The 2016 NFL draft class a special one for Ohio State

Former OSU defensive lineman Joey Bosa (97) celebrates after making a sack during a game against Maryland on Oct. 4 in College Park, Md.Credit: Lantern file photoOhio State coach Urban Meyer was all smiles on Friday on the NFL Network’s set for the 2016 NFL draft. Meyer could be seen celebrating every time one of his former players had his name called this weekend. The 2016 OSU draft class is one for the books.Mostly led by underclassmen from Meyer’s first recruiting class, OSU was a metaphorical pipeline for the NFL, producing 12 overall selections through the weekend.Although Joey Bosa was considered by many to be a potential first overall pick as the 2015 season concluded, his draft stock slowly dropped after producing what many deemed to be subpar numbers for a player of his expected caliber at the NFL combine.Even with the criticism, the San Diego Chargers made Bosa the first Buckeye taken in the draft with the third overall pick. His presence of the edge should be immediately felt next season.Ezekiel Elliott was the next OSU product to be selected. The Dallas Cowboys took the former high school track star at No. 4 to bolster a running game that suffered last year after the departure of Demarco Murray. The remainder of the first round saw Eli Apple taken at No. 10 by the Giants, Taylor Decker selected by the Lions at No. 16 and Darron Lee picked up by the Jets with the 20th pick.Five picks in the first round ties the mark set by the 2006 draft class for most players drafted in the first round for OSU. This marks the second time OSU fell just shy of the record of selections in the first round, which is six, set by the University of Miami (Fla.) in 2004. All five of the picks were within the top 20. Two more Buckeyes saw their NFL dreams come true in the second round, as the New Orleans Saints selected both wide receiver Michael Thomas at No. 47 and safety Vonn Bell at No. 61.Thomas was a favorite of the Saints coaching staff and provides a solid target for veteran quarterback Drew Brees.Bell was also sought after by Saints coach Sean Payton but was not expected to fall into the second round. Multiple mock drafts saw Bell being a late first-round selection.Both Thomas and Bell join former Buckeye linebacker James Laurinaitis, who was signed as a free agent this offseason by New Orleans. Three more former OSU starters found new homes in the third round, highlighted by Braxton Miller to the Houston Texans. The Texans had previously selected former Notre Dame standout receiver Will Fuller. Both athletes are known for breakaway speed and stellar athleticism.Adolphus Washington became a member of the Buffalo Bills, and Nick Vannett will be playing at CenturyLink Field next season with the Seattle Seahawks. The final two selections for the Scarlet and Gray went on opposite ends of the fourth round, as linebacker Joshua Perry became the fourth pick of the the fourth round, and quarterback Cardale Jones was the last player drafted in the fourth. Perry joins his Bosa in San Diego. It came as a surprise to no one, as Bosa appeared on camera in California to announce the 102nd pick. The crowd roared as the two members of Meyer’s “Silver Bullets” were reunited.Jones was the final Buckeye selected in the 2016 NFL draft but found a good fit with the Buffalo Bills. Bills coach Rex Ryan likes athletic quarterbacks who can push the ball downfield, and Jones fits the bill.Two notable former OSU players, H-back Jalin Marshall and safety Tyvis Powell, did not hear their names called over the course of the three-day festivities. However, Marshall was picked up after the draft by the New York Jets as an undrafted free agent, along with former offensive lineman Chase Farris, who signed with the Detroit Lions. Powell, according to the Columbus Dispatch’s Bill Rabinowitz, will sign as an undrafted free agent with the Seattle Seahawks. The 12 players mark a new record for the NFL draft for most players from one program selected through four rounds.Editor’s Note: This post has been updated to update where Tyvis Powell signed as an undrafted free agent. read more

Young Ohio State wrestling team topples Virginia Tech

The No. 10 Ohio State wrestling team knew they would have to wrestle above their years in order to beat an older and more experienced No. 15 Virginia Tech team. With three matches decided in the final 10 seconds of play, the team did just that in beating the Hokies, 21-12, in front of 2,474 fans in St. John Arena Sunday. “I think they grew up a lot,” coach Tom Ryan said of his team. “It is an exciting group.” The match started in the 174-weight class with No. 4 redshirt sophomore Nick Heflin earning a victory by decision 6-2 to give the Buckeyes an early three point lead. Redshirt junior C.J. Magrum, the most experienced wrestler for OSU, followed that match up at 184 pounds with a 12-6 decision victory. One of the most exciting matchups of the meet was No. 14 freshman Andrew Campolattano against redshirt sophomore Nick Vetterlein. Campolattano held a 3-1 advantage heading into the final period. After a Vetterlein escape, the lead was down to 3-2. “Andrew … is not used to being in matches like that,” Ryan said. “He made a positioning mistake with 10 seconds to go.” With just two seconds remaining in the match, Vetterlein earned a takedown on Campolattano for a 4-3 victory to tighten the meet to 6-3 Ohio State. With the heavyweight matchup, the Buckeyes took a decisive lead in the meet as redshirt sophomore Peter Capone defeated No. 17 redshirt senior David Marone by injury default. Capone was in a position behind Marone and buckled Marone’s right knee in a takedown attempt. Marone fell to the mat crying out in pain and after two injury timeouts, the match was declared over. “It is a legal move, but it’s terribly unfortunate,” Ryan said. “This early in the year, he’s a good heavyweight and it certainly impacted the match. Hopefully it’s not bad.” With a 12-6 lead, the Buckeyes never looked back. Freshmen No. 16 Cam Tessari and No. 15 Hunter Stieber each earned decision victories back-to-back on takedowns with less than 10 seconds left. After both victories, Ryan ran around the bench in excitement pumping his fist. “It felt great,” Tessari said. “I felt like I was kind of being the aggressor the whole match and it wasn’t going my way. I knew if I kept it up the whole match it would happen for me.” Stieber said that despite the win, the team’s performance was “average” and did not wrestle as well as they could have. “We wrestled good period, but we didn’t wrestle good matches,” Stieber said. “And that’s what we got to do to win.” Stieber’s older brother, No. 4 redshirt freshman Logan Stieber, won his highly anticipated match against No. 5 sophomore Devin Carter 6-1 to improve his record to 8-0. No matches were won by more than six points and each match except one, Capone’s injury default victory, was won by decision. “Normally they are up by twelve … they’ve won so much,” Ryan said of his young team. “The matches we won late were because we attacked and the matches that we lost late were because we didn’t attack. You gotta keep attacking.” The Buckeyes (4-0) will be back in action Dec. 2 and 3 at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational in Las Vegas, Nev. read more

Mpows 059 wireless overtheear folding headphones are just 2699 today

first_img Bonus deal: Own 9 X-Men movies for $60The X-Men franchise has produced five great movies and four just-OK ones. (Here’s hoping the upcoming Dark Phoenix makes it six and four.)Want to add them all to your library? For a limited time, iTunes has the X-Men 9-Movie Collection for $59.99, which works out to just $6.66 per movie — about what you’d pay for an HD rental. Regular price, and price elsewhere: $79.99.See it at iTunesOK, I know — no Deadpools. Technically those two are part of the franchise, and they’re both awesome. Alas, they’re not included here.However, there’s good news: Even if you’re not vested in the iTunes ecosystem, you can purchase these and watch them on just about any device thanks to Movies Anywhere.Giveaway: Win one of 10 Kodak Printomatic cameras!kodak-sweeps-facebooksideqikThe Kodak Printomatic is an adorable instant-print camera: It cranks out sticky-back photos on 2×3-inch paper. And it relies on ZINK technology, so there’s no ink or toner. You just stock the camera with special paper.The cameras sell for $70, but CNET has partnered with ET and TV Guide to give you a chance to win one of 10 Kodak Printomatics. You’ve got just five days to get your entries in, so hop on over to the giveaway page and get started!CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter! 5 Tags Now playing: Watch this: 1:19 Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. Share your voice These sweet-looking headphones can fold up for easier storage. Mpow Twenty-two thousand customers can’t be wrong. That’s roughly how many people bought — and liked — the headphones that are on sale today.And only today. While supplies last, you can get the Mpow 059 Bluetooth over-the-ear folding headphones (black/red) for $26.99. Regular price: $34.99.See it at AmazonI’ve spent a little time with the 059, so I can tell you what I like and don’t like. For starters, they’re really attractive: glossy black with red accents. The cushy earcups are great at blocking outside noise, though there’s no active noise-canceling technology at work here. The headband is also padded, resulting in a reasonably comfortable overall fit.Read more: The best budget headphones for 2019I say “reasonably” because in my opinion, all headphones like this get a little muggy after a while — especially if you’re exercising with them. After about 30 minutes, I was ready for a break.Mpow promises an impressive 20 hours of playtime from the rechargeable battery, and you can also go wired if you run out of juice or just prefer that to Bluetooth. Also impressive: Mpow’s 18-month warranty.Here’s what I don’t like: The circular play, pause and volume button panel embedded on the right earcup isn’t easy to navigate by touch. There’s not enough tactile differentiation between the buttons. Also, while sound quality is a highly subjective thing, to me these sound good, not great. Maybe I’ve just become over-accustomed to noise-isolating earbuds, which provide much richer bass than you get here. But I’d say if you want an ultra-high-fidelity experience, look elsewhere. If you just want background music while you work or podcasts while you ride the commuter train, these fit the bill.I may be a harsher critic than most: As noted earlier, nearly 22,000 Amazon buyers collectively rated the 059 4.5 stars out of 5. That’s pretty telling. Indeed, as a potential dad or grad gift, this is probably a winner.Your thoughts? Headphones Digital Media Comments The Cheapskate How to choose the right headphones Amazon Kodaklast_img read more

Rep Somerville encourages local residents to go ice fishing for free

first_img Categories: News State Rep. Pat Somerville encourages anglers to get out to the nearest lake to participate in Free Fishing Weekend, which will take place on Feb. 13 and 14.Free Fishing Weekend is an event hosted twice each year by Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources – once in February, and again in June. On Feb. 13 and 14, fishermen and women are not required to carry a license while fishing. As most Michigan lakes are frozen solid in February, the winter weekend event is traditionally used for ice fishing.“Michigan has more than 46,000 lakes to choose from,” said Rep. Somerville, R-New Boston. “If you’re looking to enjoy the ‘Pure Michigan’ outdoors this season, dropping a line during Free Fishing Weekend is a great way to do so.”Because Michigan temperatures were generally mild until mid-January, Rep. Somerville encourages anglers to take extra safety precautions when venturing out onto the ice to drop a line.A full listing of current and upcoming Free Fishing Weekend activities can be found online at 01Feb Rep. Somerville encourages local residents to go ice fishing for freelast_img read more

The selloffs extended to platinum and palladium a

first_img The sell-offs extended to platinum and palladium as well, but were far more subdued—and as I mentioned in The Wrap in yesterday’s column, it was probably a sympathy move rather than direct intervention.  Platinum finished the Thursday session down 1.28 percent—and palladium finished unchanged.  Here are the charts. Today we get the latest Commitment of Traders Report for positions held at the close of Comex trading on Tuesday, December 17.  Both Ted and I are expecting improvements in the Commercial net short positions of both gold and silver.  It’s just too bad that the price/volume activity from both Wednesday and Thursday won’t be included. Here are the one-year charts for all four precious metals, so you can see where we stand now that we are at, or almost at, the bottom of the price barrel for the second time this year, the last being in late June. The silver stocks gapped down—and stayed down.  Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed down 2.04%. The CME’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 210 gold and 11 silver contracts were posted for delivery on Monday within the Comex-approved depositories.  It was Goldman Sachs as the big short/issuer with 130 contracts, followed in distant second by Canada’s Scotiabank with 52 contracts.  JPMorgan Chase as the only long/stopper of note picked up another 204 contracts in its in-house [proprietary] trading account.  The silver contracts were split up between JPM and Scotiabank. The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here. Gold continues to exit GLD.  Yesterday an authorized participant withdrew 125,388 troy ounces.  And as of 8:25 p.m. yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV. The U.S. Mint had a sales report yesterday, if you wish to dignify it with that name, as they only sold 3,000 troy ounces of gold eagles—and that was all. It was a very busy day over at the Comex-approved depositories in gold on Wednesday, as they reported receiving 128,504 troy ounces—and shipped 125,224 troy ounces out the door.  Just eye-balling the numbers, it appears that every one of the 125,224 ounces shipped out [from two different warehouses] ended up in JPMorgan’s vault.  This is obviously JPMorgan taking physical delivery of some of the contracts that they’ve stopped so far this month.  The link to all that action is here—and it’s worth a peek. It was even more frantic in silver, as 1,011,875 troy ounces were reported received [all in Scotia Mocatta] and 1,005,204 troy ounces were shipped out.  Of the amount shipped out, 885,000 troy ounces came out of Scotia Mocatta as well, so the forklift operators had a busy day.  The link to that action is here. I have the usual number of stories for you today—and some of the gold-related ones are definitely must reads.  But, as always, the final edit is in your hands. The surprise is that JPMorgan has also taken, in its proprietary account, delivery of 1,930 silver contracts or 61% of the 3,157 total contracts issued this month. This is a surprise because JPM is not only net short COMEX silver futures, but the above-the-law crooked bank dramatically increased its manipulative silver short position in the latest COT report. This raises a separate concern that JPMorgan may be shorting COMEX silver futures contracts to artificially depress the price so that it can pick up real metal on the cheap. I’m sure no one reading this would put this illegal motive beyond JPMorgan. – Silver analyst Ted Butler: 14 December 2013 It was another textbook case of a JPMorgan Chase et al-engineered price smash.  As Ted Butler keeps mentioning to all those who are not willfully blind—first their high-frequency traders set the prices lower in the most thinly-traded markets, tripping sell stops—and then the technical fund/small traders are either forced to sell more long positions, or may decide to put on short positions for technical reasons.  Either way, the collusive commercial traders are there to scoop up all the longs sold, or take the long side of the short sale.  This scenario has been going on for many years—and should be completely obvious to you by now, dear reader. But what was really impressive about yesterday was all the main stream media press that occurred at the same time that this price smash was taking place.  As I’ve said before, I don’t know why JPMorgan didn’t hire a brass band—and/or take out a front-page ad in either The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal, because what their doing is becoming blatantly obvious to all—well, almost all. If you read the Bloomberg story in the Critical Reads section that contained Dimitri Speck’s famous charts from this latest book, then you need to look at these same charts as produced by Nick Laird.  These are five-year rolling charts for both gold and silver. There are three things to note on the gold chart.  On average, over the current 5-year period, the high of the day comes about 40 minutes before the London open. [Note: If you check the Kitco gold chart at the top of today’s column, that’s about the time “da boyz” first hit the gold price on Thursday. – Ed]  The gold price gets bombed at the London a.m. and p.m. gold “fixes”—and then the cycle repeats.  This is the gold price suppression scheme laid bare. There certainly was no mercy shown in the silver price action either, but it’s interesting to note that all the real damage was done shortly before 9 a.m. GMT in London, which was the low tick of the day.  After that, silver recovered about twenty cents from its low and didn’t do much for the remainder of the day—and basically traded flat during the entire Comex trading session, including the electronic session that followed. The high and low ticks were $19.905 and $19.10 in the March contract.  That’s an intraday move over 4 percent.  On Wednesday, silver had an intraday move of over 3 percent. Silver closed at $19.25 spot, which was down 48 cents from Wednesday.  Net volume was very decent at 51,000 contracts, but I wouldn’t call it heavy, at least not compared to gold. The price management scheme in silver has a couple of other features associated with it.  The high, before the price gets turned over, comes at the 8 a.m. London open.  Then there’s the a.m. gold fix, the noon silver fix in London, the perennial low that comes 10 minutes after the Comex open—and last but not least, the London p.m. gold fix.  Then the pattern repeats.  With five years of data condensed into one chart, the price management scheme is equally obvious here as well.  All you need is open eyes—and and equally open mind—in order to see it.  Some choose not to. It was fairly quiet in Far East trading in all four precious metals on their Friday—but not lost on me was the new low tick in silver that came just a few minutes before the London open.  All four precious metals are in positive territory at the moment [4:39 a.m. EST] and volumes are about average for this time of day—and virtually all in the front month, which means it’s mostly of the HFT variety.  And, not that it matters, the dollar index is up about 11 basis points. And as I hit the send button on today’s column at 5:20 a.m. EST, the quiet rallies in all four precious metals are continuing.  Volumes are also getting up there a bit, especially in gold.  The dollar index has sagged back close to almost unchanged. With today being Friday, I have no idea what to expect in New York trading, but if we’re not at the lows, we aren’t that far off.  And as Ted Butler always says, its what “da boyz” do on the next rally that determines how high we go—and how fast we get there. Enjoy your weekend—or what’s left of it—and I’ll see you here tomorrow.center_img It was another textbook case of a JPMorgan Chase et al-engineered price smash The early rally in the gold price in Far East trading got dealt with in the usual manner—and the high tick of the day came just before 3:30 p.m. Hong Kong time, which was shortly before the London open.  Then shortly after London opened, the price got sold down to $1,198 in the February contract.  It recovered a bit and then traded more or less sideways until shortly after 1 p.m. in London, which was about 15 minutes before the Comex open.  From there it was all down hill into the 5:15 p.m. EST close of electronic trading in New York. The CME recorded the high and low ticks as $1,226.00 and $1,186.00 in the February contract. Gold closed the Thursday trading session at $1,187.80 spot, which was down $30.90 on the day.  Net volume was over the moon at 220,000 contracts.  The gold price came within a handful of dollars of taking out its 2013 low set back in late June. Just for the record, Kitco recorded gold finishing down 2.54% yesterday, whereas silver was ‘only’ down 2.43%. The dollar index closed late on Wednesday afternoon in New York at 80.59—and then proceeded to trade flat in an extremely tight range on Thursday, closing at 80.65, which was up a whole 6 basis points.  It was obvious that the currency moves had nothing to do with the precious metal price action yesterday, as it was equally as obvious that it was all “da boyz” just doin’ the dirty. The gold stocks gapped down over 2 percent at the open, hitting their low shortly after 10 a.m. in New York.  From there they worked their way slowly higher at glacial speed—and the HUI finished down only 1.72%. Sponsor Advertisement Your Road Map to Outsized Gains in an Undervalued Market  Doug Casey built his career on a saying attributed to Baron Nathan Rothschild: “The time to buy is when blood is in the streets.” And he’s acted on it to make his own fortune. He wrote the book on crisis investing—a book so popular that in 1979 it was not only a New York Times #1 bestseller, but it also outsold Carl Sagan’s Cosmos and Richard Nixon’s The Real War. Since then, he’s put the strategy into practice again and again. Right now there’s one undervalued market that piqued Doug’s interest so much that he jumped on a plane and traveled over 6,000 miles just to check it out. And what he found there seriously whetted his speculating appetite… Click here for details.last_img read more

Lab instruments may leak valuable information finds study

first_img Source: Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Feb 25 2019Lab instruments are important tools throughout research and health care. But what if those instruments are leaking valuable information?When it comes to biosecurity, this could be a very real threat, according to a group of researchers at the University of California, Irvine, and the University of California, Riverside. By simply recording the sounds of a common lab instrument, the team members could reconstruct what a researcher was doing with that instrument.”Any active machine emits a trace of some form: physical residue, electromagnetic radiation, acoustic noise, etc. The amount of information in these traces is immense, and we have only hit the tip of the iceberg in terms of what we can learn and reverse engineer about the machine that generated them,” said Philip Brisk, a UC Riverside associate professor of computer science who worked on the project.In a paper presented at the Network and Distributed System Security Symposium, the group showed they could reconstruct what a researcher was doing by recording the sounds of the lab instrument used. That means academic, industrial, and government labs are potentially wide open to espionage that could destabilize research, jeopardize product development, and even put national security at risk.The researchers wondered if it was possible to determine what a DNA synthesizer was producing from the sounds its components made as it went through its manufacturing routine.DNA synthesizers are machines that allow users to build custom DNA molecules from a few basic ingredients. Researchers commonly construct segments of DNA to insert in the genome of other organisms, especially bacteria, to make new organisms. Sometimes these living systems are used to make valuable new pharmaceuticals or other products.Brisk and UC Irvine electrical and computer engineering professor Mohammad Abdullah Al Faruque and his doctoral student Sina Faezi; along with John C. Chaput, a professor of pharmaceutical sciences at UC Irvine; and William Grover, a bioengineering professor at UC Riverside, set microphones similar to those in a smartphone in several spots near a DNA synthesizer in Chaput’s lab.All DNA is built from just four bases, adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C), and thymine (T), arranged in almost infinite combinations. The specific patterns, or sequences, can be read as a clue to what kind of DNA it is.Related StoriesOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell researchAMSBIO offers new, best-in-class CAR-T cell range for research and immunotherapySchwann cells capable of generating protective myelin over nerves finds researchDNA synthesizers contain components that open and close to release chemicals as they manufacture each of these bases, along with the tubes and chambers through which they flow. These mechanisms make distinctive sounds as they work.After filtering out background noise and running several adjustments to the recorded sound, the researchers found the differences were too subtle for humans to notice.”But through a careful feature engineering and bespoke machine-learning algorithm written in our lab, we were able to pinpoint those differences,” Faezi said. The researchers could easily distinguish each time the machine produced A, G, C, or T.When the researchers used software to analyze the AGCT patterns they acquired through the recordings, they identified the correct type of DNA with 86 percent accuracy. By running it through additional well-known DNA sequencing software, they boosted the accuracy to almost 100 percent.Using this method, a knowledgeable observer could tell if the machine was making anthrax, smallpox, or Ebola DNA, for example, or a commercially valuable DNA intended to be a trade secret. The method could help law enforcement prevent bioterrorism, but it could also be used by criminals or terrorists to intercept biological secrets.”A few years ago, we published a study on a similar method for stealing plans of objects being fabricated in 3D printers, but this DNA synthesizer attack is potentially much more serious,” Al Faruque said.The researchers recommend that labs using DNA synthesizing machines institute security measures, such as strictly controlling access to the machines and removing innocuous-seeming recording devices left near the machine. They also recommend that machine manufacturers begin designing machine components to reduce the number of sounds they make, either by redesigning or repositioning the components or swaddling them in sound absorbent material.Almost all machines used in biomedical research make some kind of sound, noted Brisk and Grover, and the hack could conceivably be applied to any machine.”The take-home message for bioengineers is that we have to worry about these security issues when we’re designing instruments,” Grover said.last_img read more

Why you cant always trust your handy map app

first_img Hack causes major apps to show anti-Semitic name © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. At Mapbox, however, the anti-Semitic changes remained in a pipeline of map edits where they languished for 20 days until human reviewers cleared a backlog. While Gunderson said that a Mapbox artificial-intelligence tool flagged the problem when it showed up and quarantined the abusive changes, a reviewer then mistakenly pushed through one of the edits anyway, overwriting correct data. In this Monday, Sept. 10, 2018, image made from a video Greg Psitos works on a computer in the Queens borough of New York. In February, someone took over Psitos’ Google Maps listing, and changed his hours to closed on Valentine’s Day, what should have been one of his busiest days of the year. Since then, he’s been on a crusade, putting up web videos explaining how he’s fooled Google Maps into believing his flower shop is home to both news network CNN and Trump Palace, both of which are still listed on Google Maps. (AP Photo) Explore further The OpenStreetMap Foundation, a not-for-profit group based in Cambridge, England, said in a blog post that the changes were reversed so quickly that no one noticed them until Mapbox served up the vandalized OpenStreetMap data to thousands of apps and websites.”The vast majority of editors want to come together to build something great, and these massively outnumber the few bad apples,” the foundation said.The king of digital cartography, Google Maps, doesn’t rely on far-flung contributors to the same extent as OpenStreetMaps. But it can still suffer fraudulent edits.Much of Google Maps’ data gathering, such as satellite images or traffic information, is automated. But at the local level, some listings rely on labels suggested by users themselves. Those are vulnerable to attack, and Google has been fighting the problem for many years.On Aug. 29, someone suggested the Russell Senate Office Building be renamed the “McCain Senate Office Building” on Google Maps, short-circuiting a change real senators had been contemplating at the time. The change got past Google’s automated and human screens, although it was reverted after it drew press attention. (Renaming talk has since died down in the real world as well.)Google said in a statement to The Associated Press that over the years it has reduced fraud “to a very low incidence” and that “we’re always working on new and better ways to fight this type of behavior.”Sam Hind, a researcher at the University of Siegen in Germany who studies navigation technology, said mapping developers have come to realize that their users collectively have better up-to-date local knowledge than their own teams can collect.”Of course, this comes with a catch—that you can rely on the veracity of the knowledge, and that you can somehow verify this,” he said.That’s an issue for business listings on Google Maps. The company makes it easy to add new business listings to its map, in part to entice small business owners into advertising with Google to attract nearby customers. In this Monday, Sept. 10, 2018, image made from a video Greg Psitos works on a computer in the Queens borough of New York. In February, someone took over Psitos’ Google Maps listing, and changed his hours to closed on Valentine’s Day, what should have been one of his busiest days of the year. Since then, he’s been on a crusade, putting up web videos explaining how he’s fooled Google Maps into believing his flower shop is home to both news network CNN and Trump Palace, both of which are still listed on Google Maps. (AP Photo) That opens the door to abuse. Just ask Greg Psitos, a 33-year-old florist in Queens, New York. In February, someone hijacked his Google Maps listing and changed his hours to “closed” on Valentine’s Day—what should have been one of his busiest days of the year.”Someone had controlled that listing for four years and I didn’t know any better,” Psitos said, adding that it took months to reclaim it.Since then, he’s been on a crusade to draw attention to the problem. In one stunt, he fooled Google Maps into believing his flower shop is home to both news network CNN and Trump Palace . Both of these listings were still present and searchable on Google Maps when this article was published.”I’m a florist,” Psitos said. “Now I’m a Google Maps savant.”In a Google study of the problem , Princeton postdoc researcher Danny Yuxing Huang used data on hundreds of thousands of business listings Google identified as fraudulent. A large number were for on-call contractors such as locksmiths and plumbers, who created listings in different neighborhoods to drum up business. In one technique, fraudsters would set up multiple listings from a single address, then move their map pins to new locations.Detecting such problems is a challenge, Huang said, since it makes sense to let legitimate owners correct data issues from faulty mapping. “I personally think it’s quite difficult to balance this,” he said. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Why you can’t always trust your handy map app (2018, September 28) retrieved 17 July 2019 from At the end of August, for instance, Snapchat users woke up early to find the app’s internal map had renamed New York City with the anti-Semitic label “Jewtropolis.” In Washington, D.C., Google Maps incorrectly renamed a Senate office building after the late Sen. John McCain a few days after his death on Aug. 25. Researchers have found numerous fake business listings in Google Maps for plumbers and hotels—apparent attempts to game search results and juice referral traffic.Digital maps are a modern uber-convenience, capable of pinpointing nearby landmarks, shops and restaurants, highlighting traffic jams and navigating you to destinations across the country. Google, Apple and a variety of lesser-known companies constantly update these real world representations using a variety of sophisticated tools, from satellites in orbit to the phone in your hand.But there’s another important input: crowdsourced data submitted by ordinary people, which can make today’s maps more like Wikipedia than Rand McNally. When the navigation app Waze flags a highway accident, for instance, it’s because drivers further down the road have reported it. Other unpaid volunteers submit information on new business locations, landmarks and even new roads.All that is a bet that the wisdom of the crowd eventually ends up getting it right. But “eventually” can take a while, and in the meantime, pesky humans can still muck things up but good.Take, for instance, the morning of Aug. 30, when users of Snapchat found New York City hatefully rebranded in the app’s map. In addition to the “Jewtropolis” label, prominent city landmarks bore ugly new names such as “Pedophile Bridge,” ”Zionist Cannibal Drive,” and “Adolph Hitler Memorial Tunnel.”Snapchat and other apps such as The Weather Channel and Runkeeper rely on a company called Mapbox for their maps. Mapbox CEO Eric Gundersen said the company uses more than 130 sources of data. One of them is an open-source project similar to Wikipedia called OpenStreetMap.There, a user made more than 80 anti-Semitic label changes in a “tirade” across New York and other places in early August; records of those changes show the anonymous user also abusively renamed London streets and dubbed Russia “Commieland.” The changes were reverted in OpenStreetMap less than two hours later by another contributor, other records show. In this Monday, Sept. 10, 2018, image made from a video Greg Psitos speaks during an interview in the Queens borough of New York. In February, someone took over the florists Google Maps listing, and changed his hours to closed on Valentine’s Day, what should have been one of his busiest days of the year. Since then, he’s been on a crusade, putting up web videos explaining how he’s fooled Google Maps into believing his flower shop is home to both news network CNN and Trump Palace, both of which are still listed on Google Maps. (AP Photo/Joseph Frederick) For centuries, people have relied on maps to figure out where they are and where they’re going. But today’s digital maps—seemingly more precise than ever —aren’t always as dependable as they appear.last_img read more