Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Nexus 6 leak 'confirms' it will have 5.9-inch screen, new Moto X design

 It has been reported earlier that the Nexus 6 is a device with codename Shamu that Motorola is building. The Shamu has a huge 5.9-inch screen, which has led to speculations that it may not be the next Nexus phone because Google usually likes to keep its phones small. However, now Android Police, a fairly reliable source for Android related news, is reporting that Shamu is indeed the next Nexus 6 and there may not be any smaller size Nexus this year. 

"We've been provided with new information about the next Nexus phone, and can confirm that it will be a 5.9-inch device called the Nexus 6," .  

This large screen is likely to have a QHD display with resolution of 1440 X 2560 pixels. The device will be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor, may have 2GB to 3GB RAM, a 13MP rear camera with optical image stabilisation and 2MP front camera. It will run on the final version Android L. 

The Android Police is reporting that the device they saw had a new messaging app installed on it, something that is not a part of the current Android L. This indicates that Google may abandon its attempt to unify all messaging within the Hangout app and may bring back the proper SMS app back to the OS. 

Confirming the earlier leaks, the website also notes that the Nexus 6 will have a design similar to that of the new Moto X, complete with an aluminium frame. However, it will be bigger in size and will have front facing stereo speakers unlike the new Moto X that has single speaker.

Antibiotics 'linked to childhood obesity'

 picture of a boy

Young children who are given repeated courses of antibiotics are at greater risk than those who use fewer drugs of becoming obese, US researchers say.

The JAMA Pediatrics report found children who had had four or more courses by the age of two were at a 10% higher risk of being obese.

But scientists warn this does not show antibiotics cause obesity directly and recommend children continue using them.

Many more studies are needed to explain the reasons behind the link, they say.

Targeted therapy
US researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Bloomberg School of Public Health reviewed the health records of more than 64,500 American children between 2001 and 2013. 

The children were followed up until they reached five years of age.

Almost 70% of them had been prescribed two courses of antibiotics by the time they were 24 months old.
But those who had four or more courses in this time were at a 10% higher risk of being obese at the age of five than children who had been given fewer drugs.

And the type of antibiotics they were prescribed appeared to make a difference too - those given drugs targeted at a particular bug were less likely to put on weight.

But those given a broad-spectrum antibiotic - that can kill several types of bacteria indiscriminately - were more likely to have a higher body mass.

Prof Charles Bailey at the University of Pennsylvania, said: "We think after antibiotics some of the normal bacteria in our gut that are more efficient at nudging our weight in the right direction may be killed off and bacteria that nudge the metabolism in the wrong direction may be more active."

And researchers say the study highlights that over prescribing inappropriate antibiotics could have a negative impact on child growth.

 Children who were given antibiotics in the first few months of life were also at greater risk Prof Nigel Brown, president of the Society for General Microbiology in the UK, said: "This study adds further evidence that the use of antibiotics early in life has a role to play in obesity.

"While antibiotic use is only one factor that may predispose children to be obese, the study emphasises the importance of rapid diagnostic tests that allow precise targeting of antibiotics, which will kill the disease-causing bacteria and cause minimum disruption to the normal gut flora."

And Prof Bailey acknowledged his study had limitations as they were not able to look at the children's weight or exercise regimes.

He says the team will now start to explore what influence lifestyle factors has on these findings.

But Dr Graham Brudge, at the University of Southampton, said: "The design of the study did not allow testing as to whether antibiotic use during infancy causes obesity in childhood, only that there may be an association.
"It would be a concern if parents took from this that they ought to be reluctant to allow antibiotic use in their children.

"The key risk factors for childhood obesity are over-consumption of high energy, nutrient-poor foods and lack of exercise."

Mice trials 
Meanwhile in a separate study, scientists reporting in the journal of the American Society for Microbiology found that a species of gut bacteria - called Clostridium ramosum - could promote weight gain in mice.

Mice with these bacteria present in their guts became obese when fed a high-fat diet, while those that did not have the bacteria put on less weight despite being given high-calorie meals.

The scientists, from the German Institute of Human Nutrition, in Nuthetal, are now trying to understand how the bacteria interact with digestion.

Lloyds dismisses eight staff over Libor

Lloyds Banking Group has dismissed eight staff members following an investigation into the manipulation of some key interest rates set in London.
The move follows the bank's £218m fine in July for "serious misconduct" over the setting of Libor.
Chair Lord Blackwell said the actions of those responsible for the misconduct were "completely unacceptable".

Lloyds, which is 24.9% owned by the government, said the individuals had also forfeited £3m in unpaid bonuses.

The bank said its remuneration committee would now ensure the outcome of the disciplinary process was "fully and fairly reflected" in other staff bonus payments.

Regulators found that Lloyds manipulated the London interbank offered rate (Libor) for yen and sterling and tried to rig the rate for yen, sterling and the US dollar.

It was also found to have manipulated submissions for another short-term rate linked to the value of UK government debt.

'Highest integrity'
Lloyds said Monday's disciplinary action followed July's fine by the UK-based Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and a US-based trading commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission
However, it said it had been unable to take disciplinary action against " a number of individuals" who had already left the bank before the settlements.

Lloyds Banking Group chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio said the bank was committed to preventing this type of behaviour happening again.

"We are determined to make Lloyds Banking Group a company of the highest integrity and standards," he added.

In July, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said the attempted manipulation was "highly reprehensible" and could lead to criminal action against those involved.

Lloyds also said it had shared the outcome of its disciplinary process with City regulator the Financial Conduct Authority and other relevant authorities.

'Fix it higher' In July, the US trading commission said the "unlawful conduct" of Lloyds had "undermined the integrity" of Libor.

It said Lloyds had acted to benefit its trading positions and protect its reputation by manipulating the rate when it was in the process of buying HBOS during the financial crisis.

The commission also released a transcript detailing examples of requests to manipulate the sterling and US dollar Libor rate.

They included an employee from Lloyds telling their counterpart at HBOS: "Oh mate, I always have loads of loans going out at the end of the month so I always try to fix it higher".

The trader added: "They keep calling it lower... I can't work out why it is going down all the time... I will leave it at 67 and I won't go any lower, right?"

A sterling submitter at HBOS responded with: "Yeah".