Use technology to improve governance – analysis

A memorable quote paraphrased from the Arthashastra by Kautilya goes: “It is as difficult to prevent a government servant from corruption as to prevent a fish from drinking water.”

This suggests that corruption is not a new phenomenon.The East India Company is known to have struggled to keep corruption in check. In fact, the problem of corruption in the social and political spheres has often come in for strident criticism.

This issue has triggered several measures aimed at enhancing integrity in public life – the enactment of the Public Procurement Bill, Lokpal Act incorporating, inter alia, the disclosure of assets by public servants and reforms in higher judicial appointments to name a few. While there are divergent positions in terms of strategies and focus areas, the one point of convergence is the unanimous acceptance that technology and e-governance promotes greater transparency.

It has been five years since the adoption

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The root of microplastics in plants

The root of microplastics in plants
Micro- and nanoplastics were not absorbed by plant cells but did accumulate on the tips of roots, which could bode well for future cleanup of contaminated environments but not for root crops. Credit: Rose Perry | Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Over the last decade, scientists have been scrambling to understand the impacts of microplastics. With the breakdown of plastic bottles, washing the world’s seven billion fleece jackets, or the microbeads in face cleansers, microplastics are piling up. How they affect living things like plants is still unclear.

In soil, plastics have the potential to cause problems at the chemical level. Like a magnetic attraction, contaminants can bind to plastics, resulting in toxic accumulation. Contaminants can also hitch a free ride on plastics and potentially make their way into plants. But first, researchers need to know if microplastics—or their even smaller offspring called nanoplastics—can get into plant cells in the first

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New findings could provide a tool for people with bipolar disorder and clinicians to predict relapse and intervene in a timely manner — ScienceDaily

Relapse in people with bipolar disorder can be predicted accurately by their tendency towards having pessimistic beliefs, according to a study published today in eLife.

The results could provide an urgently needed tool for doctors to predict upcoming relapse and provide timely treatment.

Bipolar disorder is characterised by successive periods of elation (mania) and depression, interspersed with asymptomatic phases, called euthymia. People who have shorter periods of asymptomatic euthymia are more likely to suffer disability, unemployment, hospitalisation and increased suicidal feelings. However, predicting relapses using existing clinical diagnostic tools or demographic information has proven largely ineffective in bipolar disorder.

“It is already known that people with depression tend to give negative information more weight than positive information, leading to pessimistic views that may make symptoms worse,” explains lead author Paolo Ossola, Research Fellow at the Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Parma, Italy. “We wanted to test the

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Tech leaders send congratulations and tech policy priorities to Biden

Written by

Sara Wilson

Even as President Donald Trump refuses to concede the election, big tech leaders are moving forward in laying out their policy agendas to President-elect Joe Biden.

“The result is clear and that’s why we sent the letter,” IBM’s Vice President for Government and Regulatory Affairs Chris Padilla told reporters Tuesday, referencing a congratulatory letter the company’s CEO Arvind Krishna sent Biden on Monday.

The letter outlined specific policy proposals for the incoming administration, similar to a 2016 letter they sent to Trump.

“IBM is committed to working with your Administration to do its part,” it reads. “We share your vision of using science to control the virus, widening economic opportunities, achieving racial justice and combatting the climate crisis.”

The company’s top line suggestion is to use technology and science in the fight against COVID-19.

“It’s important to plan ahead, perhaps more

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What To Make Of An “Irrational” Stock Market

We’re also smack dab in the middle of earnings season. This is when companies tell the world how their business is doing. They reveal how much their sales grew and if they turned a profit.

Good quarterly results, as I’m sure you know, can cause a stock to race higher. Bad earnings, on the other hand, can send a stock into a tailspin. In fact, it’s quite common for a stock to move 20%, 30%, or even 40% in a day based on earnings.

More importantly, earnings can set the tone for a stock going forward. They can dictate a stock’s trajectory for weeks, months, or even years. But here’s the thing. Not all good earnings ignite powerful rallies. Sometimes, companies crush earnings and barely move or even fall on the news. We’ve been seeing this play out a lot recently.

Q3 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more


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Walmart Xbox Series X Launch Day Restock Is Happening Soon (Update: Sold Out)

Update: The Walmart restock happened at noon ET, and the retailer is now sold out of the Xbox Series X and S. Follow our Xbox availability guide for future restocks and more retailer listings.

Original story follows.

Few retailers have shared concrete details about when they’ll have the PS5 and Xbox Series X available to buy during launch week–and the Xbox Series X has already reappeared and sold at many stores in the early hours of this morning–but thankfully, we know exactly when Walmart will have stock. The store shared specific start times for when you can buy the Xbox Series X/S today (November 10) and the PS5 on Thursday, November 12.

Those hoping to get their hands on the Xbox Series X and S will only have one chance to buy either console at Walmart today. Walmart’s online Xbox listings will restock at 9 AM PT / 12 PM

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Giant squid that washed ashore in South Africa is a rare glimpse of a deep-sea creature

Giant squids are fantastical creatures that live in the crushing depths of the ocean and are rarely seen except in adventure books.

But this winter in South Africa (which was summer in the United States), a baby giant squid washed up on a beach northwest of Cape Town. It lay there, its grey-pink tentacles spread on the sand, and the beachgoers who first saw it realized it was breathing. It had even squirted some of its dark ink onto the sand, an action typically used to confuse predators and one of the reasons that scientist Wayne Florence called the discovery a “stunning find.”

Days before, the giant squid probably had been swimming and searching for food. It would have used those fierce tentacles – the longest was 14 feet – to latch onto its prey and pull it closer to its beaklike mouth.

The animal died before it could be

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Biden Is Expected to Keep Scrutiny of Tech Front and Center

WASHINGTON — The tech industry had it easy under President Barack Obama. Regulators brought no major charges, executives rotated in and out of the administration, and efforts to strengthen privacy laws fizzled out.

The industry will have it much harder under president-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.

Bipartisan support to restrain its power has grown sharply during the Trump administration, and shows no signs of going away as Democrats regain control of the White House. Mr. Biden is expected to take on the Silicon Valley giants on misinformation, privacy and antitrust, in a sharp departure from the polices pursued while he was vice president under Mr. Obama.

“The foundations of the concerns about digital platforms were developing during the Obama years, and yet the major tech issues from the Obama era are still with us and unresolved,” said Chris Lewis, the president of the consumer advocacy group Public Knowledge. “The genie

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Posts falsify ties between election tech firm and Democrats

As poll workers tallied votes from the U.S. presidential election, many social media users interpreted a clerk’s error in a small, Republican-leaning Michigan county as vote-rigging because it wrongly favored Joe Biden before being fixed.

A week later, that misinterpreted mistake has snowballed into a deluge of false claims that Democrats have deep ties to Dominion Voting Systems, the company that supplies election equipment to Michigan and dozens of other states nationwide.

Claims that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein and the Clinton Foundation have interest or influence in Dominion are all unsubstantiated. But that didn’t stop tens of thousands of social media users from amplifying them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram this week.

Here’s what you need to know about the falsehoods spreading around Dominion Voting Systems.

CLAIM: Prominent Democrats including Pelosi, Feinstein and the Clinton family have a stake in or a deep relationship with Dominion

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2021 Ford Expedition vs. 2021 GMC Yukon

They are the big rigs, the large-and-in-charge three-row family sport-utes — heavy, often thirsty, full-sized brutes that have the muscle to tow the big stuff, whether it’s a sailboat, an Airstream trailer, or maybe even a small building. They can be fairly utilitarian and rugged, or optioned with enough bells and whistles to rival the luxury of their upscale Lincoln and Cadillac siblings. They are the Ford Expedition and the GMC Yukon .

a police car parked on the side of a road: 2021 Ford Expedition vs. 2021 GMC Yukon

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2021 Ford Expedition vs. 2021 GMC Yukon

And for the 2021 model year, General Motors debuts its fifth-generation GMC Yukon, available in SLE, SLT, AT4 and Denali trims and in regular length (5,334 millimetres) and extended-wheelbase XL (5,720 mm) versions. Meanwhile, Ford’s fourth-generation Expedition came out for the 2018 model year and saw a few updates for 2020. The 2021 model, also offered in regular length (5,334 mm) and extended-wheelbase Max (5,636 mm),

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