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Vienna's Hub by Vienna Richards Posts

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Tuesday 22 February 2011: Christchurch earthquake

The magnitude of the work ahead hits. Evacuation routes for critical patients when there’s a no fly zone imposed on the South Island and the roads and infrastructure is so badly damaged or destroyed…The people in the room respond with a dedication and commitment that makes me proud and humbled to be part of New Zealand’s emergency response.

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Is your VPN secure?

Most people – including VPN customers – don’t have the skills to double-check that they’re getting what they paid for. A group of researchers I was part of do have those skills, and our examination of the services provided by 200 VPN companies found that many of them mislead customers about key aspects of their user protections.

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Why journalists should engage with their readers: a view from Slovakia

Simon Smith, Charles University What happens when journalists join in the discussion in the often-frightening comments section below their articles? That’s one of the questions I sought to answer in my book, Discussing the News: the uneasy alliance of participatory journalists and the critical public, published earlier this year. In traditional newspaper culture, journalists do not often engage with their readers. So, as a researcher I jumped at the chance of witnessing an attempt to foster a more conversational relationship between journalists and the public at the newly-founded Slovak daily, Denník N. The newspaper is based in the Slovakian capital Bratislava. It was set up by the senior editors of Slovakia’s second-most read daily, SME, who walked out in protest…

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Reflections from a Nobel winner: Scientists need time to make discoveries.

It is understandable that people want to know how it affects them. But as a scientist, I would hope society would be equally interested in fundamental science. After all, you can’t have the applications without the curiosity-driven research behind it. Learning more about science — science for science’s sake — is worth supporting.

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Developing An Idea

…developing an innovative idea doesn’t require genius. What’s required are skills that many professionals already have—the ability to ask good questions, to challenge assumptions, and to listen to your gut instinct that alerts you when the rest of the world is overlooking something.”

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Why hurricane forecasters can’t ‘politicize’ storm warnings even if they wanted to

Every forecaster I have ever worked with – military or civilian – wants to get predictions right. And even if they wanted to shade the forecast one way or another to support some agenda, it would be impossible to do it in today’s networked world.

Sexual and domestic violence: the hidden reasons why Mexican women flee their homes

We don’t know how many of them are women, because neither the US nor the UNHCR keeps track of gender by nationality in their asylum statistics, meaning that the violence many women are fleeing is rendered invisible.

But by cross-referencing displacement figures, qualitative information and case litigation databases, we do know one thing: patterns of persecution are different for men and women.