A Suspicious Pattern of Deletions

first_img Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Evolution NewsEvolution News & Science Today (EN) provides original reporting and analysis about evolution, neuroscience, bioethics, intelligent design and other science-related issues, including breaking news about scientific research. It also covers the impact of science on culture and conflicts over free speech and academic freedom in science. Finally, it fact-checks and critiques media coverage of scientific issues. Share Recommended Tagsamino acid synthesisAustin HughesBIO-ComplexityCambrian Explosioncommon ancestrydeletionsdependency graphgene familygenesgenomehorizontal gene transferInference (journal)metabolismnematodesnucleotide synthesisRNA-to-protein translationRobert FriedmanWinston Ewert,Trending Intelligent Design A Suspicious Pattern of DeletionsEvolution News @DiscoveryCSCAugust 23, 2018, 3:00 PM Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour Congratulations to Science Magazine for an Honest Portrayal of Darwin’s Descent of Man Winston Ewert recently published a paper in BIO-Complexity suggesting that life is better explained by a dependency graph than by a phylogenetic tree. The study examines the presence or absence of gene-families in different species, showing that the average gene family would need to have been lost many times if common ancestry were true. Moreover, the pattern of these repeated losses exhibits a suspiciously better fit to another pattern: a dependency graph. It turns out this pattern of nonrandom “deletions” has been noticed before, although it appears that the researchers involved didn’t realize they might be looking at a dependency graph. Way back in 2004, Austin Hughes and Robert Friedman published a paper titled “Shedding Genomic Ballast: Extensive Parallel Loss of Ancestral Gene Families in Animals.” (For more about Hughes, who passed away in 2015, see here in the online journal Inference.) From the Abstract:An examination of the pattern of gene family loss in completely sequenced animal genomes revealed that the same gene families have been lost independently in different lineages to a far greater extent than expected if gene loss occurred at random.The Nematode Genome They noted that different aspects of the nematode genome suggest it belongs in different places on the tree of life. They argue that presence or absence of genes could be better for inferring phylogenetic relationships than sequence similarities, and they found that this method produced the standard phylogenetic tree with 100 percent bootstrap support. Yet they also found that many genes were “lost” in parallel, in multiple branches of the tree. One criticism of Ewert’s work is that this phenomenon might be due to missing data: not all genes in all species have been catalogued. But Hughes and Friedman used five whole genomes, and so they could argue that the pattern is real, not an artifact. Hughes and Friedman also argue that horizontal gene transfer is a much less likely explanation, since it is rarely seen in animals, and it is made even more so by the fact that whether some gene families are “lost” or some are “extra,” the deviations from the tree are not distributed randomly.Expendable Core Functions?Moreover, many of the gene families non-randomly “lost” were elements of the core machinery of the cell, including proteins involved in amino acid synthesis, nucleotide synthesis, and RNA-to-protein translation. Despite this, the researchers argued:The fact that numerous gene families have been lost in parallel in different animal lineages suggests that these genes encode proteins with functions that have been repeatedly expendable over the evolution of animals.Core functions that are also expendable? The researchers are implying that all the gene families were present in the common ancestor of all animals, that it had a massively bloated and inefficient metabolism, with multiple different pathways to do any particular synthesis, and then lost them over time because animals need to have an efficient metabolism. Okay, but why did it have all these extra pathways? And when are all the gene families supposed to have evolved? This shunts all evolutionary creative (complexity-building) events back to the biological Big Bang of the Cambrian explosion. Ewert’s hypothesis explains the same data more simply: there never was a bloated ancestor, and those genes weren’t lost so many times. The pattern isn’t best explained by any kind of tree. It is best explained by a dependency graph.Photo: A soybean cyst nematode, by Agricultural Research Service [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. Requesting a (Partial) Retraction from Darrel Falk and BioLogos “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide A Physician Describes How Behe Changed His MindLife’s Origin — A “Mystery” Made AccessibleCodes Are Not Products of PhysicsIxnay on the Ambriancay PlosionexhayDesign Triangulation: My Thanksgiving Gift to All Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Jane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesislast_img read more

Research Reveals Biological Design in the Sensing and Manipulation of Force

first_imgOrigin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour Think of the design requirements for this feat: mastery of materials science, mastery of potential energy to stretch the web and latch it in a cocked position, ability to target fast-moving prey, mastery of ballistics, possessing a body able to withstand exceptional acceleration, and ability to wrap the prey and consume energy from it after a dizzying flight. This is a spider with a PhD in both physics and engineering! Intelligent Design Research Reveals Biological Design in the Sensing and Manipulation of ForceEvolution News @DiscoveryCSCAugust 31, 2020, 6:37 AM Another example of biological design in the use of force is seen in the flight of the wandering albatross. This bird is “fine tuned to wind conditions,” say engineers at the University of Liverpool.  In the case of talin, the implications for design are clear: These force cues have a complex nature, oscillate in time with different frequency components, and are often embedded in noise. However, most assays to explore the mechanics of force-sensing proteins rely on simple perturbations, such as constant or ramped forces. Here, we use our magnetic tweezers design to subject single talin domains to oscillatory forces and external mechanical noise. We show that talin ignores random external fluctuations but synchronizes its folding dynamics with force oscillations in a frequency-dependent way. We hypothesize that this finely tuned response could underpin talin force-sensing properties. Congratulations to Science Magazine for an Honest Portrayal of Darwin’s Descent of Man Mechanical signal transduction relies on the robust and finely tuned response of molecular force sensors.Mechanical information is encoded in both the amplitude of the signal and its time-dependent evolution. Hence, both components must be accurately deciphered and interpreted by cellular force sensors. Recommended Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share These examples of biological mastery of force are not miracles; they are subject to the laws of physics and obey the laws of physics. But wow, do they know how to take advantage of the laws of physics! From the mightiest dinosaur, to the largest birds, to the tiniest spider, to molecules in the cell, biological designs show how to push the limits of the possible. Such exceptional applications of materials and forces rightly excite our wonder and admiration. Although initially formulated in the context of nonlinear physics, stochastic resonance has been demonstrated in a broad range of biological systems, with particular emphasis as a sensory mechanism in mechanoreceptors, like the crayfish hair cells, the cricket cercal system, or the vestibular and auditory system. Interestingly, in all of these examples, signal transduction involves the activation of gated ion channels, which convert mechanical perturbations into electrophysiological signals. However, mechanotransduction also involves biochemical signaling, where force stimuli trigger downstream signaling pathways through a complex network of interacting proteins. In this sense, it remains to be explored whether stochastic resonance could also play a role in mechanotransduction pathways that involve ligand binding to force-bearing proteins instead of gating of mechanosensitive channels. The only evolution spoken of in the paper is the “time-dependent evolution” (unfolding) of the vibrations that talin senses: i.e., the behavior of the oscillations from initiation to damping. That ability implies even more design than a simple response to a vibration. It implies that talin can recognize encoded information both in the signal strength and in its behavior in time, and respond accordingly by unfolding the appropriate domain for binding to other protein parts. The three authors from Columbia University describe the actions of this enzyme as a “tuning fork of cellular mechanotransduction.”  Scientists can only guess at the mastery of physics of some extinct flyers. Some fossil birds like Pelagonis sandersi had a wingspan almost double that of the wandering albatross — 6.4 meters, almost 24 feet! And then there are pterosaurs (flying reptiles); some were as big as giraffes. Some scientists think Quetzalcoatlus northropi, with a wingspan up to 43 feet, could launch itself up into the air in one second from a standing position (see Live Science). If so, the feat required design not only in the muscles to achieve sufficient acceleration but also in the lightweight but sturdy bones that could withstand forces of flight. Indeed, some of the largest dinosaurs may have had specialized bones that were both strong and lightweight to handle the forces of merely standing and walking on the ground, according to New Scientist. Talin is a mechanosensing hub protein in focal adhesions, which cross-links transmembrane integrins with the active F-actin filaments and recruits several binding proteins to control the function and fate of this organelle. For example, vinculin binds to cryptic helices in mechanically unfolded talin domains, subsequently recruiting actin filaments that reinforce the cellular junction. Hence, talin transduces mechanical forces through its folding dynamics. Pushing the Boundaries of Flight TagsalbatrossbiologyCalifornia condorCheetahcrayfishcricketencoded informationEngineeringforceGeorgia Techintelligent designligandsLive Sciencemechanical signalsmechanoreceptorsmechanotransductionmiraclesmolecular scaleNew ScientistPelagonis sandersiPeruphysicsPNASQuetzalcoatlus northropislingshot spidertalinUniversity of Liverpool,Trendingcenter_img Using data loggers attached to the birds’ legs, the scientists found that the male albatross, which is 20 percent larger than the female, knows how to take advantage of wind gusts to get launched. On land, the largest wingspan belongs to the California condor. Those birds are known to launch themselves off cliffs or tree branches or run downhill to get airborne. Then they can stay aloft by gliding on thermals. Another mystery is how the spider patiently holds the web while waiting for food to fly by. Alexander and Bhamla estimated that stretching the web requires at least 200 dynes, atremendous amount of energy for a tiny spider to generate. Holding that for hours could waste a lot of energy.“Generating 200 dynes would produce tremendous forces on the tiny legs of the spider,” Bhamla said. “If the reward is a mosquito at the end of three hours, is that worth it? We think the spider must be using some kind of trick to lock its muscles like a latch so it doesn’t need to consume energy while waiting for hours.” [Emphasis added.] “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide A Physician Describes How Behe Changed His MindLife’s Origin — A “Mystery” Made AccessibleCodes Are Not Products of PhysicsIxnay on the Ambriancay PlosionexhayDesign Triangulation: My Thanksgiving Gift to All Force Mastery All the Way Down Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Evolution NewsEvolution News & Science Today (EN) provides original reporting and analysis about evolution, neuroscience, bioethics, intelligent design and other science-related issues, including breaking news about scientific research. It also covers the impact of science on culture and conflicts over free speech and academic freedom in science. Finally, it fact-checks and critiques media coverage of scientific issues. Share Biology has mastered the use of force all the way down to the nano scale. A paper in PNAS on describes the properties of talin, “an adaptor protein that transduces mechanical signals into biochemical cues by recruiting a network of protein ligands in a force-dependent way.” This example complements our earlier article about mechanotransduction. Once again, fine tuning of forces and materials is found, but this time at a scale that is orders of magnitude smaller. No Miracles Here With a wingspan of over three meters — the largest of any bird alive today — the wandering albatross can fly thousands of miles, even around the world, gliding for long periods in search of fish or squid. Birds search for prey in flight and capture it after landing on the sea surface. Due to their long wings, taking off from the sea surface is by far their most energetically demanding activity, requiring four times more energy than gliding flight. Requesting a (Partial) Retraction from Darrel Falk and BioLogos Jane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis This enzyme senses motions of neighboring cells or the extracellular matrix. Somehow, talin deconvolves this noisy signals of motion into recognizable oscillations at particular frequencies and knows how to respond. Its spring-like domains unfold so that other molecules can attach, and then it binds them together. It is a truly remarkable reaction that differs from other types of mechanosensing, opening the door for more discoveries in biophysics at the molecular scale: Photo: A slingshot spider, by Lawrence E. Reeves, via George Institute of Technology/EurekAlert!A tiny spider has been found that can launch itself at 10 times the speed that would make a test pilot black out. And if that isn’t amazing enough, it builds its own catapult out of web material that can tolerate sustained tension for hours and days. The story of the “slingshot spider” of Peru is told by Georgia Tech. Scientists measured this spider’s acceleration at 100 times that of a cheetah, with a force of 130 Gs. How this one-millimeter spider has mastered physics baffles even the engineers who traveled six hours by boat in Peru to watch it in its native habitat. Talin’s job as an “exquisite force sensor” is to grab and hold parts together inside the cell.last_img read more

Contact Tracing App detects first cases of Covid-19

first_imgAudioHomepage BannerNews Twitter RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR WhatsApp Contact Tracing App detects first cases of Covid-19 Google+ Pinterest Facebook WhatsApp Loganair’s new Derry – Liverpool air service takes off from CODA The HSE’s new Contact Tracing App has detected its first cases on Covid-19.As of today, the app has been downloaded by over 1 million 180 thousand people.The HSE say a number of patients that have tested positive for coronavirus uploaded their details to the app.Its contact tracing team have spoken to people who’ve requested a call back through the app having received a close contact alert.Dr Nuala O’ Connor, clinical lead on Covid-19 and Antibiotic Resistance with the Irish College of GPs says it is picking up new cases:Audio Playerhttps://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Covidapp1pm.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. Facebookcenter_img Pinterest Community Enhancement Programme open for applications Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows Nine til Noon Show – Listen back to Monday’s Programme News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic Previous articleDelight at UFC 251 for Donegal’s John HutchinsonNext articleReports suggest tourists entering the country not staying in quarantine News Highland By News Highland – July 12, 2020 Google+ Twitterlast_img read more

23 patient awaiting admission at LUH this morning

first_img Twitter RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Consultation launched on proposal to limit HGV traffic in Clady Pinterest Facebook Homepage BannerNews Google+ Hospitalisations rise as Donnelly suggests masks will stay ’til autumn There were 23 people awaiting in-patient admission at Letterkenny University Hospital this morning, nine more than yesterday. of those, 10 were waiting in the hospital’s Emergency Department.According to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, there were 479 people awaiting admission at hospitals across the country this morning, 61 of them in Limerick. WhatsApp Twitter Previous articleCouncil’s environmental performance was on target in 2016 – EPANext articleMan appears on child exploitation charges in Dungloe News Highland center_img Disruption to cancer service will increase mortality – Oncologist Pinterest WhatsApp 23 patient awaiting admission at LUH this morning Google+ By News Highland – December 12, 2017 Facebook 45 new social homes to be built in Dungloe Today is the 30th anniversary of Eddie Fullerton’s murder Donegal hoteliers enjoy morale boost as bookings increase last_img read more

Fulton County Ramps Up Efforts To Fight Sex Trafficking

first_img Legal Advocate Discusses Medical Abuse At Shut Down Georgia ICE Facility Share For Whom The Bell Rings Fulton County officials announced Monday they are ramping up efforts to fight sex trafficking.State law requires signs with the human trafficking hotline to be posted in places like bars, airports and government buildings.The signs must be in in public view and in business restrooms.In unincorporated Fulton County, county officials have identified some 35 businesses that do not have the proper signage.The law has been in place since 2013, so why the emphasis from the county now?“The short term goal is due to the fact the Super Bowl will be here in February,” said Fulton County Chairman Robb Pitts.Pitts said they are even working with the NFL on the issue.He said it’s also up to the county to make sure businesses are following the law.“What has been missing and lacking is the enforcement of the law,” Pitts said. “The businesses that are impacted and required to put the signs up, they simply weren’t aware.”Businesses caught without the signs face a $500 fine. That escalates to $5,000 on the second offense. Related Stories 0:52 | Play story Add to My ListIn My List ‘It’s Fractured’: Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan On Healing Republican Partylast_img read more

Indie developers are unhappy with Steam’s new revenue sharing tiers

first_imgIndie developers are unhappy with Steam’s new revenue sharing tiersDevelopers take to social media to voice concerns that Valve is pushing out indies as it courts AAARebekah ValentineSenior Staff WriterMonday 3rd December 2018Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareCompanies in this articleValveLast Friday, Valve dropped some news that was likely very exciting for a certain subset of developers on Steam. The storefront would be adjusting its revenue share system from a standard 70/30 split to a tiered system, with more revenue going to developers of games that earned over certain thresholds.Specifically, games that earn over $10 million in sales will see a 75/25 split after reaching the milestone from October 1 onward, and games that earn over $50 million will get to keep 80 percent of their earnings, while Valve takes 20 percent.The change is, in many ways, an unsurprising one as AAA publishers begin to move away from Steam. Ubisoft and EA have been releasing games on their own launchers for some time now (though Ubisoft, for now, still releases on Steam too), and earlier this year both Bethesda and Activision made moves to buck a trend of Steam releases, with Fallout 76 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 staying solidly on the Bethesda Launcher and Battle.net, respectively. Fortnite, arguably the most talked-about game of 2018, also avoided the storefront. Furthermore, Steam now has a new competitor in the Discord Store to worry about.But it isn’t the fact that Steam has changed its revenue split that’s frustrated indie developers – rather, it’s the fact that the split primarily favors AAA publishers and developers who are all but guaranteed to reach those revenue thresholds and leaves indies where they were before – still struggling. Over the weekend, a number of indie developers took to social media to voice their frustrations with the change.Freya Holmér, co-founder of Neat Corporation, tweeted a decent summary of the majority of complaints.”It seems to me like [Steam’s revenue share change] isn’t too bad of an idea – but some, including me to some extent, consider this to be a blatant middle finger to smaller developers, or like a reversed tax bracketing meant to make the rich richer, which, I suppose, isn’t wholly untrue,” she said. “But the alternative is that the rich get *even richer* off-Steam, not bringing more people to Steam at all, making it a less viable platform for everyone involved, including indies, as well as forcing players to another client that *don’t allow indies at all*”She did conclude with a more Valve-friendly stance than other indies, however.”Have things really gotten so bad for Valve in the ever-more competitive storefront scene that they now have to subsidize big studios?” Rami Ismail”Valve could likely afford a flat 20% for everyone, and that would help indies as well as AAA studios. However, I think we should at least be happy revenue share is getting better for developers, even if it doesn’t help everyone just yet.”Jake Birkett of Grey Alien Games had a more apathetic approach – not because he thought Valve’s change was a neutral decision, but because he (and a handful of developers he has spoken to) claims that Steam’s discovery algorithm underwent a change in October that demolished sales for various indie games, including his. He’s outlined the details in a blog post.”Since Valve destroyed my revenue at the start of Oct with some changes to discovery, whether they take 30% or less doesn’t make much difference sadly,” Birkett tweeted. “I’d rather they just fixed what broke/changed.”Most others were less forgiving of Valve, including Vlambeer co-founder Rami Ismail on his Twitter.”Have things really gotten so bad for Valve in the ever-more competitive storefront scene that they now have to subsidize big studios? Are they that undesirable for large titles now that the large titles tend to be able to launch their own store?”Tyler Glaiel, creator of The End is Night and a number of other indie games, echoed Ismail’s assessment when he remarked that the change “kinda feels like we’re basically just subsidizing RDR2’s eventual existence on steam.”Some others felt that Valve wasn’t doing enough work to justify continuing to take its cut of the revenue from developers.”In theory, they’re supposed to ‘earn’ their 30% cut by promoting your game to a bigger audience,” tweeted Wandersong creator Greg Lobanov. “But games that aren’t already popular are also disfavored by the algorithm. So people at the bottom literally get less, and now, pay more.”Niche, experimental games that broaden their audience are impacted by these decisions” Greg Lobanov”It’s obvious they did this to appease the biggest money interests…but it’s not good for the health of the gaming community or market. Niche, experimental games that broaden their audience like Wandersong are impacted by these decisions.”Another who spoke along those lines was Mike Rose, founder of No More Robots, when he tweeted, “It’s just such a tone-deaf move by Valve. The number one thing devs ask me at conferences, without fail, is ‘do you think Valve are still within their right to ask for 30% anymore?’. My answer is always ‘Kinda, they do X, Y and Z which is really cool.’ This has changed my answer.”Hidden Folks developer Adriaan de Jongh was able to speak to his Steam representative and related his takeaway from the conversation in a lengthy Twitter thread. He opened by explaining Steam’s reasoning: that bigger games are more valuable to Steam and bring more people to the platform, therefore Valve is willing to ‘pay more’ for them.He continued, saying that Valve believes a bigger cut for developers that earn less than $10 million incentivises developers to earn less, not more (though Minit creator and Vlambeer co-founder Jan Willem Nijman found this to be a bit unbelievable.)Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games When offering his personal opinion on the matter, de Jongh didn’t believe the tiered system was the best solution either.”If Valve is willing to drop their revenue share on games that make 90% of the revenue of Steam, why not create some goodwill with indies and extend that to the 99% who make up for that last 10%?” he said.Finally, a word from indie publisher Devolver Digital’s fictious (yet still official) ‘executive’ Fork Parker: “If no one buys your game then Valve gets 0% and that, indie developers, is how you stick it to the man.”Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Publishing & Retail newsletter and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesWolfire Games files antitrust lawsuit against ValveThe developer argues that Valve uses its dominant position on the PC market to “exploit publishers and consumers”By Marie Dealessandri 12 days agoValve blocks Super Seducer 3 from SteamMultiple product reviews left Valve at “an impasse” with seduction game creator Richard LeRuinaBy Matthew Handrahan A month agoLatest comments (1)Konrad Kolacki QA Engineer, Avalanche Studios2 years ago “But the alternative is that the rich get *even richer* off-Steam, not bringing more people to Steam at all, making it a less viable platform for everyone involved, including indies, as well as forcing players to another client that *don’t allow indies at all*”That’s the “trickle-down theory” which we already know isn’t true. You don’t support the poor by making it easier for the rich. 1Sign inorRegisterto rate and replySign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.last_img read more

Deadly Premonition 2 dev claims transgender content “fixed”

first_imgDeadly Premonition 2 dev claims transgender content “fixed”A patch has altered a sequence criticised for treatment of a transgender character, but issues remain elsewhere in the gameMatthew HandrahanEditor-in-ChiefWednesday 22nd July 2020Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareDeadly Premonition 2 has been patched to address its widely criticsed treatment of a transgender character.Speaking on Twitter, game director Hidetaka “Swery” Suehiro said that “the scenario where the problem occurred has been fixed.””I didn’t change the important point of the story of this work, and I was able to make changes only where I wanted to make corrections,” he added.”Therefore, I am confident that fans who were worried that ‘this fix may change the essence of the game’ will be reassured.”Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing in Disguise launched on July 10, and was greeted with lukewarm reviews due to a host of issues. Most of them were technical, but the long-awaited sequel was also criticised for its treatment of a transgender character.In one sequence in the game, the character in question, Lena Dauman, is both misgendered and deadnamed by the protagonist, FBI agent Francis York Morgan.However, while Hidetaka claimed that the issue was fixed, journalist and author Laura Kate Dale noted on Twitter that Deadly Premonition 2 still features instances of incorrect pronouns outside of that sequence.As reported by Polygon, Dale posted a series of tweets critiquing the changes made in the patch itself, and suggested the differences were small and clumsily handled.”They’ve very awkwardly cut out the sentence where York deadnames Lena as a Gotcha. Big pause, an awkward cut,” Dale said.Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games “But, Lena outs her own deadname a few seconds later, now totally unprompted, where before it was in response to York using it in the previous sentence.”Dale also offered an example of a different scene in which incorrect pronouns were still applied to the Lena Dauman character.In addition to changing Deadly Premonition’s narrative content, Suehiro said the patch also addresses the game’s technical issues, specifically improving its framerate. However, he mentioned that further changes will be made in a second patch that is already being worked on.Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Publishing & Retail newsletter and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesEA leans on Apex Legends and live services in fourth quarterQ4 and full year revenues close to flat and profits take a tumble, but publisher’s bookings still up double-digitsBy Brendan Sinclair 51 minutes agoUbisoft posts record sales yet again, delays Skull & Bones yet againPublisher moves away from target of 3-4 premium AAA titles a year, wants to build free-to-play “to be trending toward AAA ambitions over the long term”By Brendan Sinclair 4 hours agoLatest comments Sign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.last_img read more

Brazil launches inquiry to ban loot boxes

first_imgBrazil launches inquiry to ban loot boxesCompanies selling loot boxes could be facing a daily fine of up to $700,000Marie DealessandriAcademy WriterTuesday 6th April 2021Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareBrazilian authorities have launched an inquiry aimed at banning loot boxes in the country, on the recommendation of the National Association of Child and Adolescent Defense Centers (ANCED). The association argued that the randomised monetisation mechanics are a form of gambling, which is illegal in Brazil, The Esports Observer reported. The inquiry targets companies that sell loot boxes, including Activision, EA, Konami, Nintendo, Riot Games, Ubisoft, Tencent, and Valve. Mobile games publisher Garena is also involved, with Brazilian publication The Enemy reporting that the firm has been asked to suspend its loot box sales until further notice.Related Jobs3D Artist – Mobile Studio – Midlands UK & Europe Big PlanetProducer Indie Game Studio France UK & Europe Big PlanetSenior C++ Unreal Programmer – PC and Console Studio – Austria South East Big PlanetDiscover more jobs in games Should a ban be approved, Brazil is considering introducing fines for companies selling loot boxes, up to BRL $4 million (around $706,000) daily.Germany recently passed a proposed reform which could result in new standards being applied to games featuring loot boxes.In the UK, a new report was published last week, consolidating results from a dozen studies and saying that loot boxes are “structurally and psychologically akin to gambling.”Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Publishing & Retail newsletter and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesSpecialEffect joins Best Places To Work Awards as charity partnerUS event deadline is coming upBy Christopher Dring 21 hours agoResident Evil: Village is the third biggest PS5 launch so far | UK Boxed ChartsBut physical sales down over previous Resident Evil gamesBy Christopher Dring 23 hours agoLatest comments Sign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.last_img read more

Equal Pay Day for AAPI women comes amid violent attacks, record unemployment

first_imgkali9/iStockBy KATIE KINDELAN via GMA(NEW YORK) — March 9 marks Equal Pay Day for Asian American and Pacific Islander women, the day that AAPI women have to work into 2021 to earn the same amount of money that white, non-Hispanic men earned in 2020, according to the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC).On average, AAPI women are paid 85 centers for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men, according to the NWLC, a policy-focused organization that fights for gender justice.“This group faces one of the smallest wage gaps, but the loss of 15 cents on the dollar, it adds up,” Jasmine Tucker, director of research at the NWLC, said. “It’s $833 [lost] a month, $10,000 a year and $400,000 over the course of a career, and those are just lost earnings.”This year’s AAPI Equal Pay Day comes at a particularly tenuous time specifically for women, who have been hit disproportionately hard financially by the coronavirus pandemic, which has put more than 2 million women overall out of the workforce.AAPI women are facing an unemployment rate that is now double their pre-pandemic rate. Asian American women are facing the highest long-term unemployment rate among women of any race, according to Tucker.“There are all of these hurdles that they’re facing, and if they were paid what they were owed all of this time, they may have been able to weather this storm a little bit easier,” Tucker said, adding that 45% of unemployed Asian American women have been unemployed for six months or longer.AAPI women are also fearful of their own safety during the pandemic, which has also hurt them economically, according to Sung Yeon Choimorrow, executive director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, a nonprofit organization that works to amplify AAPI women’s stories and experiences.Amid a spate of violent attacks on Asian Americans across the country, reported to be fueled in part by biases pertaining to the coronavirus pandemic, Asian American women are reporting crimes and harassment at nearly three times the rate as Asian American men, according to Choimorrow.“That is the reality that we live in right now,” she told “GMA.” “And all of these factors limit our economic potential.”When it comes to the gender wage gap for AAPI women overall, there is also a large disparity in the wages different groups of women under that same umbrella are making. If the data is not disaggregated in order to paint a fuller picture, it can be damaging to AAPI women, according to both Choimorrow and Tucker.Tucker points out that while Japanese women make 95 cents for every dollar that white men make, Burmese women, for example, make 52 cents on the dollar. Similarly, Filipino women also make much less.“While [the data] says we’re making 85 cents to a white man’s dollar, there’s so much nuance that goes into that story,” Choimorrow said. “There are [AAPI] women who make 50 cents to a white man’s dollar, and we don’t often hear those stories, and they’re not the names that we often see.”“I think the bigger issue that gets overlooked is that women in these communities often don’t have the kind of whatever limited safety net our country creates for people in low-income situations,” she said, noting that information on government programs like unemployment insurance is often not automatically translated into multiple languages and is therefore inaccessible.The pay gap for AAPI women is, at 85 cents, one of the smallest wage gaps overall. Overall, women in the U.S. who work full-time, year-round are typically paid 82 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts, according to the NWLC.“I think this group is skimmed over a lot, because they tend to make a little bit more money, and they face the model minority myth, but AAPI women are in households that have lost income, they’re more likely than any other group to be looking for employment that is long-term, and they’re behind on their rent and mortgage payments more often than white people,” Tucker said. “They’re in a crisis, and there are ways to fix this.”Tucker suggested items such as holding employers accountable for diverse hiring and promotions, raising the minimum wage, passing the Paycheck Fairness Act in Congress and creating a better child care infrastructure in the U.S. as solutions that would help AAPI women as well as all women.“If we’re not going to do this now, when everything has been exposed, every problem that we have, all of the racism, all of the sexism, the lack of child care, all of the problems that existed before the pandemic, now there is a spotlight on them,” Tucker said. “If now is not the time to do something, I’m worried that it will never be the time.”Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Utah mine owner: Rescue will take 3 days

first_imgIf all goes well, it will still take three days to reach the chamber where the miners are believed to be, he said. Even then, rescuers will have only a 2-inch hole into the chamber through which to communicate with the miners and provide them food or air, he said.Read Full Story “The Lord has already decided whether they’re alive or dead,” said Robert E. Murray, chairman of Murray Energy Corp. of Cleveland, a part owner of the Crandall Canyon mine. “But it’s up to Bob Murray and my management to get access to them as quickly as we can.” Crews worked through the night in shifts, with teams coming and going along the road leading to the Crandall Canyon mine in a forested canyon.center_img HUNTINGTON, Utah – Efforts to reach six coal miners trapped more than 1,500 feet underground will take at least three days, and rescuers weren’t even sure the men had survived the cave-in, one of the mine’s owners said Tuesday.last_img read more