface in their head. This flow of information between your brain and the outside world would be so easy it would feel the same as your thoughts do right now.

But if that sounds extraordinary, so are the potential problems. First, Neuralink is not like putting an implant in your head designed to manage epileptic seizures, or a pacemaker in your heart. This would be elective surgery on (presumably) healthy people for non-medical purposes. Right there, we’re in a completely different ball park, both legally and ethically.

There seems to be only one person who has done such a thing, and that was a bonkers publicity stunt conducted by a Central American scientist using himself as a research subject. He’s since suffered life threatening complications. Not a ringing endorsement, but not exactly a condemnation of the premise either.

Second, because Neuralink is essentially a communications system there is the small matter of regulation and control. Regardless of where you stand on the whole privacy and surveillance issue (remember Edward Snowden) I cannot imagine a scenario in which there would not be an endless number of governments, advertisers, insurers and marketing folks looking to tap into the very biological core of our cognition to use it as a means of thwarting evildoers and selling you stuff. And what’s not to look forward to with that?

And what if the tech normalises to such a point that it becomes mandatory for future generations to have a whole-brain implant at birth to combat illegal or immoral behaviour (however defined)? This obviously opens up a massive set of questions that go far beyond the technical hurdles that might never be cleared. It nonetheless matters that we think about them now.

Brain security

There’s also the issue of security. If we’ve learned one thing from this era of “smart” everything, it’s that “smart” means exploitable. Whether it’s your fridge, your TV, your car, or your insulin pump, once you connect something to something else you’ve just opened up a means for it to be compromised.

If there’s a door into your mind, could others pass through it? Shutterstock

Doors are funny like that. They’re not picky about who walks through them, so a door into your head raises some critical security questions. We can only begin to imagine what forms hacking would take when you have a direct line into the minds of others. Would this be the dawn of Cognitive Law? A legal regime that pertains exclusively to that squishy stuff between your ears?

What it really all comes down to is this: across a number of fields at the intersection of law, philosophy, technology and society we are going to need answers to questions no one has yet thought of asking (at least not often enough; and for the right reasons). We have faced, are facing, and will face incredibly complex and overwhelming problems that we may well not like the answers to. But it matters that we ask good questions early and often. If we don’t, they’ll be answered for us.

And so Neuralink is probably a bad idea, but to the first person who fell into a firepit, so was fire. On a long enough time line even the worst ideas need to be reckoned with early on. Now who wants a Juicero?

Christopher Markou, PhD Candidate, Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.


The internet is enabling scientists to understand how ‘collective memory’ works

The internet has brought change to almost everything in our lives.

In particular, the ways we acquire knowledge have significantly changed, partly due to online knowledge repositories such as Wikipedia. In fact, it has even changed the way science is being done. Social scientists increasingly are using online data to study our individual or collective behaviour on a scale and with an accuracy normally only seen in the natural sciences.

Sure, we are still far from having large experimental social science data sets similar to the ones produced in CERN, but at least we have digital observational data like that collected and analysed in observational astrophysics. Millions of people use online tools on a daily basis – for instance Wikipedia is read about 500,000 times per day.

One of the key topics in understanding social behaviour is what scientists call “collective memory”: how members of a social group will remember an event in the past collectively. Even though collective memory is a fundamental concept in sociology, there have been very few empirical studies on the subject, mostly because of a lack of data. Traditionally, scientists who research how the public recalls past events had to spend a lot of time and effort collecting data through interviews and surveys.

Plane crashes

In a recent study, published in Science Advances, our team consisting of a sociologist, a computer engineer and two physicists made use of data from Wikipedia, through its publicly available daily statistics of page views of all the articles in the encyclopedia, to study collective memory.

We specifically looked at aircraft incidents in the whole history of aviation (as long as Wikipedia covers). This was because such events are well documented, but also because, unfortunately, there has been a rather large number of such crashes – making the statistical analysis robust.

We divided the events into recent (2008-2016) and past (anything before 2008). Examples of the recent flights are Malaysia Airlines flight 370, Malaysia Airlines flight 17, Air France flight 447 and Germanwings flight 9525. Past crashes include American Airlines Flight 587 and Iran Air flight 655.

We then used statistical methods to measure increased page views for articles on past events a week after a recent event had happened. We called this increase the “attention flow”. We were interested to know if the increase in the attention to the past event has any relationship with the similarity between or the timings of the recent and the past events. We also wanted to know if we can predict the amount of flow of attention to each past event when a new event occurs.

We found that when the Germanwings flight crashed in 2015, people acquired information from Wikipedia about the crash of an American Airlines flight outside New York City in November 2001. In fact, there was a three-fold increase in views on this page in the week after the Germanwings crash.

This seemed to be a pattern. We consistently observed a significant increase in the views of past events as a result of the recent events. On average, past events were viewed 1.4 times more than recent events in the week after they happened. This suggests that the memory of an event can become larger with time – receiving more attention than it originally got. We then tried to model this pattern – taking into account factors such as the impact of the recent and past events, the similarity between the events, and whether there was a hyperlink connecting the two articles directly to each other on Wikipedia.

What shapes our memory

For instance, in the case of the Germanwings and American Airlines flights, both incidents were related to the role of the pilot, which could be an important coupling factor. The American Airlines plane crashed due to pilot error while the Germanwings pilot intentionally crashed the aircraft. It became more interesting when we observed that there were no hyperlinks connecting these two articles on Wikipedia. Indeed, our general results were robust even when we removed all the pairs that were directly connected to one another by hyperlinks.

The most important factor in memory-triggering patterns was the original impact of the past event, which was measured by its average daily page views before the more recent event occurred. That means that some past events are intrinsically more memorable and our memory of them is more easily triggered. Examples of such events are the crashes related to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Time separation between the two events also plays an important role. The closer in time the two events are, the stronger the coupling between them. And when the time separation exceeds 45 years, it becomes very unlikely that the recent event triggers any memory of the past event.

The similarity between the two events turned out to be another important factor. This is illustrated by the memory of Iran Air flight 655, which was shot down by a US navy guided missile in 1988. This was actually not something that people remembered well at all. However, it suddenly got a lot of attention when the Malaysia Airlines 17 flight was hit by a missile over Ukraine in 2014. The Iran Air accident got on average about 500 daily views before the Malaysia Airlines event, but this increased to 120,000 views per day right afterwards

It’s important to note that we don’t really understand the underlying mechanisms behind these observations. The role of the media, individual memory or the structure and categorisation of articles on Wikipedia can all can play a part and will be subject to future research.

More traditional theories suggest that the media plays the central role in shaping our collective memory. However, a big question to ask now is whether the transition to online media and in particular social media will change this mechanism. These days, we often receive news through our Facebook friends, so can this explain why events that have not been in the news for years suddenly become so visible?

Knowing the answers to these questions and understanding how collective memory is being shaped not only is interesting from a scientific perspective, but also could have applications in journalism, media development, policy making, and even advertisement.

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

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ATEX certificated bellhousings and couplings

Coupling and bellhousing for mechanical power transmission applications within hazardous areas.

Coupling and bellhousing for mechanical power transmission applications within hazardous areas; ATEX compliant stainless steel, carbon steel, GGR & GGGR cast iron bellhousings combined with ATEX compliant ‘JXL’ torsionally resilient couplings, of pin and bush design. Specified, manufactured and supplied to the requirements of your application.   ATEX certificated to Directive 2014/34/EU   II2GD-IM2-TX  -50°C ≤ Service Temp ≤ 105°C.  Harmonised Standards BS EN 1127:1, BS EN 13463:1, BS EN 13463:5, BS EN 50303.

Flywheel coupling and bellhousing for mechanical power transmission applications within hazardous areas; Also available are engine bellhousing and ‘JXL’ anti-static, flameproof flywheel coupling, ATEX certificated to Directive 2014/34/EU II2GD-IM2-TX  -50°C ≤ Service Temp ≤ +105°C. Harmonised Standards BS EN 1127:1, BS EN 13463:1, BS EN 13463:5, BS EN 50303, BS EN 1834-1, BS EN 1834-3.

All JXL couplings are capable of accepting a momentary overload of twice nominal torque.

During operation bellhousings and JXL couplings do not generate heat therefore operational surface temperature will depend on the temperature of mating components and surroundings. Refer to BS EN 13463:1 9.3.2 f)
Equipment ‘T’ class or maximum temperature (T max) to be determined by machine builder.

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