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Archive for December, 2013|Monthly archive page

Dell Looks To Set A New Tone For Its Private Life

In Tech News on December 31, 2013 at 8:22 pm

Posted 2 hours ago by Alex Wilhelm (@alex)

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The story of Dell is business legend: How a kid starting in his dorm room, hiding computer parts in the bathroom when his parents visited, managed to build a computing giant that employs over 100,000 people.

The Dell saga added a new chapter this year, when its founder and Silver Lake took it private, borrowing $2 billion of Microsoft’s foreign cash in the process.

The deal that closed on October 30th valued the company at $24.9 billion. Tucked away from the public eye, and released from the quarterly trial of investor expectations, Dell may now have the flexibility to retool its troubled PC business, and invest in new areas that could sport better margins.

Now that Dell has crossed the public-private Rubicon, it appears ready to recultivate its image. The firm has released a new video that compares its history to that of other well-known technology companies, like Dropbox. The clip has a clear point: Dell was started just like the other technology companies that you respect. The implication is that it retains that DNA.

A large company freed from quarterly earnings reports is a company unbound from many of its prior shackles. Dell bought its freedom, and we now get to see what it will do with it.

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How the Internet’s Founders Feel About The NSA Scandal

In Tech News on December 31, 2013 at 8:13 pm

Posted 4 hours ago by Gregory Ferenstein (@ferenstein)
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As the co-fathers of the Internet, Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn tend to be pretty protective of their digital masterpiece. Both were early Defense Department engineers of the communications architecture that underlies the modern Internet, and both tend be outspoken about threats to a free and open information superhighway. For instance, when a United Nations body, the Internet Telecommunications Union, tried to assert more control over Internet governance, Cerf was immediately dispatched to Washington D.C. to preempt the power grab.

The National Security spying scandal has, likewise, been hailed as a global threat to privacy and the Internet itself. In a wide-ranging interview with the New York Times, Cerf and Kahn had a more reserved concern for government surveillance.

Here is Cerf on the NSA:

Q. Edward Snowden’s actions have raised a new storm of controversy about the role of the Internet. Is it a significant new challenge to an open and global Internet?
A. The answer is no, I don’t think so. There are some similar analogues in history. The French historically copied every telex or every telegram that you sent, and they shared it with businesses in order to remain competitive. And when that finally became apparent, it didn’t shut down the telegraph system.

The Snowden revelations will increase interest in end-to-end cryptography for encrypting information both in transit and at rest. For many of us, including me, who believe that is an important capacity to have, this little crisis may be the trigger that induces people to spend time and energy learning how to use it.

To give a bit of background, Cerf has suggested that privacy is a relatively new concept (and, historically, he’s correct). During the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln collected all telegrams, in a move that has been compared to the modern surveillance state. It appears that this type of mass surveillance, followed by new privacy laws, is typical in American history.

Khan seemed far more reserved in opining how the NSA affects privacy:

Q: Is there a solution to challenges of privacy and security?
In the 1990s when I was on the National Internet Infrastructure Advisory Committee, Al Gore showed up as vice president, and he made an impassioned pitch for Clipper chip [an early government surveillance system]. He said, “We need to be very aware of the needs of national security and law enforcement.” Even though the private sector was arguing for tight encryption, the federal government needed [to be able to conduct surveillance]. It never went, and it’s not anywhere today. I think it’s probably easier to solve the Israeli-Palestinian problem than it is to solve this.

A bit of background, in the 90′s, the government proposed a hardware backdoor to cell phones, known as the “Clipper Chip”. Hackers and activists successfully fought its implementation. Privacy is a perennial problem on the Internet–one that may never be solved.

Sony Rumored To Be Considering A Windows Phone Handset In 2014

In Tech News on December 31, 2013 at 8:05 pm

Posted 6 hours ago by Alex Wilhelm (@alex)

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According to The Information, Sony could release a Windows Phone device, diversifying its mobile device lineup, bolstering Microsoft, and perhaps demonstrating a growing wish among hardware firms to hedge against an Android-dominated future.

Sony appears to be strongly interested in the project. The Verge wrote this morning that the company has continued the project despite Microsoft’s plan to purchase Nokia’s handset business. Its willingness to consider building a Windows Phone device despite the platform having a firm home-advantage tilt towards Microsoft’s own hardware is indicative.

For Sony the move would diversify its mobile line away from Android, a platform now generally associated with Samsung hardware. The irony to that is the simple fact that Nokia is the de facto Windows Phone OEM, so Sony would be entering into a second realm where it would be a second-place player.

The winner in Sony’s potential entrance is Microsoft, even if the release of a Vaio-branded Windows Phone handset could potentially slow sales growth of its — soon to be owned — Lumia phones. Microsoft would collect a per-unit fee, perhaps enjoy faster overall platform sales growth, and, of course, there has ever been an implied connection between the Windows Phone and Xbox product lines. We have yet to see hard evidence in my estimation that one leads to greater use of the other, but the shared Xbox platform experience must have some impact on consumer activity.

Therefore, Sony building a Windows Phone would have some positive impact on Xbox. And that would, presumably, come at the cost of Playstation momentum.

According to the latest public data, Nokia’s control of usage share in the Windows Phone hardware ecosystem is now more than 92 percent. That’s dangerous for Microsoft as betting your mobile platform on a single device stack could lead to platform risks (a poor hardware update cycle could slow growth for a year, etc.), meaning that Sony’s joining the Windows Phone cadre could better moor Windows Phone.

When Windows Phone launched, it did so with OEM partners as diverse as Dell. There has been a winnowing. If Microsoft can flip that trend, it will have gone a ways to proving that the progress it made in 2013 was no fluke.

Top Image Credit: Flickr

5 head coaches fired on NFL’s ‘Black Monday’

In What the ?????? on December 30, 2013 at 10:34 pm

Published December 30, 2013/
FoxNews.com

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Five NFL head coaches whose teams had subpar performances were fired Monday less than 24 hours after the regular season ended.

Washington’s Mike Shanahan, Detroit’s Jim Schwartz, Minnesota’s Leslie Frazier and Tampa Bay’s Greg Schiano were all victims of “Black Monday,” the day when traditionally coaches lose their jobs. The Cleveland Browns did not even wait that long, axing Rob Chudzinski on Sunday night after just one season.

Shanahan, who won two Super Bowls in Denver in the 1990s, spent four seasons with the Redskins and was 24-40. Frazier had a little more than three seasons with the Vikings to compile an 18-33-1 mark, and Schwartz coached the Lions for five seasons, finishing 29-52.

Schiano only got two years with the Buccaneers, going 11-21. Tampa Bay also fired general manager Mark Dominik.

One coach allegedly on the hot seat was retained: Rex Ryan, who has one more year on his contract, is staying with the New York Jets after a surprising 8-8 record in his fifth season at the helm.

While some of the fired coaches might have seen it coming, Chudzinski certainly didn’t despite going 4-12 and losing his final seven games and 10 of 11.

“I was shocked and disappointed to hear the news that I was fired,” said Chudzinski, who grew up a Browns fan. “I am a Cleveland Brown to the core, and always will be. It was an honor to lead our players and coaches, and I appreciate their dedication and sacrifice. I was more excited than ever for this team, as I know we were building a great foundation for future success.”

As the coaching searches begin, agents will float the names of their clients — Penn State’s Bill O’Brien seems to be the hottest candidate and has interviewed for Houston’s vacancy. The Texans (2-14), who own the top choice in May’s draft after losing their final 14 games, released coach Gary Kubiak late in the season.

Whoever gets hired in each place will face mammoth rebuilding projects. Overall, the six teams seeking new coaches went 24-71-1.

Shanahan had one season remaining on a five-year contract worth about $7 million a season. He blamed salary cap restraints for part of the Redskins’ collapse from NFC East champion in 2012 to 3-13 and eight consecutive losses.

Washington was hit with a $36 million salary cap penalty over two seasons for dumping salaries into the 2010 uncapped season, and Shanahan said it prevented the team from pursuing free agents it had targeted.

But his real undoing, along with the poor records in three of his four seasons, was a contentious relationship with star quarterback Robert Griffin III. RG3 did not speak with the media on Monday.

Frazier took over for Brad Childress in Minnesota for the final six games of 2010. He got the Vikings to the playoffs as a wild card last season, riding an MVP year from running back Adrian Peterson. But he never solved the Vikings’ quarterback situation — three QBs started in 2013 — and the defense, Frazier’s specialty, ranked 31st overall and against the pass.

“It’s a harsh business,” safety Harrison Smith said. “As a player, we all love coach Frazier, as a coach, as a man. You can’t meet a better guy. And also as a player, we didn’t make enough plays on the field. So you just feel like you let him down a little bit.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Dwyane Wade Fathers Child During Break from Gabrielle Union

In Celebrity Life on December 30, 2013 at 10:09 pm

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Dwyane Wade fathered a son during a temporary split from his now-fiancée Gabrielle Union earlier this year, Entertainment Tonight reports.

The actress, 41, was aware of the child before she accepted the Miami Heat guard’s proposal on Dec. 21, a source tells the show, and the pair have worked through the issue privately. Wade, 31, has known the baby’s mother for years and recently visited with his new son.

Wade spoke to Jay Leno on The Tonight Show in September about the break from Union, whom he had dated since 2009. The separation was largely due to the demands of their work lives, he explained.

“Celebrity relationships [are] very hard,” he says. “This was a big year for us and our relationship from the standpoint of she was shooting her show Being Mary Jane, going most of the year. I was dealing with my injuries, trying to win a championship, so we kinda took a step back.”

“We supported each other … but at the end of the day we came back together and [said], ‘Listen, we want to continue this, we want to continue to try to get better each day,’ and she’s been with me, and I’ve been with her all summer long. We’re going strong now.”

The couple shared a behind-the-scenes look at their holiday photo shoot, which features some adorable outtakes with Zion and Zaire, Wade’s two sons with ex-wife Siohvaughn Funches, as well as nephew Dahveon, whom he raises.

4 Reasons the Housing Bubble May Pop in 2014

In Top This on December 30, 2013 at 10:07 pm

by Rick Aristotle Munarrizby Dec 30th 2013 11:00AM

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The housing rebound is on a roll. Home prices continue to inch higher, and the number of indicators showing economic improvement suggest we’ll enjoy an even rosier 2014, when the Fed won’t have to do quite as much to keep the good times going.

However, there are also more than a few hints that in the year ahead, the housing market’s rebound may take a breather — or we may experience something far worse. Let’s take a look at some of the warning signs.

1. Mortgage Rates Are Moving Higher

The economy’s gradually getting on track, and that has resulted in interest rates inching higher. Naturally, the higher the rate, the less bang potential homebuyers get for their bucks.

There’s little reason to expect this trend to reverse. The Fed recently announced that it’s ready to begin tapering its rate-suppression plan by reducing its bond purchases by $10 billion a month. Easing up on this latest round of quantitative easing — QE3 — will have an impact on interest rates. After all, if the Fed’s $85 billion in monthly bond purchases created the illusion of demand, what will the reduction do to the real demand?

In other words, interest rates for a range of investments are likely to continue inching higher in the year ahead. There’s a reason why savvy investors have been pouring money out of bond mutual funds in recent months as higher rates result in lower bond prices.

2. It’s No Longer House-Hunting Season

The National Association of Realtors has reported three consecutive months of declines in existing home sales.

Housing bulls will argue that the market is still strong. The association representing real estate professionals still expects 5.1 million homes to be ultimately sold in 2013, and that’s the highest tally since 2007. Is that worth bragging about? Is it merely a coincidence that 2007 was when the last housing bubble popped?

Either way, the last several months have not been kind, and that’s enough to kill any of the favorable momentum the market experienced earlier in the year when rates were bottoming out.

3. The Mortgage Market is Starting to Dry Up

With homes getting more expensive and interest rates getting higher, you might expect interest in buying to dry up, and that’s exactly what’s been happening.

Weekly home mortgage applications have fallen to their lowest level since late 2000. The spike in rates has killed off refinancing applications, but loans for home purchases are also starting to slump according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

That certainly isn’t a good sign for a housing market where a rebound in prices needs a fluid mortgage market to keep sales coming at a reasonable pace.

4. Home Builders Are Getting Greedy

All of these factors would seem to be warning signs for developers, but they don’t seem to be heeding the cautionary signals. Housing starts are soaring as U.S. home builders broke ground on new homes last month at the quickest pace in five years.

It’s easy to see why the builders are getting more aggressive given the rising home prices, but who is going to pay for these new digs in 2014?

In its latest quarter, luxury home builder Toll Brothers (TOL) reported that the average price of its new homes clocked in at $703,000, a whopping 21 percent ahead of what it was charging a year earlier. However, there’s a “Toll” to be paid for this sort of behavior in the market. Orders for new Toll Brothers homes fell by 10 percent during the quarter.

Toll isn’t the only developer experiencing a slide in orders. So what will happen after all of the new construction that’s underway hits the market next year?

The housing market bubble may not pop in 2014, but it’s highly likely that it will lose some of its sudsy essence.

Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our newsletter services free for 30 days.

Administration under pressure to appoint Obamacare CEO

In Health, Politics on December 29, 2013 at 4:56 pm

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FILE – In this Sept. 27, 2013, file photo, MNsure insurance exchange representatives Carlos Villanueva, left, and Emily Joyce prepare for the Oct. 1 open enrollment debut at the center in St. Paul, Minn. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)

(Reuters) – The White House is coming under pressure from some of its closest allies on healthcare reform to name a chief executive to run its federal health insurance marketplace and allay the concerns of insurers after the rocky rollout of Obamacare.

Advocates have been quietly pushing the idea of a CEO who would set marketplace rules, coordinate with insurers and state regulators on the health plans offered for sale, supervise enrollment campaigns and oversee technology, according to several sources familiar with discussions between advocates and the Obama administration.

Supporters of the idea say it could help regain the trust of insurers and others whose confidence in the healthcare overhaul has been shaken by the technological woes that crippled the federal HealthCare.gov insurance shopping website and the flurry of sometimes-confusing administration rule changes that followed.

The advocates include former White House adviser Ezekiel Emanuel, the brother of President Barack Obama’s former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, and the Center for American Progress, the Washington think tank founded by John Podesta, the president’s newly appointed senior counselor.

The White House is not embracing the idea of creating a CEO, administration officials said.

“This isn’t happening. It’s not being considered,” a senior administration official told Reuters.

Some healthcare reform allies say the complexity of the federal marketplace requires a CEO-type figure with clear authority and knowledge of how insurance markets work.

Obama’s healthcare overhaul aims to provide health coverage to millions of uninsured or under-insured Americans by offering private insurance at federally subsidized rates through new online health insurance marketplaces in all 50 states and in Washington, D.C.

Only 14 states opted to create and operate their own exchanges, leaving the Obama administration to operate a federal marketplace for the remaining 36 states that can be accessed through HealthCare.gov.

The marketplace is now officially the responsibility of the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and its administrator, Marilyn Tavenner. Healthcare experts say there is no specific official dedicated to running the operation.

A CMS spokesman said exchange functions overlap across different groups within the agency’s Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight.

The lack of a clear decision-making hierarchy was identified as a liability months before the disastrous October 1 launch of HealthCare.gov by the consulting firm McKinsey & Co.

Obama adviser Jeffrey Zients, who rescued the website from crippling technical glitches last month, also identified the lack of effective management as a problem.

POTENTIAL CEO CANDIDATES

Former Microsoft executive Kurt DelBene has replaced Zients as website manager, at least through the first half of 2014.

“We’re fortunate that Kurt DelBene is now part of the administration – there’s no one better able to help us keep moving forward to make affordable, quality health insurance available to as many Americans as possible,” Obama healthcare adviser Phil Schiliro said in a statement to Reuters.

The White House appears, for now, to be concentrating on ironing out the remaining glitches in HealthCare.gov to ensure millions more people are able to sign up for coverage in 2014. Good enrollment numbers are seen by both critics and supporters of Obamacare as a key measure of the program’s success.

“So my sense is that they’re not thinking about appointing a CEO in the short term,” said Topher Spiro, a healthcare analyst with the Center for American Progress.

The CEO proposal calls for removing day-to-day control of the marketplace from the CMS bureaucracy and placing it under a leadership structure like those used in some of the more successful state-run marketplaces, including California.

The new team would be managed by a CEO, or an executive director, who would run the marketplace like a business and answer directly to the White House, sources familiar with the discussions say.

They point to insurance industry and healthcare veterans as potential candidates, including former Aetna CEO Ronald Williams, former Kaiser Permanente CEO George Halvorson and Jon Kingsdale, who ran the Massachusetts health exchange established under former Governor Mitt Romney’s 2006 healthcare reforms. None of the three was available for comment.

Healthcare experts say the idea should have been taken up by the administration years ago.

“It’s the right thing to do. It’s just two years late,” said Mike Leavitt, the Republican former Utah governor who oversaw the rollout of the prescription drug program known as Medicare Part D as U.S. health and human services secretary under President George W. Bush.

“The administration is confronted by a series of problems they cannot solve on their own. They do not possess internally the competencies or the exposure or the information,” he told Reuters.

Emanuel, one of the administration’s longest-standing allies on healthcare reform, recommended a marketplace CEO in an October 22 Op-Ed article in the New York Times, calling it one of five things the White House could do to fix Obamacare.

“The candidate should have management experience, knowledge of how both the government and health insurance industry work, and at least some familiarity with IT (information technology) systems. Obviously this is a tall order, but there are such people. And the administration needs to hire one immediately,” he wrote.

The administration has adopted Emanuel’s four other recommendations: better window-shopping features for HealthCare.gov; a concerted effort to win back public trust; a focus on the customer shopping experience; and a public outreach campaign to engage young adults.

(Reporting by David Morgan in Washington; Editing by Karey Van Hall, Michele Gershberg, Ross Colvin and Will Dunham)

Root for the Postal Service to survive

In Top This on December 29, 2013 at 4:43 pm

By Bob Greene, CNN Contributor

updated 9:08 AM EST, Sun December 29, 2013

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Editor’s note: CNN Contributor Bob Greene is a best-selling author whose 25 books include “Late Edition: A Love Story”; “When We Get to Surf City: A Journey Through America in Pursuit of Rock and Roll, Friendship, and Dreams”; and “Once Upon a Town: The Miracle of the North Platte Canteen.”

(CNN) — You wonder what a visitor from outer space — or a visitor from the future — would make of it.

It’s a scene we take for granted — six days a week, it has been a routine part of life in every city, town and village in the United States.

Bob Greene
Bob Greene

A man or a woman, carrying a satchel, walks from house to house, from apartment building to apartment building. No one has summoned the person with the satchel; he or she is expected to show up each day without being asked.

It’s the postal carrier. And because the presence of the postal carrier has for so long been such a familiar sight, perhaps only that visitor from outer space or from the future would be startled by what he was observing:

The sight of other people also outdoors, all over town, communicating instantly with each other at the touch of a button, smiling and looking down at the little screens in their palms — grinning at the through-the-air responses they’re receiving from friends, tapping at the screens to reply anew. Words flying from person to person, nonstop, on the go.

As, meanwhile, on those same sidewalks, the men and women with the satchels weave their way through the people with the screens, on their appointed rounds to deliver words by hand.

The visitor from space, or from a future century, might think this scene — mailbag luggers walking amid screen tappers — is like witnessing ox carts amid hovercraft.

As might an efficiency expert, or a business consultant.

Which summarizes the continuing headache faced by officials in charge of the United States Postal Service. The price of a first-class stamp is going up again in the new year: On January 26, it will increase by three cents, to 49 cents per letter. Federal regulators last week approved the rise on an allegedly temporary basis — the higher rate is supposed to last for no more than two years — but no one really expects it to go back down.

The Postal Service reports that it lost $5 billion in the last fiscal year — and this is being presented as good news. The year before, it lost almost $16 billion. But there are fewer and fewer envelopes in those satchels, so each stamp will come with a higher price tag; the billions of dollars the Postal Service is required to pay each year to pre-fund health care for future retirees is a burden heavier than anything that would fit into a mail sack.

Yet there are reasons to hope that the Postal Service finds a way to stay around for a very long time.

The Postal Service, like UPS, FedEx and other private delivery companies, is a stand-alone business. It is expected to sustain itself; it does not depend on tax money.

But, unlike UPS and FedEx, the Postal Service must go to Congress to get explicit approval for the rates it charges, and for many of the rules under which it operates. This is why it costs the same amount to send a letter across the country as it does to send a letter to the next town. This is why mail service is universal — why those carriers are required to show up each day at virtually every address in the United States.

Forty-nine cents may seem like a lot to mail a first-class letter. But if the Postal Service were to collapse under financial pressures and competition from digital means of communication — if the Postal Service had to throw in the towel — do you really think that UPS or FedEx or some other courier service would take your envelope across the country for 49 cents?

Over the Christmas holiday, the failures by UPS and FedEx to get packages to some customers on time were prominent in the news. As efficient as UPS and FedEx usually are, the existence and ubiquity of the Postal Service has a lot to do with what keeps them on their toes. Their business model is: We cost more than the Postal Service, but because of that you can count on us to be reliable and accountable to you. If the Postal Service were to go away — if that check on the other carriers, that extra impetus for them to excel, were to be removed — what would the impact be on customers and businesses? Could or would the other carriers pick up the slack, at a price that didn’t dismay people?

One hopeful sign for the Postal Service has come from an unlikely source: Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon. Amazon has announced that it will be delivering its packages on Sundays — and that to deliver those packages it has arranged to use employees of the Postal Service. The Postal Service has said that it is glad to have the business. It without question can use the revenue.

Can daily delivery of mail continue forever in a digital world? It’s difficult to imagine how. In Canada, the postal service has informed citizens that, over the next five years, it will stop all door-to-door delivery of letters and concentrate on delivering packages. Most Canadians are already asked to pick up letters at community mailbox clusters in neighborhoods or apartment buildings; soon, everyone will. It’s the future.

Universal, inexpensive mail delivery in the United States has been one of the miracles of the nation’s long story; if someone were assigned to build a system like it from scratch today — carriers reporting to every U.S. address, six days a week, to drop off mail and see if there is any mail to go out, all for pocket change — that person would have to concede: It can’t be done.

But it was done, and, for now, it’s still here. For those who, in the digital era, casually say that they’d be just as happy if the Postal Service were to simply disappear:

Be careful what you wish for.

After Heart Surgery, Physical Inactivity Linked With Depression Risk

In Health on December 29, 2013 at 4:35 pm

Posted: 12/29/2013 10:02 am EST
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If you’ve just undergone heart surgery, the best thing you can do for your mental health may be to get moving.

A new study in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology shows an association between physical inactivity after cardiac surgery and increased likelihood of developing depression — a known risk factor for heart complications.

However, the researchers from the University of Manitoba and St. Boniface General Hospital were quick to note that the study only showed an association between depression and physical inactivity after cardiac surgery — it did not say whether inactivity led to depression, or if depression then spurred inactivity.

The new study is based on data from 436 patients who were undergoing cardiac surgery. Their depression levels and physical activity were analyzed before their surgery, right after they were discharged from the hospital, and three months and six months after their surgeries.

Researchers found that 23 percent of the patients were depressed before the surgery, 37 percent were depressed right after being discharged, 21 percent were depressed three months out from the surgery and 23 percent were depressed six months out from the surgery.

Being physically inactive before the surgery was associated with a doubled risk of depressive symptoms before undergoing surgery, researchers found. In addition, being physically inactive was associated with experiencing depression symptoms six months after receiving the surgery.

Researchers also found that more than half — 58 percent — of people who were considered “at risk” for depression before undergoing the surgery went on to develop clinical depression after the surgery. Meanwhile, just 28 percent of people who were considered “depression naive” before the surgery went on to develop clinical depression.

Stressful events were also found to be associated with development of depression post-surgery, researchers said.

In addition, people who were not depressed before undergoing surgery but who went on to develop depressive symptoms three to six months after surgery, were more likely to decrease physical activity compared with people who did not go on to develop depression.

Heroes of the Marathon Bombing Named Bostonians of the Year

In Top This on December 22, 2013 at 12:46 pm

By K.C. Blumm

12/21/2013 at 05:45 PM EST
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When so many were fearfully running away from the site of the Boston Marathon bombings, these people ran towards it to help the injured.

That’s why Natalie Stavas, Dan Marshall and Larry Hittinger have been named The Boston Globe Magazine’s 2013 Bostonians of the Year.

“They demonstrated bravery beyond measure, putting their lives in danger to help save the lives of strangers,” says Suzanne Althoff, the magazine’s editor.

High school custodian Marshall, 33, was waiting for a friend at the finish line on Apr. 15 and suffered a concussion during the second explosion. He was pulled to safety but ran back to help those who were injured, including Martin Richard, the 8-year-old who was one of three people killed in the attack.

Stavras, a pediatric resident, was competing in her fourth Boston Marathon and jumped over a barricade to get to the finish line. The 32-year-old refused to leave the area, despite being told to do so, and helped to reassure and aid some of the more than 200 victims and usher them to ambulances.

Hittinger, 57, was having a drink at the Atlantic Fish Company when the first bomb went off and rushed to assist an 11-year-old, finding a first responder and helping to carry the boy to an ambulance. The ironworker and grandfather was calm amid the chaos, and despite his only emergency training being some first aid courses taken almost 40 years ago, he helped several of the wounded to ambulances.

“Their courageous acts embody the strength of this city in the wake of this tragic event,” Althoff says.

Their stories will be featured in a special 10th anniversary edition of The Boston Globe Magazine, out Dec. 22.

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