Daily Archives: March 9, 2015

Former Google executive Lee confirmed to lead U.S. patent office

NEW YORK Tue Mar 10, 2015 5:16am IST

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate on Monday confirmed former Google Inc (GOOGL.O) executive Michelle Lee to head the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, a position that has been vacant for more than two years.

President Barack Obama’s choice was approved by an unrecorded voice vote in the full Senate, just over a week after the Senate Judiciary Committee gave the nod to her nomination.

The Alexandria, Virginia-based federal agency has more than 12,000 employees whose main role is to determine which inventions deserve a patent. The agency had gone without a confirmed leader since David Kappos, a former IBM Corp executive, left in February 2013.

Lee, a former deputy general counsel and head of patents and patent strategy at Google, had been the acting director of the office. She started with the agency in 2012 as the first director of the patent office’s Silicon Valley outpost.

The agency has been a focus of Congressional efforts at patent reform aimed at curbing patent litigation in federal court.

The patent office has been criticized for approving what some say are weak software related-patents that have formed the bulk of the litigation.

Robert Stoll, a 29-year veteran of the agency and its commissioner of patents from 2009 to 2011, said Lee’s main task will be to improve the quality of patents granted by the agency.

“Assuring better quality patents will help blunt the patent troll problem,” said Stoll, now a partner at the law firm of Drinker Biddle & Reath in Washington, D.C., using a term some use for companies that profit from patent lawsuits instead of making products.

Another complaint has been the agency’s long backlog in examining patents. In December 2011, the unexamined backlog was almost 722,000 patents. It currently stands at 602,265, according to the agency’s website.

The Senate on Monday also approved Daniel Marti to be the White House’s intellectual property enforcement coordinator, otherwise known as the “IP Czar.”

(Reporting by Andrew Chung; Editing by Alexia Garamfalvi, Alan Crosby and Andrew Hay)

Source: Newsjyoti India Technology

Oil company BPZ Resources files for bankruptcy in U.S. court

(Reuters) – BPZ Resources Inc
, a Texas-based oil producer with operations in Peru,
filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday, becoming the latest
energy company to fold amid low oil prices.

BPZ said that it would continue to operate its businesses to
pay off its debt.

The company has a 51 percent stake in Peru’s offshore oil
block Z-1, which it is developing together with junior partner
Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp. BPZ also controls 100
percent of three onshore oil blocks in Peru.

“Given the industry downturn and our inability to find a
suitable financing resolution to our current debt maturity and
interest payments, it has become necessary to pursue the Chapter
11 process,” Chief Executive Manolo Zuniga said in a statement.

Oil prices have slid some 50 percent since June.

BPZ filed its voluntary petition in the U.S. Bankruptcy
Court for the Southern District of Texas. It said none of its
subsidiaries were seeking protections under Chapter 11 of the
U.S. bankruptcy code.

(Reporting By Mitra Taj; Editing by Alan Crosby)


Source: Newsjyoti Bankruptcy News

Got diabetes? There's an app for that

A general view of an Apple store in the Manhattan borough of New York September 7, 2014. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

A general view of an Apple store in the Manhattan borough of New York September 7, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Carlo Allegri


(Reuters) – U.S. health researchers said on Monday they are targeting millions of smartphone users with Apple Inc’s new software tool, hoping to collect an unprecedented amount of data on major diseases by tracking their behaviors via iPhone.

The ResearchKit software tool, an open source platform, allows researchers to design applications that use built-in sensors on the iPhone along with data from other wearable devices to gather real-time health data. Scientists from Stanford University School of Medicine and Weill Cornell Medical College are among the first to offer apps for diseases like diabetes and heart disease.

For example, Massachusetts General Hospital’s GlucoSuccess app allows diabetics to participate in a research study that gives feedback on how their diet and exercise patterns impact daily glucose readings. It asks volunteers whether they have taken all of their medications or inspected their feet.

“It’s very hard in practice for people to carry out all the recommendations and stick with them over time,” said Dr. Stanley Shaw, co-director of the Center for Assessment Technology and Continuous Health at Massachusetts General.

Other apps released on Monday involve studies on asthma, breast cancer and Parkinson’s disease. For volunteers, the apps are designed to help people with chronic disease follow through with important health behaviors.

For researchers, the data improves upon the many pages of survey questions study volunteers had to fill out, often based on their recollection of what they ate in the prior week or how many minutes they put in at the gym.

Shaw said the fact that Apple made ResearchKit open source will allow “a whole host of medical researchers” to develop apps for their own research projects.

“We view this as the opening salvo,” he said.

The MyHeart Counts app will collect data about physical activity and cardiac risk factors for Stanford scientists studying heart disease. It allows users to complete tasks, such as performing a six-minute walk if they are able, and answer surveys from their iPhone, and provide them with an assessment of their heart health and information on how to improve it.

The app can tap into data gathered by other wearable gadgets such as Jawbone or Fitbit, but it can also be used with the iPhone, as long as people remember to keep their phones turned on, said Dr. Euan Ashley, chair of Stanford’s biomedical data science initiative.

Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, sees mobile health playing a major role in the president’s $215 million precision medicine initiative.

He anticipates tech companies will use large patient studies as a “test bed for a lot of the technologies they are developing.”

“The Googles and the Apples and the Qualcomms are certainly paying close attention to the potential of this,” Collins said in a recent interview with Reuters.

Researchers say ResearchKit simplifies their recruiting work. Volunteers can decide how much data to share directly with the research institutions. “The data does not go to Apple,” Ashley said.

Dr. Eric Schadt, a genomics professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at New York’s Mount Sinai, used the platform to develop an asthma app along with Weill Cornell Medical College and LifeMap Solutions, a subsidiary of BioTime.

The fact that researchers can recruit, consent and enroll participants remotely should produce study sample sizes that are “orders of magnitude” greater than in the past at a fraction of the cost, Schadt said.

(Reporting by Julie Steenhuysen; Editing by Bernard Orr)


Source: Newsjyoti Health

U.S. FDA warns of seizure, alcohol risk with Pfizer's Chantix

Tue Mar 10, 2015 4:09am IST

The Pfizer logo is seen at their world headquarters in New York April 28, 2014. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

The Pfizer logo is seen at their world headquarters in New York April 28, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Andrew Kelly

Related Topics

A student pose in front of a 3D painting during class field trip at the Art In Island Museum in Quezon City, metro Manila March 6, 2015. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

Installation pieces designed to give pause.  Pics 

<span class="focusParagraph articleLocation”>(Reuters) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned on Monday that Pfizer Inc’s quit-smoking drug, Chantix, has been associated with seizures and that some patients who drink while taking the drug may become aggressive or black out.

The agency said it approved an update to the drug’s label in September but issued the public notice to ensure patients are aware of the changes “and can consider this new information when making prescribing decisions.”

Typically such warnings are made at the time of a label change.

Chantix, known chemically as varenicline, was approved in 2006. The FDA subsequently updated the label to include a warning, highlighted by a black box, of neuropsychiatric side effects, including suicidal thoughts, hostility and agitation.

Pfizer has asked the FDA to remove the black box, saying its own studies show no association between Chantix and severe psychiatric side effects. In October an FDA advisory committee recommended keeping the black box pending the outcome of an ongoing safety study.

Boxed warnings are reserved for the most serious of risks.

The FDA said on Monday it had examined a variety of studies, including analyses conducted by Pfizer. The studies had limitations that prevented the agency from drawing reliable conclusions.

The company is conducting an additional safety study of the drug, which generated $647 million in revenue in 2014. Results of the trial are expected in late 2015. The FDA said it is keeping the black box in place at least until the results of the trial are announced.

(Reporting by Toni Clarke in Washington; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Steve Orlofsky)

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Source: Newsjyoti India health

UPDATE 2-LightSquared to set aside some cash for Ergen, lenders

(Adds details from Smith’s testimony, paragraphs 9-12)

By Nick Brown

(Reuters) – A lawyer for LightSquared on
Monday said the company will set aside $400 million to give
certain bankruptcy lenders, including Dish Network Corp
Chairman Charles Ergen, the option to take a portion of their
repayment in cash instead of notes.

The bankrupt wireless venture, opening a week-long trial
seeking a judge’s approval of its debt restructuring plan, is
looking to end one of the most litigious bankruptcies of recent
years.

LightSquared, owned by Phil Falcone’s Harbinger Capital
Partners, was planning a massive wireless network when it was
forced to file bankruptcy in May 2012, after the Federal
Communications Commission revoked its spectrum license over
potential GPS interference.

Since then, no fewer than seven restructuring proposals have
failed amid creditor fights over the treatment of debt and the
underlying value of LightSquared’s spectrum.

To end its bankruptcy, LightSquared must convince Judge
Shelley Chapman, in Manhattan Bankruptcy Court, that its latest
plan treats creditors fairly. The plan would let Harbinger
retain some equity but cede operational control, transfer a
chunk of equity to lenders Fortress Investment Group and
Centerbridge Partners, and repay other lenders, including Ergen,
via notes.

Company lawyer Matthew Barr on Monday said the company will
offer lenders other than Centerbridge and Fortress the option to
take some repayment from a cash pool of $400 million. Ergen’s
share would be about $320 million.

Ergen, who is owed about $1 billion, has consistently
opposed the plan. His lawyer, Rachel Strickland, voiced
continued resistance on Monday despite the cash offer.
Settlement discussions are expected to continue during the
trial.

Ergen bought his share of debt through a personal investment
vehicle, and was accused by LightSquared of trying to infiltrate
its capital structure to effect a Dish takeover. He says
LightSquared is unfairly treating his debt differently than that
of other lenders.

LightSquared CEO Doug Smith testified on Monday to the
plan’s fairness, with Ergen lawyers pressing him on the
uncertainty surrounding whether the FCC will reinstate the
company’s spectrum license.

Smith said he believes the FCC is waiting to see who will
own LightSquared’s assets after bankruptcy, adding that the
company has not given up on implementing its network.

“How we deploy and put the spectrum to use is still to be
determined,” Smith said.

Separately, Barr said LightSquared will appoint former
Verizon Chief Executive Ivan Seidenberg as its chairman
after bankruptcy, and former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt as a board
member.

(Reporting by Nick Brown; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli and
David Gregorio)


Source: Newsjyoti Company News

BRIEF-Skyworks to replace PetSmart in S&P 500

March 9 (Reuters) –
* S&P Dow jones indices says Skyworks Solutions Inc to
join S&P 500
* S&P says Skyworks to replace PetSmart Inc which is
being acquired
* S&P says change to be made after close of trading on March 11


Source: Newsjyoti Company News

Rural, urban suicide gap widening among youth

<span class="articleLocatio

n”>(Reuters Health) – The gap in suicide risk between young people in rural U.S. communities and those in more urban areas is widening, a new study suggests.

Possibly due to differences in mental health services, isolation, firearm access and economic factors, suicide is twice as common among young Americans in rural communities as in urban areas, the researchers write in JAMA Pediatrics.

Previous studies found rural and urban difference, but what’s new here is that the differences are growing, said study leader Cynthia Fontanella, from the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus.

Fontanella and her colleagues say suicide is the third most common cause of death among people ages 10 to 24. It was listed as the cause of death for 66,595 people in that age group from 1996 through 2010.

For the new study, they looked suicides data for U.S. youths from 1996 through 2010.

Overall, for every 100,000 males ages 10 to 24, about 20 in rural areas committed suicide every year, compared to about 10 per year in urban areas.

And for every 100,000 females in that age group, about 4 died by suicide each year in rural communities, compared to about 2 each year in more urban areas.

The researchers estimate that the rural-urban gap in suicide risk increased about 59 percent among males and 93 percent among females between 1996 – 1998 and 2008 – 2010.

The widening gap appears to be due to falling suicide rates in urban areas coupled with relatively stable suicide rates in rural communities, Fontanella said.

The gap in suicide risk persisted even after the researchers accounted for differences in healthcare access and social and economic traits.

Still, Fontanella said there may be residual problems in accessing mental health services in rural areas that could contribute to the gap, including lack of specialists and facilities. Also, stigma against metal health services is greater in rural areas, she said.

Other possible contributors to the increased suicide risk are economic hardship and isolation, the researchers write, adding that increased access to lethal methods of suicide may be a factor.

They say that while gun ownership is reportedly falling in urban communities, it remains relatively stable in rural areas.

They also found that in rural areas, suicide by firearm was about three times as common as in urban areas, and suicide by suffocation and hanging was about twice as common as in urban areas.

In an editorial, Dr. Frederick Rivara wrote that recent research suggests that trigger locks, gun lockboxes or safes can reduce the risk of suicide and unintentional injury by up to 70 percent.

Still, about 41 percent of U.S. adolescents report easy access to firearms, wrote Rivara, an editor of JAMA Pediatrics from the University of Washington in Seattle.

“Most concerning is that adolescents with a history of mental illness and those with a history of suicidality were as likely to report access to guns kept in the home as were those without such histories,” he added.

Fontanella and her colleagues suggest that integrating mental health services into primary care visits may improve access. Additionally, access to so-called telemedicine may allow people in rural areas to access mental health services through technology.

School education programs and the education of key community members about suicide may also help reduce suicide risk in rural areas, the researchers write.

They say safe storage campaigns or policies to reduce firearm access among young people in rural areas may be particularly effective in reducing suicides.

SOURCE: bit.ly/1GjUX0J and bit.ly/1GjV24n JAMA Pediatrics, online March 9, 2015.


Source: Newsjyoti Health

Apple Watch in stores on April 24, high-end version costs $10,000

Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the Apple Watch during an Apple event in San Francisco, California March 9, 2015.  REUTERS/Robert Galbraith


(Reuters) – Apple Inc (AAPL.O) will begin selling its new watch in stores on April 24, with the high-end model starting at $10,000, the company said, rolling out its first new product in five years in a bid to extend its preeminence in mobile devices.

The Apple Watch sport will start at $349 for the smaller, 38-mm model. The standard version of the watch will start at $549 and the high-end “Edition” watch will be priced from $10,000, Chief Executive Tim Cook said on Monday.

The different versions of the watch feature different materials for the case: the “Edition” version comes in 18-karat yellow or rose gold, for instance.

Pre-orders will start on April 10, and the April 24 launch will include stores in the United States, China, Japan and six other countries.

Apple shares trimmed earlier gains and were nearly flat in mid-afternoon trade on Nasdaq.

In the presentation, Cook described the watch handling many functions currently associated with the iPhone, which tethers wirelessly to the watch and connects it to the Internet. For instance, Uber cars can be contacted from the watch.

The watch will track exercise, remind wearers of events with a tap on the wrist, and make calls through the tethered phone, since the watch has a built in speaker and microphone, he said.

“I have been wanting to do this since I was five years old,” said Cook. He also laid out other product successes and launched a new MacBook notebook computer that starts at $1,299 and weighs as little as 2 pounds.

Every major car brand had committed to delivering Apple’s CarPlay entertainment system, and the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have 99 percent customer satisfaction rates, he said. The Apple Pay payment system is now accepted at 700,000 locations, and Time Warner Inc’s (TWX.N) HBO in April will debut its streaming HBO NOW service on Apple TV.

Apple also is offering researchers new development tools, called ResearchKit, to help medical researchers design apps for clinical trials, the company said.

(Reporting by Edwin Chan and Alexei Oreskovic; writing by Peter Henderson; Editing by Bernard Orr)


Source: Newsjyoti Tech

Apple Watch in stores on April 24, high-end version costs $10,000

Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the Apple Watch during an Apple event in San Francisco, California March 9, 2015.  REUTERS/Robert Galbraith


(Reuters) – Apple Inc (AAPL.O) will begin selling its new watch in stores on April 24, with the high-end model starting at $10,000, the company said, rolling out its first new product in five years in a bid to extend its preeminence in mobile devices.

The Apple Watch sport will start at $349 for the smaller, 38-mm model. The standard version of the watch will start at $549 and the high-end “Edition” watch will be priced from $10,000, Chief Executive Tim Cook said on Monday.

The different versions of the watch feature different materials for the case: the “Edition” version comes in 18-karat yellow or rose gold, for instance.

Pre-orders will start on April 10, and the April 24 launch will include stores in the United States, China, Japan and six other countries.

Apple shares trimmed earlier gains and were nearly flat in mid-afternoon trade on Nasdaq.

In the presentation, Cook described the watch handling many functions currently associated with the iPhone, which tethers wirelessly to the watch and connects it to the Internet. For instance, Uber cars can be contacted from the watch.

The watch will track exercise, remind wearers of events with a tap on the wrist, and make calls through the tethered phone, since the watch has a built in speaker and microphone, he said.

“I have been wanting to do this since I was five years old,” said Cook. He also laid out other product successes and launched a new MacBook notebook computer that starts at $1,299 and weighs as little as 2 pounds.

Every major car brand had committed to delivering Apple’s CarPlay entertainment system, and the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have 99 percent customer satisfaction rates, he said. The Apple Pay payment system is now accepted at 700,000 locations, and Time Warner Inc’s (TWX.N) HBO in April will debut its streaming HBO NOW service on Apple TV.

Apple also is offering researchers new development tools, called ResearchKit, to help medical researchers design apps for clinical trials, the company said.

(Reporting by Edwin Chan and Alexei Oreskovic; writing by Peter Henderson; Editing by Bernard Orr)


Source: Newsjyoti Tech

Apple's watch hasn't impressed the fashion world

PARIS/NEWYORK Tue Mar 10, 2015 2:20am IST

Model Christy Turlington Burns (L) compares Apple Watches as Apple CEO Tim Cook looks on following an Apple event in San Francisco, California March 9, 2015. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

1 of 2. Model Christy Turlington Burns (L) compares Apple Watches as Apple CEO Tim Cook looks on following an Apple event in San Francisco, California March 9, 2015.

Credit: Reuters/Robert Galbraith

PARIS/NEWYORK (Reuters) – Apple Inc. (AAPL.O) has made every effort to convince the fashion world that the Apple Watch is the next chic accessory.

Supermodel Christy Turlington Burns became the timepiece’s  highest-profile advocate from the fashion world when she joined CEO Tim Cook onstage in San Francisco on Monday. And the company has made a big publicity push in Paris, giving style heavyweights Karl Lagerfeld, Anna Wintour and model Karlie Kloss an advance preview ahead of a display last fall at the Paris boutique Colette.

But has it convinced the fashionistas that the Apple Watch belongs on their wrists? Not so far.

For all of the glitz surrounding the watch’s introduction, the multi-tasking timepiece was met in the fashion world Monday with a yawn.

Members of the style establishment, in Paris for shows from the glittering likes of Chanel, Givenchy and Hermes mostly said they saw the watch as a gadget, not this season’s must-have accessory.

Up-and-coming model Julia Van Os dismissed the new device in an interview with Reuters after working the Stella McCartney show inside the ornate Opera house.

“I haven’t heard anyone talking about it,” said the Dutch model. “It’s a different world, it’s more technology rather than fashion. People don’t wear that kind of watch in fashion.”

A salesman at the famed department store Printemps agreed, saying his store won’t carry the watch, which will range in price from $350 to more than $10,000 for the high-end Apple Watch Edition in 18-karat gold.

“You have to understand. We are luxury brands, and [the Apple Watch is] more technology,” said the salesman at Printemps, which carries such brands as Rolex, Montblanc and Longines.

Apple’s new timepiece, which will go on sale in April, links to a wearer’s iPhone, and can display messages, alerts and appointments, among other things. An array of apps can track fitness, arrange a car with Uber, and even open a garage door remotely. The rectangular watch face display can be changed by the user to feature a range of styles, from Mickey Mouse pointing his hands at the time to a simple digital clock.

French newspapers put coverage of Monday’s Apple watch unveiling on their business pages, reserving their popular glossy fashion pages for the winter runway shows and ads for luxurious items such as watches by Bulgari and Boucheron.

Luxury consultant Robert Burke, who is based in New York but is currently in Paris for the shows, said the Apple watch simply “hasn’t resonated strongly” in the fashion world.

“Apple has notably been targeting the fashion world leading up to its launch, but the watch still has an inherently tech focused sensibility,” Burke said.

“The tech world and the watch world are very different,” he added. “While there’s certainly a novelty and attraction to the [Apple Watch], so far it has appealed more so to the early tech adopters.”

Nevertheless, he added, the company’s push could pay off.

“Their message to the fashion world has definitely become more focused over the past few weeks,” he said. “It’s evident that they’ve been fine tuning their strategy.”

Among other things, the company ran a 12-page advertisement in the March issue of Vogue, which Burke said people noticed. “The buzz is starting to build again,” He said.

Though Turlington noted that she was wearing her “chic” version of the watch at Apple’s Monday event, she praised it primarily as a fitness tracker, noting that it had helped her in training for a half-marathon in Tanzania and would, she hoped, help her crack the four-hour mark in her next full marathon.

But her endorsement may not hold much sway with people who primarily want an attractive watch. Fashion trend-spotter Roseanne Morrison of the Tobe Report said the watch’s need for a nightly charge and an accompanying iPhone were considerable drawbacks.

“It is not attractive from a woman’s point of view. Right now, it is not sexy,” she said, and lacks “a femme spin.”

Nicole Phelps, executive editor at Style.com, who attended the Apple unveiling at Colette, said Apple has one big advantage with the fashion crowd that could help as it launches its new watch.

“The fashion industry is 100 percent in love with iPhone,” she said. “The Apple Watch looks like an Apple product, it looks good and sleek, and you have the market behind it.”

But in the end, she said, it will come down to one crucial question: “Do people want those tools around their wrist?”

(Reporting by Alexandria Sage in Paris, Piya Sinha-Roy in Los Angeles and Ellen Wulfhorst in New York, Writing by Ellen Wulfhorst, Editing by Sue Horton)

Source: Newsjyoti India Technology