MassCentral, United States http://masscentral.com MassCentral, US Wed, 24 May 2017 16:50:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 https://i1.wp.com/masscentral.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/cropped-button-new.jpg?fit=32%2C32 MassCentral, United States http://masscentral.com 32 32 85647299 Dr. Oz Backs Medical Marijuana, Says It’s ‘Hugely Beneficial’ http://masscentral.com/dr-oz-backs-medical-marijuana-says-its-hugely-beneficial/ http://masscentral.com/dr-oz-backs-medical-marijuana-says-its-hugely-beneficial/#respond Wed, 24 May 2017 15:46:31 +0000 http://masscentral.com/?p=137600 By Matt Ferner 5.1k 100 Medical marijuana just got another celebrity doctor’s public support. During an interview Monday with Dr. Mehmet Oz on “Larry King Live”, King asked Oz if he’d changed his views on marijuana. “I have,” Oz responded, and went on to explain just how far he’s come from his early beliefs about […]]]>

Medical marijuana just got another celebrity doctor’s public support.

During an interview Monday with Dr. Mehmet Oz on “Larry King Live”, King asked Oz if he’d changed his views on marijuana.

“I have,” Oz responded, and went on to explain just how far he’s come from his early beliefs about the plant. “I grew up like most of my generation believing that marijuana was something Satan was throwing at Americans, a communist plot. But I think most of us have come around to the believe that marijuana is hugely beneficial when used correctly for medicinal purposes,” Oz said.

Oz joins the ranks of other TV medical experts who have come out in support of medical marijuana in recent years, including CNN’s chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who recently “doubled down” on his support, and ABC News’ chief health and medical editor Dr. Richard Besser.

A vast majority of Americans now believe that marijuana should be legalized for medical purposes. According to a recent CBS News poll, 86 percent of Americans think that doctors should be able to legally prescribe medical cannabis to patients suffering from serious illnesses.

Oz — who in addition to hosting his own show is a cardiothoracic surgeon, author, and teaching professor at Columbia University — stopped short of supporting recreational marijuana, citing use by children as a main concern.

“We pervert its use at times,” Oz added. “I don’t think it should be widely used, certainly by kids, because that creates a dependence that is unhealthy in any setting. But it absolutely should be widely available in America [for medical use].”

Currently, 21 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana, but the drug remains illegal under federal law, classified as a Schedule I substance, which the federal government considers to be of “the most dangerous” variety “with no currently accepted medical use.”

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Top 50 Most Influential Marijuana Users
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Should We Ditch TV Drug Ads to Reduce Medication Prices? – Thom Hartmann Program http://masscentral.com/should-we-ditch-tv-drug-ads-to-reduce-medication-prices-thom-hartmann-program/ http://masscentral.com/should-we-ditch-tv-drug-ads-to-reduce-medication-prices-thom-hartmann-program/#respond Wed, 24 May 2017 15:06:11 +0000 http://masscentral.com/?p=132569 Guest Host Alex Lawson (Executive Director – Social Security Works, Co-Owner – We Act Radio) sits down with guest Michael Lighty (National Policy Director – National Nurses United) to talk about ridding ourselves of the Trumpcare threat and moving to something much better. [embedded content] Thom is a four-time Project Censored-award-winning, New York Times best-selling […]]]>
Guest Host Alex Lawson (Executive Director – Social Security Works, Co-Owner – We Act Radio) sits down with guest Michael Lighty (National Policy Director – National Nurses United) to talk about ridding ourselves of the Trumpcare threat and moving to something much better.

Thom is a four-time Project Censored-award-winning, New York Times best-selling author. His national daily progressive radio talk show is distributed to radio stations nationwide by Westwood One, Pacifica, and Free Speech TV. More people listen daily to the Thom Hartmann Program than any other progressive talk show in the nation.

Source: Ring Of Fire

 

#MassCentral

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US Household Debt Hits Record High, Report Says http://masscentral.com/us-household-debt-hits-record-high-report-says/ http://masscentral.com/us-household-debt-hits-record-high-report-says/#respond Wed, 24 May 2017 06:37:55 +0000 http://masscentral.com/?p=143421 By Robert Donachie U.S. household debt in the first quarter of 2017 topped levels reached during 2008’s Great Recession. The total debt held by U.S. households grew to $12.73 trillion in the first three months of 2017, $50 billion above the previous peak in 2008, according to a report released Wednesday by the New York Federal Reserve Bank. […]]]>


By Robert Donachie

U.S. household debt in the first quarter of 2017 topped levels reached during 2008’s Great Recession.

The total debt held by U.S. households grew to $12.73 trillion in the first three months of 2017, $50 billion above the previous peak in 2008, according to a report released Wednesday by the New York Federal Reserve Bank. The figure isn’t adjusted for inflation or population size.

Officials at the New York Fed say that while the figure is at historic levels, there is no reason to panic.

“This record debt level is neither a reason to celebrate nor a cause for alarm. But it does provide an opportune moment to consider debt performance,” research officer Donghoon Lee said in a statement. “While most delinquency flows have improved markedly since the Great Recession and remain low overall, there are divergent trends among debt types.

Borrowing, heavy use of credit and student loans are exacerbating household debt. “Auto loan and credit card delinquency flows are now trending upwards, and those for student loans remain stubbornly high,” Lee said.

As a share of the U.S. economy, household debt is still smaller than 2008 levels. Household debt is equivalent to 67 percent of the economy in 2017, compared to 85 percent in 2008.

One factor that does not bode well for repaying household debt is that so few Americans have significant savings for retirement.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the median working age for an American adult is approximately 41.8 years of age for men and 42 years for women.

Less-than-stellar savings are not solely relegated to the younger workers of America. Americans nearing retirement have an average of just $17,000 in their 401(k) plans, MarketWatch reports.

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The Latest: Polish Couple Confirmed Killed In Concert Blast http://masscentral.com/the-latest-polish-couple-confirmed-killed-in-concert-blast/ http://masscentral.com/the-latest-polish-couple-confirmed-killed-in-concert-blast/#respond Wed, 24 May 2017 04:39:00 +0000 http://masscentral.com/?p=143089 LONDON (AP) — The Latest on the suicide bombing at a pop concert in Manchester (all times local): 9:35 a.m. Poland’s foreign minister says that a Polish couple were killed in the concert blast in Manchester. Witold Waszczykowski said Wednesday the couple came to collect their daughters from the Ariana Grande concert Monday night. The […]]]>

LONDON (AP) — The Latest on the suicide bombing at a pop concert in Manchester (all times local):

9:35 a.m.

Poland’s foreign minister says that a Polish couple were killed in the concert blast in Manchester.

Witold Waszczykowski said Wednesday the couple came to collect their daughters from the Ariana Grande concert Monday night. The daughters were unharmed.

He did not give the couple’s names, but the daughter of Marcin and Angelika Klis has been publicly searching for them since the explosion.

Waszczykowski also said that another Polish citizen was wounded and had undergone surgery in a hospital.

___

9:05 a.m.

Germany’s interior minister has ordered that flags on federal government buildings be flown at half-staff following the attack in Manchester.

Thomas de Maiziere’s ministry said Wednesday that flags will be lowered to half-staff for the day on Wednesday. It described the order as “a signal of sympathy and solidarity after the cruel attack in Manchester.”

At least 22 people were killed in Monday evening’s attack at an Ariana Grande concert.

___

8:55 a.m.

British Home Secretary Amber Rudd says Manchester suicide bomber Salman Abedi was known “up to a point” to the British intelligence services and police.

She said Wednesday the investigation is continuing and declined to provide further details about Abedi, whose improvised bomb killed 22 people at a pop concert in Manchester.

Rudd says Britain’s increased official threat level will remain at “critical” as the investigation proceeds.

___

8:45 a.m.

France’s interior minister says that the suicide bomber who targeted Manchester is believed to have traveled to Syria and had “proven” links with the Islamic State group.

Gerard Collomb said on BFM television Wednesday that British and French intelligence have information that British-born attacker Salman Abedi had been to Syria. He did not provide details, and said it is unclear whether Abedi was part of a larger network of attackers.

Collomb, who spoke with British Prime Minister Theresa May after the attack at an Ariana Grande concert that killed 22, said the two countries should continue cooperating closely on counterterrorism efforts despite Britain’s pending exit from the European Union.

With France still under a state of emergency after a string of IS attacks, French President Emmanuel Macron is holding a special security council meeting Wednesday.

___

8:30 a.m.

Britons will find armed troops at vital locations after the official threat level was raised to its highest point following a suicide bombing that killed 22.

Officials say soldiers will be deployed to places like Buckingham Palace, 10 Downing Street and Parliament. They will replace armed police as Operation Temperer takes effect Wednesday.

Officials believe this will free up police to fight the threat of further extremist action against civilian targets, amid fears that another attack may be imminent

Police are trying to determine whether suicide bomber Salman Abedi acted alone when he set off his explosives at the end of a pop concert at a Manchester arena. The government Tuesday night raised the threat to “critical”, its highest level, following an emergency Cabinet session.

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Outbuilding burns in Foxfield; marijuana grow reported http://masscentral.com/outbuilding-burns-in-foxfield-marijuana-grow-reported/ http://masscentral.com/outbuilding-burns-in-foxfield-marijuana-grow-reported/#respond Wed, 24 May 2017 04:38:44 +0000 http://masscentral.com/outbuilding-burns-in-foxfield-marijuana-grow-reported/ http://www.denverpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/thedenverchannel-com-arapahoe-county-fir-_60088671_ver1-0_640_480.jpg Denver7 Marijuana grow reported after fire in Foxfield. Firefighters put out a residential fire, which was visible from Arapahoe Road, in Foxfield on Tuesday night. The fire broke out about 8 p.m. in the attic of an out building in the 6800 block of South Norfolk Street, according to South Metro Fire Rescue. The […]]]>

http://www.denverpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/thedenverchannel-com-arapahoe-county-fir-_60088671_ver1-0_640_480.jpgMarijuana grow reported after fire in Foxfield.

Denver7

Marijuana grow reported after fire in Foxfield.

Firefighters put out a residential fire, which was visible from Arapahoe Road, in Foxfield on Tuesday night.

The fire broke out about 8 p.m. in the attic of an out building in the 6800 block of South Norfolk Street, according to South Metro Fire Rescue.

The fire was extinguished, and there were no injuries.

The cause of the fire is under investigation; Denver7 reported that a marijuana grow was operating in the building that caught fire.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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Using Bitcoin to prevent identity theft http://masscentral.com/using-bitcoin-to-prevent-identity-theft/ http://masscentral.com/using-bitcoin-to-prevent-identity-theft/#respond Wed, 24 May 2017 03:59:59 +0000 http://masscentral.com/using-bitcoin-to-prevent-identity-theft/ A reaction to the 2008 financial crisis, Bitcoin is a digital-currency scheme designed to wrest control of the monetary system from central banks. With Bitcoin, anyone can mint money, provided he or she can complete a complex computation quickly enough. Through a set of clever protocols, that computational hurdle prevents the system from being coopted […]]]>

A reaction to the 2008 financial crisis, Bitcoin is a digital-currency scheme designed to wrest control of the monetary system from central banks. With Bitcoin, anyone can mint money, provided he or she can complete a complex computation quickly enough. Through a set of clever protocols, that computational hurdle prevents the system from being coopted by malicious hackers.

At the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy this week, researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory are presenting a new system that uses Bitcoin’s security machinery to defend against online identity theft.

“Our paper is about using Bitcoin to prevent online services from getting away with lying,” says Alin Tomescu, a graduate student in electrical engineering and computer science and first author on the paper. “When you build systems that are distributed and send each other digital signatures, for instance, those systems can be compromised, and they can lie. They can say one thing to one person and one thing to another. And we want to prevent that.”

An attacker who hacked a public-key encryption system, for instance, might “certify” — or cryptographically assert the validity of — a false encryption key, to trick users into revealing secret information. But it couldn’t also decertify the true key without setting off alarms, so there would be two keys in circulation bearing certification from the same authority. The new system, which Tomescu developed together with his thesis advisor, Srini Devadas, the Edwin Sibley Webster Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, defends against such “equivocation.”

Because Bitcoin is completely decentralized, the only thing ensuring its reliability is a massive public log — referred to as the blockchain — of every Bitcoin transaction conducted since the system was first introduced in 2009. Earlier systems have used the Bitcoin machinery to guard against equivocation, but for verification, they required the download of the entire blockchain, which is 110 gigabytes and growing hourly. Tomescu and Devadas’ system, by contrast, requires the download of only about 40 megabytes of data, so it could run on a smartphone.

Striking paydirt

Extending the blockchain is integral to the process of minting — or in Bitcoin terminology, “mining” — new bitcoins. The mining process is built around a mathematical function, called a one-way hash function, that takes three inputs: the last log entry in the blockchain; a new blockchain entry, in which the miner awards him- or herself a fixed number of new bitcoins (currently 12.5); and an integer. The output of the function is a string of 1s and 0s.

Mining consists of trying to find a value for the input integer that results in an output string with a prescribed number of leading 0s — currently about 72. There’s no way to do this except to try out lots of options, and even with a huge bank of servers churning away in the cloud the process typically takes about 10 minutes. And it’s a race: Adding a new entry — or “block” — to the blockchain invalidates the most recent work of all other miners, who now have to start over using the newly added block as an input.

In addition to assigning the winning miner the latest quota of bitcoins, a new block in the blockchain also records recent transactions by Bitcoin users. Roughly 100,000 commercial vendors in the real world now accept payment in bitcoins. To verify a payment, the payer and vendor simply broadcast a record of their transaction to the Bitcoin network. Miners add the transaction to the blocks they’re working on, and when the transaction shows up in the blockchain, it’s a matter of public record.

The transaction record also has room for an 80-character text annotation. Eighty characters isn’t enough to record, say, all the public keys certified by a public-key cryptography system. But it is enough to record a cryptographic signature verifying that a certification elsewhere on the Internet is legitimate.

Previous schemes for preventing equivocation simply stored such signatures in the annotations of transaction records. Bitcoin’s existing security structure prevents tampering with the signatures.

But verifying that a Web service using those schemes wasn’t equivocating required examining every transaction in every block of the blockchain — or at least, every block added since the service first used the scheme to certify a public assertion. It’s that verification process that Tomescu and Devadas have refined.

Efficient audits

“Our idea is so simple — it’s embarrassingly simple,” Tomescu says. The central requirement of Bitcoin is that no one can spend the same bitcoin in more than one place, and the system has cryptographic protocols in place to prevent that from happening.

So Tomescu and Devadas’s system — called Catena — simply adds the requirement that every Bitcoin transaction that logs a public assertion must involve an actual bitcoin transfer. Users may simply transfer the bitcoin to themselves, but that precludes the possibility of transferring the bitcoin to anyone else in the same block of the blockchain. Consequently, it also precludes equivocation within the block.

To prevent equivocation between blocks, it’s still necessary to confirm that the bitcoin that the Catena user spends in one block is the same one that it spent the last time it made a public assertion. But again, because the ability to verify a bitcoin’s chain of custody is so central to the success of the whole Bitcoin system, this is relatively easy to do. People who want to use Catena to audit all the public assertions of a given Web service still need to download information from every block of the blockchain. But they need to download only a small cryptographic proof — about 600 bytes — for each block, rather than the block’s full megabyte of data.

“The abstraction that the paper lays out is a really good idea — the idea of making it possible to create, you might say, smaller blockchains or linked lists within a blockchain specific to a particular account or a particular object,” says Bryan Ford, an associate professor of computer science at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne. “It’s very cool, nice, clean, useful primitive, clearly explained. It’s very synergistic with an idea we’ve been working on, which creates an efficiently traversable timeline, which we call a skip chain, meaning a timeline you can skip around on arbitrarily forward and back, where from any point you can verify any other point in the timeline very efficiently.”

“If you can eliminate the possibility of equivocation, it becomes easier to secure many algorithms,” he adds. “It’s a generally important problem.”


Source: MIT News

#MassCentral

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Bite-Size Snacks are Packed with Joy http://masscentral.com/bite-size-snacks-are-packed-with-joy/ http://masscentral.com/bite-size-snacks-are-packed-with-joy/#respond Wed, 24 May 2017 03:36:18 +0000 http://masscentral.com/bite-size-snacks-are-packed-with-joy/ As popular as gummies and fruit snacks are, sometimes people just don’t like the idea of animal-sourced gelatin. Substitutes are often not the same texture-wise — but you can get pretty close with this is a vegan recipe. It answers that desire for jiggly, sort-of-chewy bites of joy without the idea of suffering attached to […]]]>

As popular as gummies and fruit snacks are, sometimes people just don’t like the idea of animal-sourced gelatin. Substitutes are often not the same texture-wise — but you can get pretty close with this is a vegan recipe. It answers that desire for jiggly, sort-of-chewy bites of joy without the idea of suffering attached to it. This gelatin substitute uses agar-agar, a product made from a seaweed that has gelling properties and is often used…

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Medical Marijuana Producer Coming to Chatham-Kent http://masscentral.com/medical-marijuana-producer-coming-to-chatham-kent/ http://masscentral.com/medical-marijuana-producer-coming-to-chatham-kent/#respond Wed, 24 May 2017 03:36:18 +0000 http://masscentral.com/medical-marijuana-producer-coming-to-chatham-kent/ J.P. Mariwell mid-licensing process; wants to start construction by fall 2017. Medical marijuana company J.P. Mariwell is aiming to start building a greenhouse and processing centre for cannabis in Chatham-Kent by fall 2017. Plans for the facility also include a customer contact centre. According to J.P. Mariwell, their plans will allow them to produce 6,000 […]]]>

J.P. Mariwell mid-licensing process; wants to start construction by fall 2017. Medical marijuana company J.P. Mariwell is aiming to start building a greenhouse and processing centre for cannabis in Chatham-Kent by fall 2017. Plans for the facility also include a customer contact centre. According to J.P. Mariwell, their plans will allow them to produce 6,000 kilograms of medical marijuana annually. A release from the company said the municipality of Chatham-Kent has approved the plan for…

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Total Marijuana Demand Tops Ice Cream in U.S. http://masscentral.com/total-marijuana-demand-tops-ice-cream-in-u-s/ http://masscentral.com/total-marijuana-demand-tops-ice-cream-in-u-s/#respond Wed, 24 May 2017 03:36:17 +0000 http://masscentral.com/total-marijuana-demand-tops-ice-cream-in-u-s/ The marijuana industry is growing so fast that if the government legalized it nationally it would outsell ice cream. A new report from Marijuana Business Daily estimates that the total demand for marijuana, including the black market, is $45-$50 billion. Annual ice cream sales are only $5.1 billion. Total recreational cannabis sales in the U.S. […]]]>

The marijuana industry is growing so fast that if the government legalized it nationally it would outsell ice cream. A new report from Marijuana Business Daily estimates that the total demand for marijuana, including the black market, is $45-$50 billion. Annual ice cream sales are only $5.1 billion. Total recreational cannabis sales in the U.S. at this estimate would also top movie ticket sales ($11.1 billion) and snacks like Doritos, Cheetos and Funyuns ($4.9 billion.)…

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Marijuana Comedy Club Creating a ‘Buzz’ in Brampton http://masscentral.com/marijuana-comedy-club-creating-a-buzz-in-brampton/ http://masscentral.com/marijuana-comedy-club-creating-a-buzz-in-brampton/#respond Wed, 24 May 2017 03:36:16 +0000 http://masscentral.com/marijuana-comedy-club-creating-a-buzz-in-brampton/ 420 Comedy Club opened May 4. A comedy club catering to pot smokers has opened in Brampton, and tonight will feature arguably its most famous headliner to date – Precious Chong, daughter of Cheech and Chong’s Tommy Chong. The 420 Comedy Club went full-time inside the Green Leaf Vapour Lounge at 85 Rosedale Ave. W. […]]]>

420 Comedy Club opened May 4. A comedy club catering to pot smokers has opened in Brampton, and tonight will feature arguably its most famous headliner to date – Precious Chong, daughter of Cheech and Chong’s Tommy Chong. The 420 Comedy Club went full-time inside the Green Leaf Vapour Lounge at 85 Rosedale Ave. W. May 4. It’s located in a mixed-use industrial/residential area near the city’s downtown core. Its owner says it’s one of…

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