Deepavali celebrated with fervour in TN

first_imgChennai, Oct 18 (PTI) Deepavali, the festival of lights, was celebrated with traditional fervour and joy across Tamil Nadu today. Sporting bright new clothes, people, especially children, celebrated the festival by bursting crackers, exchanged greetings and sweets with neighbours and friends. In Tamil Nadus cracker city of Sivakasi, a 10-year-old boy died on the spot when he accidentally lit a box containing fire crackers, which burst. Fire and Rescue Services personnel here said they received a couple of calls of blaze due to crackers adding these were “minor ones,” and that there were no loss or damage to property and no one sustained serious injuries. Tamil Nadu, known for fans of top Tamil actors making a beeline to cinema theatres to watch the Deepavali release of their favourite stars was no exception this year too. Film buffs, and fans of top actor Vijay whose “Mersel,” hit the screens today, thronged cinema halls. Many fans of the actor put up banners, flex boards in cinema halls, multiplexes hailing the actor and wishing the new movie a big success at the box office. A section of them even did “milk abishekam,” to the cut out of the actor in some places. Actor Sarath Kumars “Chennaiyil Oru Naal-2” is among the other movies that hit the screens today. Prominent places of worship like the Meenakshi temple in Madurai, Ramanathaswamy temple in Ramanathapuram, Ranganathaswamy temple in Tiruchirappalli and Kamakshi temple in Kanchipuram saw devotees visiting in good numbers on the occasion of the festival. Sweets, a major feature of the festival saw sweet outlets doing a brisk business. Several popular traditional sweets like Tirunelveli Halwa, Srivilliputhur Palkova, Tiruvaiyaru Asoka Halwa, were among the much sought after sweet varieties. BJP State President Tamilisai Soundararajan distributed crackers to children and celebrated the festival by lighting sparklers with them here. Chennai Police Commissioner A K Viswanathan celebrated the festival with police personnel at the Police Commissioners office here by distributing sweets to them and bursting crackers. Television channels beamed special programmes on the occasion of the festival. State-run TASMAC liquor outlet chain across the State expect a good sale as was seen in previous years during Deepavali. Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board had appealed to the public to “restrict” bursting of crackers to the “maximum extent possible,” on Deepavali as prevailing weather conditions “are not conducive.” Various parts of the State has been experiencing sporadic spells of rains with overcast skies. Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit, Chief Minister K Palaniswami and other leaders had greeted the people on Deepavali. PTI VGN COR SSN RC MVVadvertisementlast_img read more

Households that either would like to be exempted f

first_imgHouseholds that either would like to be exempted from paying the UK licence fee and not receive BBC services, or who would like to pay a reduced fee, are likely to change their minds if deprived of the pubcaster’s content, according to a study carried out by MTM for the broadcaster.The BBC commissioned the survey to understand what households that said they would forgo the BBC or who thought the licence fee was too high valued and what, if anything, they would miss. MTM surveyed 70 households nationally, of which 22 said they would prefer to pay nothing and not receive the BBC and 24 said they would be willing to pay less than the current licence fee for the current BBC. Twenty-two of the surveyed households said they would be willing to pay the licence fee or more to continue to receive services.All members of each household agreed to forgo BBC access across all platforms for nine days. Apps and websites were removed or blocked, TV channels locked, and pre-set radio stations changed.At the end of the period, the survey found that of the 48 households who originally said they would prefer to not pay at all and not receive the BBC, or who wanted to pay a lower licence fee, 33 changed their minds and said they were now willing to pay the full licence fee for the BBC.Participants cited being unable to find alternatives for programmes and services they enjoy on the BBC; valuing advert-free programmes, not being able to find educational content to match CBBC and CBeebies, missing access to Red Button and BBC iPlayer, news and sport content and an inability to find a replacement for BBC Radio 2 among the reasons for changing their mind.Twenty-one out of the 22 households who originally said that they were happy to pay the licence fee or more still held this view, and 15 of these households believed this even more strongly, according to the BBC.“This rigorous study enabled us to follow a group of UK households through their weekly routine to explore their media habits and to identify those occasions – the big must-see shows or the small moments woven into their daily lives – where they felt a sense of loss without the BBC,” said Nick North, director of BBC Audiences.“The results showed overwhelmingly that most people felt they got great value from the BBC when they came to realise the full range and breadth of what we provide – often in quite stark contrast to what they thought in advance of the experiment.”last_img read more

Some 99 of TV viewers admitted to multitasking wh

first_imgSome 99% of TV viewers admitted to multitasking while watching TV, according to TiVo’s third Annual TiVo Multitasking and Social Media TV Survey.The survey, which polled 806 viewers, found that 53% multitask “every time or almost every time” they watch TV. However, it also said that viewers still focus “primarily or exclusively” on the TV screen 73% of the time.Respondents said they primarily pay attention to TV over another device 47% of the time, with an additional 26% of time spent only watching TV and not multitasking.“In a world where so many devices are battling to divert us, it is heartening to know that the video content on the screen is still commanding the lion’s share of peoples’ attention,” said TiVo Chief Research Officer Jonathan Steuer.“From texts to doorbells to friends and family, distractions abound, but when it is time to watch television, respondents told us viewing was their primary focus.”Smartphones ranked as the most-used device for multitaskers at 34% percent, followed by laptops at 14% and tablets at 13%.last_img read more

ASA endorses new proposal that protects patients from surprise medical bills

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)May 24 2019The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) proudly endorses the comprehensive proposal the “Protecting People from Surprise Medical Bills Act” released today that protects patients from surprise medical bills – unanticipated bills from providers not in patients’ insurance network. ASA commends Representatives Raul Ruiz, M.D. (D-CA), Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN), Joseph Morelle (D-NY), Van Taylor (R-TX), Ami Bera, M.D. (D-CA), Larry Bucshon, M.D. (R-IN), Donna Shalala (D-FL), and Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) for this important legislation. Related StoriesPersonalizing Nutritional Medicine With the Power of NMRAlmost 74% of Americans show concern about burnout among healthcare professionalsFSMB releases new report surveying digital credentials in healthcareA recent study found that more than 90 percent of claims filed by physician anesthesiologists are in-network and do not involve unanticipated bills from out-of-network providers. However, ASA believes additional work is necessary to address those small number of cases where patients receive surprise bills. ASA commends Reps. Ruiz and the cosponsors for their proposal based on the successful New York state model – a model with robust patient protections that removes patients from billing disputes and holds them harmless from surprise medical bills. The New York state model has been in place since 2015 and has reduced complaints related to surprise bills while also saving health care dollars.During the ASA’s annual fly-in last week, more than 600 physician anesthesiologists met with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to advocate for a legislative solution aligned with this recent proposal. ASA leadership and staff have also been involved in several Congressional discussions about fair solutions to this issue. The approach to addressing the problem of surprise medical bills outlined by Congressmen Ruiz and Roe is a fair proposal that puts patients first by holding them harmless from unanticipated bills. The proposal doesn’t pick winners or losers but instead places the dispute where it should be – between the health care provider and the insurance company. I’m also pleased this proposal helps patients by providing greater transparency of their in-network providers while ensuring an independent dispute resolution system to resolve billing disputes.”ASA President Linda Mason, M.D., FASAcenter_img Source:American Society of Anesthesiologistslast_img read more

Facebook crisis prompts Silicon Valley soulsearching

With Facebook mired in its worst-ever crisis, the rest of Silicon Valley is looking to come to terms with the dark side of its data-driven business model where tech titans have mined fortunes from what people reveal online. Facebook is one of many companies that mine personal data for profit, albeit the most successful, along with Google There are signs the crisis could spread to other internet firms that have made no secret about using what they glean from digital data for targeted advertising.That same personal data can be used effectively by those with malicious intent when it comes to influencing people.”It is Facebook this week, but it could be others,” tech industry analyst Rob Enderle said of the crisis of confidence laying siege to the social network.”At the very least, this is the common problem across the tech industry.”The tumultuous week ended with Facebook losing 14 percent of its market value, wiping out more than $50 billion from one of the biggest and most powerful companies.A public apology by Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg failed to quell outrage over the hijacking of personal data from millions of people by Cambridge Analytica.Belatedly speaking out about the harvesting of Facebook user data by the British firm linked to President Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign, Zuckerberg admitted to betraying the trust of its more than two billion users, and promised to “step up.”But some point out that Facebook is just one of many firms which mine data for profit —- albeit the most successful, along with Google—as digital lifestyles take root around the world.”Phones, apps, and the web are so indispensable to our daily lives—a testament to the benefits they give us—that we’ve become a captive audience,” the nonprofit Center for Humane Technology said. Quitting Facebook may be harder than it seems because of the social network’s importance to consumers and advertisers © 2018 AFP High-profile entrepreneur Elon Musk joined the critical chorus on Friday, saying in an exchange on Twitter that he was shutting down the Facebook accounts of his Tesla and SpaceX enterprises.”What’s Facebook?” Musk quipped rhetorically in an exchange on Twitter.While it may seem tempting to join a movement to abandon Facebook, it does raise the question of where one will go to stay connected with friends, celebrities, or businesses that have become part of the fabric of the online community.Facebook is also intertwined in the fabric of the web, with its “like” buttons and communities which rely on its connections.New York University marketing professor Scott Galloway said advertisers could have an impact if they left Facebook but said it was unlikely to lose many of its five million ad customers.”Advertisers have just two platforms to market their products online,” Galloway said in a blog post. Citation: Facebook crisis prompts Silicon Valley soul-searching (2018, March 24) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-03-facebook-crisis-prompts-silicon-valley.html Explore further “Advertisers need Facebook much more than Facebook needs any one, or thousand, advertisers.”Questioning the modelThe data scandal has shined a spotlight on the unabashed practice of internet companies using information people willingly provide to make money in exchange for free services or content.Amazon uses what it knows about online shoppers to target offerings or deals.Google-owned Waymo and ride-share firm Uber are among companies developing self-driving vehicle technology with the help of data collected by people using them on roads.Smart watches boast ability to aid medical research with health data amassed from wearers, and Google has dabbled with using search data to model trends in the spread of flu.Enderle lamented that people using online services can be treated as “digital slaves” exploited to the benefit of advertisers.”They are thinking that the people who use the product don’t matter,” Enderle contended.”Once you do that, you will make a lot of mistakes. We are at risk of losing the tech market one company at a time.” You’re the product: Facebook’s business model explained Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s belated apology did little to quell the crisis at the social network, which has called into question the data-driven business model which is the lifeblood of Silicon Valley “With two billion people plugged into these devices, technology companies have inadvertently enabled a direct channel to manipulate entire societies with unprecedented precision.”Early Facebook investor Roger McNamee argued in a USA Today opinion piece that “Russia never would have been able to conduct information warfare against the United States” in 2016 without the social network as well as Twitter and Google.- Hard to quit?-What happens now? Some users are joining the #deleteFacebook movement, but it remains unclear if advertisers will abandon the important platform. 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. read more

Investors flee Bayer after second glyphosate trial blow Update

first_img 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. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has listed Roundup as “probably carcinogenic” Its glyphosate weedkillers Roundup and Ranger Pro substantially contributed to the terminal illness, they judged.Monsanto was initially ordered to pay $289 million to Johnson, who has two young sons and is in the end stages of his cancer, before the damages were reduced to $78.5 million.Bayer has filed an appeal, betting it can do better at convincing judges in appeals courts than sceptical juries in lower tribunals.The two US cases have turned on a 2015 finding from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an arm of the World Health Organization, that Roundup is “probably carcinogenic”.But Bayer points to more recent findings from regulators around the world, especially in advanced economies like the US, Europe and Canada, and reams of scientific studies as proof of the safety of its product.”Regulatory authorities around the world consider glyphosate-based herbicides as safe when used as directed,” the group said in its statement, highlighting “800 rigorous studies” of glyphosate’s effects.Its confidence in its evidence and its legal strategy may not be enough to convince investors to hold on through the turbulence, IG’s Beauchamp said.”If you are expecting stock markets as a whole to do better then you don’t want to be stuck with the one company that is facing huge legal claims,” he judged.”A lot of (investors) will probably decide to cut back exposure quite dramatically and see how it plays out.” © 2019 AFP A wave of lawsuits has put pressure on Bayer since its $63-billion takeover of Monsanto last year, spooking investors who worry damages payouts could quickly mount into the billions if the firm fails to convince courts its product is safe.Chief executive Werner Baumann said last month the company faced a total of 11,200 US cases over Roundup and its active ingredient glyphosate, a herbicide key to Monsanto’s business model that has come in for intense scrutiny around the world.That mass of lawsuits meant markets shuddered after a federal court finding Tuesday that Roundup was behind the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma suffered by 70-year-old Edwin Hardeman, who used the product for decades on the garden at his California home.The second major legal setback in a year set the Leverkusen-based group’s stock ebbing well into Wednesday trading after an initial plunge.By 11:20 am in Frankfurt (1020 GMT), the shares were trading down 13.2 percent at 60.53 euros ($68.71), dragging down the DAX index of blue-chip German shares.Since the merger was completed, Bayer’s stock has shed almost 40 percent of its value.Tuesday’s “decision… has no impact on future cases and trials because each one has its own factual and legal circumstances,” Bayer said in a statement, adding that it stood behind science it says demonstrates glyphosate is safe.But IG analyst Chris Beauchamp told AFP the prospect of thousands of plaintiffs potentially being awarded tens of millions of dollars each means investors “start doing the numbers, and it doesn’t look very pretty at all”.The latest case has so far brought no damages award against Bayer, as jurors now have to decide whether Monsanto is liable for the harm suffered by Hardeman.”Monsanto has not taken a responsible, objective approach to the safety of Roundup,” Hardeman’s lawyers Aimee Wagstaff and Jennifer Moore said in a joint statement. “Instead, it is clear from Monsanto’s actions that it does not particularly care whether its product is in fact giving people cancer,” they alleged.Science battleJurors in the earlier California state court case of Dewayne “Lee” Johnson, a school groundskeeper who suffers from terminal non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, found in August that Monsanto acted with “malice”. Explore further The threat to German chemical giant Bayer and subsidiary Monsanto from US litigation swelled Wednesday, when its share price plunged after a jury ruled weedkiller Roundup was a “substantial factor” in an amateur gardener’s cancer. Bayer shares plunge after Monsanto cancer ruling A US jury has found that the Roundup weedkiller of Bayer’s recently-acquired Monsanto caused cancer in a man who sprayed it on his garden over decades Citation: Investors flee Bayer after second glyphosate trial blow (Update) (2019, March 20) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-03-bayer-plunge-cancer.htmllast_img read more

New technology aims to improve taste shelf life production of beer food

first_img Provided by Purdue University Just in time for summer—a new technology to improve the taste, quality and shelf life of juice and other beverages, and help craft brewers make more beer. Citation: New technology aims to improve taste, shelf life, production of beer, food (2019, June 14) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-06-technology-aims-shelf-life-production.html Explore further Food technology goes from the moon to grocery aisle, improving food production and quality, tastecenter_img Credit: CC0 Public Domain 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. Purdue University-affiliated startup Induction Food Systems (IFS) has finished the major first round of testing on a technology system to provide on-demand heating options for food and beverage manufacturers.”We were tired of seeing the old-school processes for heating food and beverages during manufacturing,” said entrepreneur Francesco Aimone from Columbia University, who co-founded IFS with George Sadler, an alumnus of Purdue’s College of Agriculture. “Those legacy systems like steam are slow, energy-consuming and can take away some of the food’s natural flavors and textures.”IFS plans to launch in the next few months its first go-to-market line, which involves a fluid heating system for use in the manufacturing of beer, water products and juices.Aimone said their technology increases the speed and efficiency for producing beverages and foods, and helps manufacturers grow. He said the IFS on-demand heating system uses plug-and-play heating components involving electromagnetic energy and induction, which has been shown to be about six times more precise in controlling temperature than conventional methods.IFS’ technology uses a coil and core design in its heating systems. It uses solid-state electronics to generate electromagnetic energy instead of the traditional combustion that creates steam in boilers.”We know that manufacturers need and want more nimble, responsive and sustainable heating options,” Aimone said. “We are prepared to meet those needs with our technology.”Aimone said their technology is part of a $20 billion market for heating equipment in the food and beverage segment.Aimone said the next focus for the startup is to address the problem of fouling—which is sticky substances left behind after processing—for manufacturers.”It’s similar to when you are making eggs and you have the gunk stuck to your pan when you’re preparing them,” Aimone said. “Our preliminary testing shows we can reduce fouling in some applications by up to 30 percent.”last_img read more