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Health Canada’s Wind Turbine Noise and Health Study—A Review Exploring Research Challenges, Methods, Limitations and Uncertainties of Some of the Findings  [PDF]
Carmen M. Krogh, Anne Dumbrille, Robert Y. McMurtry, Richard James, Robert W. Rand, Michael A. Nissenbaum, Jeffery J. Aramini, Stephen E. Ambrose
Open Access Library Journal (OALib Journal) , 2018, DOI: 10.4236/oalib.1105046
Abstract: Background: Risk of harm associated with wind turbines is debated globally. Some people living or working in proximity to wind turbines report adverse health effects such as sleep disturbance, noise annoyance, and diminished quality of life. Due to public concern, Health Canada announced its wind turbine noise and health study which included subjective and objective measurements. Findings were published between 2014 and 2016. In 2018, Health Canada published clarifications regarding the design and interpretation of study conclusions. Methods: Methods and subjective/objective findings were reviewed. Peer reviewed publications, conference presentations, judicial proceedings, government documents, and other sources were evaluated and considered in context with advanced methods for investigating reports of adverse health effects. Objectives: To review and explore some of the research challenges, methods, strengths and limitations of findings and conclusions. To participate in scientific dialogue and contribute towards an understanding of reported health risks associated with wind turbine noise. Results: Wind turbine human health research is challenged by numerous variables. Knowledge gaps and individual human and wind turbine variables are identified. Strengths and advisories of limitations are considered and acknowledged. Health Canada’s advisories that its study design does not permit any conclusions about causality and results may not be generalized beyond the sample taken in Canada are supported. Enhanced methods for investigating health outcomes are proposed including establishing referral resources within medical facilities for physicians. It is proposed staffing of the resource center include multidisciplinary teams of physicians, epidemiologists, acousticians and other specialists to investigate suspected wind turbine adverse health effects. Discussion: A review and appraisal of some of the research challenges associated with wind turbine human health research are presented. Given the identified methods, research/knowledge gaps, and limitations and cautionary advisories, Health Canada’s results should be carefully considered when predicting or protecting from health risks of wind turbine noise.
Decorrelation of samples in Quantum Monte Carlo calculations and scaling of autocorrelation time in Li and H$_{2}$O clusters
D. Nissenbaum,B. Barbiellini,A. Bansil
Physics , 2007, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.76.033412
Abstract: We have investigated decorrelation of samples in Quantum Monte Carlo (QMC) ground-state energy calculations for large Li and H$_{2}$O nanoclusters. Binning data as a way of eliminating statistical correlations, as is the common practice, is found to become increasingly impractical as the system size grows. We demonstrate nevertheless that it is possible to perform accurate energy calculations - without decorrelating samples - by exploiting the scaling of the integrated autocorrelation time $\tau$ as a function of the number of electrons in the system.
Electron correlations, spontaneous magnetization and momentum density in quantum dots
A. Bansil,D. Nissenbaum,B. Barbiellini,R. Saniz
Physics , 2004, DOI: 10.1016/j.jpcs.2004.08.012
Abstract: The magnetization of quantum dots is discussed in terms of a relatively simple but exactly solvable model Hamiltonian. The model predicts oscillations in spin polarization as a function of dot radius for a fixed electron density. These oscillations in magnetization are shown to yield distinct signature in the momentum density of the electron gas, suggesting the usefulness of momentum resolved spectroscopies for investigating the magnetization of dot systems. We also present variational quantum Monte Carlo calculations on a square dot containing 12 electrons in order to gain insight into correlation effects on the interactions between like and unlike spins in a quantum dot.
The Resonating-Valence-Bond Ground State of Li Nanoclusters
D. Nissenbaum,L. Spanu,C. Attaccalite,B. Barbiellini,A. Bansil
Physics , 2008, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.79.035416
Abstract: We have performed Diffusion Quantum Monte Carlo simulations of Li clusters showing that Resonating-Valence-Bond (RVB) pairing correlations between electrons provide a substantial contribution to the cohesive energy. The RVB effects are identified in terms of electron transfers from s- to p-like character, constituting a possible explanation for the breakdown of the Fermi liquid picture observed in recent high resolution Compton scattering experiments for bulk Li.
TrackMeNot: Enhancing the privacy of Web Search
Vincent Toubiana,Lakshminarayanan Subramanian,Helen Nissenbaum
Computer Science , 2011,
Abstract: Most search engines can potentially infer the preferences and interests of a user based on her history of search queries. While search engines can use these inferences for a variety of tasks, including targeted advertisements, such tasks do impose an serious threat to user privacy. In 2006, after AOL disclosed the search queries of 650,000 users, TrackMeNot was released as a simple browser extension that sought to hide user search preferences in a cloud of queries. The first versions of TrackMeNot, though used extensively in the past three years, was fairly simplistic in design and did not provide any strong privacy guarantees. In this paper, we present the new design and implementation of TrackMeNot, which address many of the limitations of the first release. TrackMeNot addresses two basic problems. First, using a model for characterizing search queries, TrackMeNot provides a mechanism for obfuscating the search preferences of a user from a search engine. Second, TrackMeNot prevents the leakage of information revealing the use of obfuscation to a search engine via several potential side channels in existing browsers such as clicks, cookies etc. Finally, we show that TrackMeNot cannot be detected by current search bot detection mechanisms and demonstrate the effectiveness of TrackMeNot in obfuscating user interests by testing its efficiency on a major search engine.
Computer Security: Competing Concepts
Helen Nissenbaum,Batya Friedman,Edward Felten
Computer Science , 2001,
Abstract: This paper focuses on a tension we discovered in the philosophical part of our multidisciplinary project on values in web-browser security. Our project draws on the methods and perspectives of empirical social science, computer science, and philosophy to identify values embodied in existing web-browser security and also to prescribe changes to existing systems (in particular, Mozilla) so that values relevant to web-browser systems are better served than presently they are. The tension, which we had not seen explicitly addressed in any other work on computer security, emerged when we set out to extract from the concept of security the set values that ought to guide the shape of web-browser security. We found it impossible to construct an internally consistent set of values until we realized that two robust -- and in places competing -- conceptions of computer security were influencing our thinking. We needed to pry these apart and make a primary commitment to one. One conception of computer security invokes the ordinary meaning of security. According to it, computer security should protect people -- computer users -- against dangers, harms, and threats. Clearly this ordinary conception of security is already informing much of the work and rhetoric surrounding computer security. But another, substantively richer conception, also defines the aims and trajectory of computer security -- computer security as an element of national security. Although, like the ordinary conception, this one is also concerned with protection against threats, its primary subject is the state, not the individual. The two conceptions suggest divergent system-specifications, not for all mechanisms but a significant few.
A Critical Look at Decentralized Personal Data Architectures
Arvind Narayanan,Vincent Toubiana,Solon Barocas,Helen Nissenbaum,Dan Boneh
Computer Science , 2012,
Abstract: While the Internet was conceived as a decentralized network, the most widely used web applications today tend toward centralization. Control increasingly rests with centralized service providers who, as a consequence, have also amassed unprecedented amounts of data about the behaviors and personalities of individuals. Developers, regulators, and consumer advocates have looked to alternative decentralized architectures as the natural response to threats posed by these centralized services. The result has been a great variety of solutions that include personal data stores (PDS), infomediaries, Vendor Relationship Management (VRM) systems, and federated and distributed social networks. And yet, for all these efforts, decentralized personal data architectures have seen little adoption. This position paper attempts to account for these failures, challenging the accepted wisdom in the web community on the feasibility and desirability of these approaches. We start with a historical discussion of the development of various categories of decentralized personal data architectures. Then we survey the main ideas to illustrate the common themes among these efforts. We tease apart the design characteristics of these systems from the social values that they (are intended to) promote. We use this understanding to point out numerous drawbacks of the decentralization paradigm, some inherent and others incidental. We end with recommendations for designers of these systems for working towards goals that are achievable, but perhaps more limited in scope and ambition.
Annual Variation of Local Photon Emissions’ Spectral Power within the mHz Range Overlaps with Seismic-Atmospheric Acoustic Oscillations  [PDF]
Michael A. Persinger
International Journal of Geosciences (IJG) , 2012, DOI: 10.4236/ijg.2012.31021
Abstract: Spheroidal modes of seismic and acoustic oscillations in the atmosphere occur within the 2 to 7 mHz range with peak-to-peak variations in the order of 10–12 to 10–11 m·s–2. Previous research indicated the amplitudes for 230 s and 270 s periods peak during the summer months. In the present study the amplitudes of a reliably apparent 3 mHz increment from spectral analyses of minute-to-minute measurements of background photon emissions by a photomultiplier tube housed in a dark room were sampled for a one year period. The peak increase in the power of this increment was maximal during the summer months and overlapped conspicuously with the annual variation in fundamental spheroidal modes of seismic free oscillations. Quantitative estimates indicate that relative shifts in the order of 10–11 W/m2 for photon emissions may reflect the annual variation in coupled oscillations between the earth and atmosphere.
Convergent Calculations That Dark Solutions Are Reflective of Mass-Energy yet to Occur  [PDF]
Michael A. Persinger
International Journal of Astronomy and Astrophysics (IJAA) , 2012, DOI: 10.4236/ijaa.2012.23017
Abstract: The discrepancy between the observed and expected estimates from universal constants of mass-energy within the universe is in the order of a factor of ~10. Discrepancies between numerical solutions between the models of Dirac, Szydowski-Godlowski, and Friedman could be accommodated by the gnomonic solution of 0.44 for a square that displays both linearity and curvature (flare). This value is also reflected in dimensionless parameter A, the term for 4D-G (gravitational constant) transformation, and the optimal k in Friedman’s universe. One interpretation from G? (density), as-suming an effective average mass of 1 proton/m3 as a universal, one-particle force, is that dark solutions reflect the matter yet to occur in the open cold matter model of ~90 billion years.
A New Journal Serving the Infrasound Community  [PDF]
Michael A. H. Hedlin
InfraMatics (InfraMatics) , 2013, DOI: 10.4236/inframatics.2013.23003
Abstract: InfraMatics is an international peer-reviewed journal dedicated to presenting observational and theoretical stud- ies of atmospheric infrasound generation, propagation, and reception that address outstanding problems in basic and applied research.
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