4-Star Point Guard Cassius Winston Commits To Michigan State

first_imgCassius Winston committing to Michigan State at a press conference.Cassius Winston Michigan State CommitMichigan State head coach Tom Izzo has done it again. Friday, the Spartans officially landed the services of four-star point guard Cassius Winston. Winston chose MSU over Stanford and Pittsburgh during a ceremony at his high school – Detroit Jesuit. Cassius Winston selects @msubasketball today! pic.twitter.com/yOKAYj5q8C— Athletics (@udjesuitsports) September 18, 2015Detroit Jesuit guard Cassius Winston just committed to Michigan State. Tom Izzo may be on the verge of his best recruiting class ever.— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) September 18, 2015Winston, who is listed at 6-foot-2, 194 pounds on 247Sports, joins five-star guard Joshua Langford and four-star power forward Nick Ward in Michigan State’s 2016 class. If the Spartans are also able to land five-star small forward Miles Bridges, they may have the top recruiting class in the entire country.last_img read more

Nine Trades See Drop in November Schedule Reliability

first_imgzoom Nine of the 12 trades saw a decrease in schedule reliability from October 2017 to November 2017, intelligence provider CargoSmart informed.The North America-Oceania trade, which had the highest reliability in previous months, experienced the largest decrement in reliability, decreasing by 24.8% from 86.2% in October 2017 to 61.4% in November 2017.The Europe-Middle East trade experienced the largest improvement in reliability, increasing by 9.8%, from 63.3% in October 2017 to 73.1% in November 2017.The Europe-South America trade had the highest reliability with 83.8% in November 2017.Carriers’ overall on-time schedule reliability decreased by 0.6%, from 67.6% in October 2017 to 67% in November 2017. The top five most reliable carriers in November 2017 were CCNI, Safmarine, OOCL, Evergreen, and COSCO with an average on-time performance of 77.8%, 75.4%, 74.3%, 73.9%, and 73.5% respectively.last_img read more

Committee hears Glenn bill banning sex between prostitutes police

first_img23May Committee hears Glenn bill banning sex between prostitutes, police Categories: Glenn News,News State Rep. Gary Glenn, of Larkin Township, testified before the House Law and Justice Committee today in support of bipartisan legislation he introduced to make it illegal for law enforcement officials to engage in sexual acts with prostitutes or victims of human trafficking during the course of an investigation.“We’re seeking to close a legal loophole that has Michigan as the last state in the country where police officers having sex with prostitutes or victims of human trafficking is shielded from prosecution,” said Glenn. “There is no evidence that law enforcement officers are taking advantage of this unintended loophole, but this is a matter of principle that Michigan is going to protect victims of human trafficking from abuse.”House Bill 4355 specifically states a police officer is not protected from prosecution if the officer has sex with a prostitute or victim of human trafficking, eliminating an exemption which protected undercover officers investigating prostitution–related crimes. The legislation also seeks to protect victims of human trafficking who have been forced into prostitution.“We’re told there are people who impersonate police officers who use this unintended exemption from prosecution to intimidate women into having sex. That casts an unwarranted cloud over our law enforcement officers,” he said. “This legislation will protect our police and victims of human trafficking.”HB 4355 is under consideration of the committee.State Rep. Gary Glenn testifies before the House Law and Justice Committee today in support of legislation to ban sex between law enforcement officers and prostitutes or victims of human trafficking.last_img read more

Rep VanSingel Recommended grant will help preserve natural resources

first_img State Rep. Scott VanSingel today announced a grant has been recommended by the Natural Resources Trust Fund board to purchase property in Newaygo County that will be used for hunting, fishing and wildlife observation.VanSingel, of Grant, said the $213,800 land acquisition also will contribute to a plan to protect the habitat of the Karner blue butterfly, a federally endangered species that is found locally. Funding for the purchase is comprised of revenue from the lease of state land and is designated on an annual basis in partnership with local governments.“This is a significant acquisition of 354 acres in Newaygo County that will help connect the east and west units of the Muskegon State Game Area,” VanSingel said. “It is a perfect example of how state and local governments can work together to create recreational opportunities for Michigan families.”The property also has 1,430 feet of frontage on Maple Lake and contains 4,100 linear feet of a tributary of the Maple River.The Legislature will consider the recommendations in 2018.##### Categories: News,VanSingel News 20Dec Rep. VanSingel: Recommended grant will help preserve natural resourceslast_img read more

Joe Lewis head of half hour and drama series deve

first_imgJoe Lewis, head of half hour and drama series development at Amazon, is the latest executive to depart from the company after the resignation of Roy Price over sexual harassment claims.Lewis has resigned from the company but has given no reason for his departure, according to Reuters.He joins Morgan Wandell, Amazon’s head of international productions, in his departure from the company this week. Both executives worked under Price, who left the company earlier this month over reports of sexual harassment.TransparentSharon Tal Yguado, head of event series at the company, is now the most senior scripted executive on the team and will replace Lewis in the interim. She joined from Fox Networks Group, where she was executive VP of global scripted programming, in January.Tal Yguado will be working with interim Amazon Studios boss Albert Cheng, who is COO and took over after Price’s departure.Lewis was made head of comedy and drama last year. Before that he oversaw development of half-hour series including Amazon hit Transparent.Formerly, the exec has also worked with Comedy Central and 20th Century Fox.The Hollywood Reporter, which first reported the news, reports Lewis is in discussions with Amazon over a production deal.last_img read more

UKTV has shaken up its executive leadership team

first_imgUKTV has shaken up its executive leadership team, following the separation of BBC Studios’ and Discovery’s joint interest in the company, which sees BBC Studios take full ownership of UKTV. Marcus Arthur, president of BBC Studios UK & Ireland is UKTV’s new CEO, replacing Darren Childs who announced his departure earlier this year. Suzanne Burrows, Sam Tewungwa and Sarah Sparkes have joined in the roles of chief financial officer, chief commercial officer and senior counsel respectively. All three will be based at UKTV’s office in Hammersmith and they hold these positions in conjunction with their current roles at BBC Studios UK, which are finance director for the UK Region and global operations, commercial director UK, and director of business and legal affairs, UK. Finally, Simon Michaelides, who was UKTV’s chief commercial officer, is taking on the role of chief transformation officer in the new structure, and Simon Brown’s current role is expanding to include responsibility for strategy across UKTV and BBC Studios UK region. His new title is Director Strategy BBC Studios UK and Strategy, Insight & Regulatory Affairs UKTV. UKTV’s Leadership team also includes Zoe Clapp, chief marketing and communications officer, Sinead Greenaway, chief technology and operations officer, Claire Astley, HR director, Steve North, genre general manager for comedy and entertainment, Adrian Willis, genre general manager for Drama & Lifestyle and Richard Watsham, director of commissioning.last_img read more

Drilling Intersects 102 Meters of 197 gpt Gold at

first_imgDrilling Intersects 102 Meters of 1.97 gpt Gold at Columbus Gold’s Paul Isnard Gold Project; Drilling Confirms Depth Extension of Gold MineralizationColumbus Gold Corporation (CGT: TSX-V) (“Columbus Gold”) is pleased to announce results of the initial five (5) core drill holes at its Paul Isnard gold project in French Guiana. The holes confirm depth extension of gold mineralization below shallow holes drilled on the 43-101 compliant 1.9 million ounce Montagne d’Or inferred gold deposit at Paul Isnard in the 1990’s and support the current program of resource expansion through offsetting open-ended gold mineralization indicated by the earlier holes.Robert Giustra, CEO of Columbus Gold, commented: “These drill results validate Columbus Gold’s approach to adding ounces with a lower-risk drilling program designed to infill and to extend the mineralized zones to 200 m vertical depth from surface; a depth amenable to open pit mining.”  Fourteen (14) holes have been completed (assays pending) by Columbus Gold in the current program and drilling is progressing at the rate of about 3,000 meters per month with one drill-rig on a 24 hour basis. Columbus Gold plans to accelerate the current program by engaging a second drill-rig as soon as one can be obtained. Please visit our website for more information about the project. It was more than obvious [at least to me] that a heavy hand showed up in these markets at, or just before, the London p.m. gold fixGold didn’t do a lot on Tuesday, either.  The rally that developed in early Far East trading, ran into a seller just before 11:00 a.m. Hong Kong time…which was the same thing that happened during the Monday trading session.From there, the gold price didn’t do much until the 8:20 a.m. Eastern Comex open.  At that point the dollar index cratered…and gold took off…running into a not-for-profit seller at the London p.m. gold fix which came shortly after 10:00 a.m. in New York.  The high tick at the ‘fix’ was $1,739.10 spot.Despite the fact that the dollar continued to decline, the gold price continued to get sold down until around lunch time on the East coast…and from there traded sideways into the 5:15 p.m. electronic close.Gold finished the Tuesday session at $1,732.50 spot…up only $7.70 on the day.  Net volume was the same as Monday’s…115,000 contracts.It was basically the same story in silver as well, except for the fact that the rally at the Comex open was so strong, that a not-for-profit seller had to enter the market around 9:35 a.m. Eastern, or silver would have been materially higher [and well above $34 spot] by the London gold fix, which occurred thirty minutes later.  The high tick of the day at that point was $33.95 spot.And, like gold, despite the fact that the dollar index was declining steadily, silver continued to get sold off to its New York low…$33.30 spot…which came about 3:20 p.m. in electronic trading.  The price recovered a hair into the close.Silver finished the day at $33.48 spot…up a meager 14 cents from Monday.  Volume, 38,000 contracts, was down quite a bit from Monday’s 48,500 contracts…but still very high.Without doubt, both gold and silver would have finished materially higher if a willing seller hadn’t show up at, or just before, the London p.m. gold fix in both metals…and it was precisely the same story in platinum and palladium as well.The dollar index opened around the 80.40 mark on Monday evening…and chopped around that point until about 3:20 p.m. Hong Kong time, or about forty minutes before the 8:30 a.m. BST London open.  During the next hour, the index dropped a bit over 20 basis points…and then more or less traded sideways until 8:30 a.m. in New York.  Then the index headed south with a vengeance…and by 11:30 a.m. Eastern, the dollar index had shed another 40 odd basis points to its low of the day, which was around 79.82…and then recovered a handful of basis points going into the close.  The dollar closed down 50 points on the day at 79.89.If you check all four precious metal charts from yesterday, you’ll note that all had a very positive reactions to the pre-London open dollar index decline.  And that state of affairs continued in New York when the index did another face plant starting around 8:30 a.m. Eastern.  All the precious metals took off to the upside…and all ran into the same not-for-profit seller at the London p.m. gold fix…except for silver.As I said further up, its rally was so strong, it had to be dealt with early, or it would have blasted through the $34 spot price like a hot knife through soft butter…and that was obviously not going to be allowed…just like it wasn’t allowed in early morning trading in Hong Kong on Monday.  Check the silver chart above for the details.From the London p.m. gold fix, until the dollar index nadir at 11:30 a.m. Eastern, the dollar index and the precious metals prices all declined together.  That’s just too cute for words.There are no market anymore…only interventions.Although the gold price hit its zenith shortly after 10:00 a.m. Eastern time, the shares powered a bit higher, hitting their high of the day around 11:30 a.m. Eastern…which was the dollar index low.  After that they went into decline but, like Monday, finished just off their lows…and the HUI closed up 0.55%.  Excuse me for thinking out loud at this point, but the saw-tooth pattern to this chart tells me that someone with a fairly large position appeared to be selling into this rally.The silver stocks finished mixed…and Nick Laird’s Silver Sentiment Index closed up 0.67%.(Click on image to enlarge)The CME’s Daily Delivery Report was rather interesting.  There was no delivery activity in gold, but there were 270 silver contracts posted for delivery within the Comex-approved warehouse system on Thursday.  The only short/issuer was Jefferies…and the biggest long/stopper was, once again, JPMorgan…with 202 contracts in its in-house [proprietary] trading account…and 23 for their client accounts.  The Issuers and Stoppers Report is worth a quick look…and the link is here.There were no reported changes in either GLD or SLV yesterday.Nick Laird advised me that Sprott added another 40,535 troy ounces of gold to their Physical Gold Trust on Monday.  That should just about cover the entire amount received in their follow-on offering…but I expect there’s a bit more when the underwriters exercise their ‘Greenshoe Option’.Over at the U.S Mint, they reported selling another 50,000 silver eagles…and I do hope that you’re getting your share, dear reader.The action at the Comex-approved depositories on Monday is hardly worth mentioning, as only a few thousand ounces of silver were received…and shipped out.I don’t have very many stories today…and that suits me just fine.  I hope you have the time to skim them all.Despite the positive closes in all four precious metals, it was more than obvious [at least to me] that a heavy hand showed up in these markets at, or just before, the London p.m. gold fix at 3:00 p.m. BST…10:00 a.m. in New York.  With the dollar index in free-fall, the precious metals were not allowed to do what they wanted to do…and that is close the day materially higher than they did on Monday.You’re perfectly entitled to your own opinion on this, but that’s the way it appeared to me…and if you have some other explanation for yesterday’s 180 degree move in the precious metals while the dollar index was falling out of bed, I’d love to hear it.Yesterday, at the 1:30 p.m. Eastern time Comex close, was the cut-off for this Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report…and as I’ve been stating all along, it will not make for happy reading…especially with the huge volumes [and price increases] we’ve seen in both gold and silver since last Tuesday’s cut-off on September 4th.  JPMorgan et al are still acting as short sellers of last resort and preventing the precious metal prices from blowing sky high.  I’ll be curious to know how much larger JPMorgan’s short position in silver has become since last Friday’s report.  Ted Butler says it’s north of 27% of the entire Comex futures market in silver on a net basis.  Will it break 30% on Friday?I’m still of the opinion that we’ve seen a short-term top, but would love to be proven wrong.  A quick engineered sell-off by “da boyz” to relieve the current overbought condition wouldn’t bother me in the slightest…and would be a buying opportunity that I would take full advantage of.  Of course if/when the sell-off does come, it will allow these short sellers of last resort to harvest all the new long positions that have been placed and ring cash register one more time.In Far East trading on their Wednesday, both gold and silver prices chopped slowly higher.  For a change, volumes in both metals are significantly lower than they were on either Monday or Tuesday, so I wouldn’t read a whole heck of a lot into the price action.  The dollar index is down about 11 basis points as London opens for trading at 8:00 a.m. local time…3:00 a.m. Eastern.London trading opened quietly, but that all changed around 9:15 a.m. BST, when gold and silver blasted higher in seconds, not minutes.  Gold was up fifteen bucks…and silver shot through $34 spot at warp speed.  The reaction from JPMorgan et al was instantaneous.  Gold volume jumped from 13,000 contracts to 34,000 contracts in a heart beat…and silver’s volume went from around 4,800 contracts to 9,500 contracts in the same period of time…seconds.  Then, after that assault, it appears that another rally is underway…and silver is now back at $34.00 spot once again…and gold is struggling higher.  No ‘for profit’ seller ever sells into a rally like that…EVER!!!  This is in-your-face price management by the bullion banks…and the farthest thing from a free market that one can imagine.  It was obvious that ‘da boyz’ were lying in wait for this event.Here’s what Kitco’s silver chart looked like at 5:14 a.m. Eastern time…I would guess that this price action was centered around the announcement from the German court…and we’ll probably find out more as the day goes along.Before I sign off today, most of you may already have heard that we have a new writer at Casey Research…and his name is Dennis Miller.  He’s been a regular reader of my column for many years…and now, like me, he’s working for Doug.  Dennis is retired…and has been working tirelessly to rebuild his nest egg since the crash of 2008, when his CDs were recalled and it was cut by 50%.  He’s documented his journey in his book Retirement Reboot…and he thinks highly enough of what I’ve had to say over the years, to mention my name in a couple of places in it.  The book is priced at a pittance…a mere $9.95…and you can find all about it here.  It costs nothing to check it out.It could be an interesting day during Comex trading in New York today.See you tomorrow. 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When humorist and writer Mara Altman was 19 and at

first_imgWhen humorist and writer Mara Altman was 19 and attending college at UCLA, she learned something about herself which, she says, felt devastating at the time.It happened while she was flirting with a server at a Mexican restaurant one evening. His name was Gustavo and he said five simple words: “I like your blonde mustache.”Now, she knew about this blonde mustache. But she had been bleaching it for years in the hopes that no one else would notice it.Altman’s latest book, Gross Anatomy: Dispatches from the Front (And Back), is a personal, darkly witty investigation into the human body — how we think about it and how it works. In a mix of personal anecdotes, science and cultural reporting and interviews, Altman explores pressing questions like, is PMS real? How come some people sweat so much? And who decided women shouldn’t have body hair, anyway?In an interview with NPR’s Ailsa Chang, Altman says she began the book with her fuzzy lip story because she wanted to reframe the shame she and the rest of us often feel about our physical selves — and lighten the taboo. She decided to face the facts — starting with a confession to her now-husband, Dave, that she does everything she can to rid herself of facial hair.”I needed him to know that he was marrying a woman with a goatee,” she says with a laugh. “I just didn’t want (1) to have him find out later and be upset, and (2) to just have to hide it anymore. I was just so tired.”Her husband’s response when Altman told him? “It’s just hair!” She says he couldn’t have cared less.INTERVIEW HIGHLIGHTS On where the idea that women should be mostly hairless comes from[Women in] the United States in the early 1900s — they were fine being hairy. But then … advertisers came on strong in the 1930s. They said that having armpit hair was dirty and gross; being clean-shaven was respectable, feminine. And then you also look at another kind of theory that we are all so afraid of our mortality; that we cover up anything that kind of hints at us being beasts, or animals. We put on perfumes, we cover up our holes — anything that excretes or is moist we don’t want anything to do with.On what it was like to grow up in a family that encouraged ‘going natural’I still had the experiences at school where I didn’t feel like I totally fit in. I was trying so hard to be natural, to be authentic like my parents said. But you still have the friends on the schoolyard who are like, ‘Ah, she’s hairy — gross!’ … I was in junior high and I was in PE class just getting ready to play dodgeball or something. And a girl pointed at my legs and said, ‘Ew, gross, you’re hairy!’ And I just felt totally seen and ashamed and wanted nothing more than to rip out every single hair on my body. And yet that went against everything in our household about being natural. And then I had to confront my mom about it, and finally ask her if I could shave.On what a psychology professor said when she asked whether premenstrual syndrome is real She said that when we say that PMS made us do something, that we’re using it as a scapegoat — and kind of discount it. And she also said that hormones don’t create moods, but they can exacerbate moods. [Those feelings are] very legitimate; we should pay attention to them. Every time we say that PMS made us do it a misogynist gets his wings! It feeds into this idea that we’re angry; that we don’t know what we’re doing. But really — like a woman who just feels really strong feelings and in another society would be extremely respected.On how she found out sweat is awesome The sweat researcher that I talked to said that if we were overheating and we couldn’t sweat, we’d basically die in, like, 20 to 30 minutes. So when I see my own sweat stains now on my pits, which is probably daily, I try to appreciate that that’s where we come from. That’s how we’re human. And I think that researching or learning about our bodies can also lessen the shame around it.On being at a nudist resort while pregnant with twins — for research You know, I wrote this book to kind of investigate why we feel the way we feel about our bodies. But a wonderful bonus was kind of realizing that we all have such a big variation. … I was like, ‘Oh my gosh! All these people. So many various sizes [and] shapes don’t fit into any of the beauty standards we typically talk about or see. There are rolls! There’s cottage cheese! There are hairy moles!’ … And they’re walking around indulging in life. And you’re like, OK, you know what? We’re just lucky we have bodies. That we get to do all this cool stuff in our bodies.Alyssa Edes and Renita Jablonksi produced and edited this interview for broadcast. Alyssa Edes adapted it for the Web. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

As nearly 75 million Americans contend with cover

first_imgAs nearly 7.5 million Americans contend with covering the skyrocketing costs of insulin to manage the disease, diabetics in Colorado will soon have some relief. A new law, signed by Gov. Jared Polis earlier this week, caps co-payments of the lifesaving medication at $100 a month for insured patients, regardless of the supply they require. Insurance companies will have to absorb the balance. The law also directs the state’s attorney general to launch an investigation into how prescription insulin prices are set throughout the state and make recommendations to the legislature. Colorado is the first state to enact such sweeping legislation aiming to shield patients from dramatic insulin price increases. “One in four type 1 diabetics have reported insulin underuse due to the high cost of insulin … [t]herefore, it is important to enact policies to reduce the costs for Coloradans with diabetes to obtain life-saving and life-sustaining insulin,” the law states. The price of the drug in the U.S. has increased exponentially in recent years. Between 2002 and 2013, it tripled, according to 2016 study published in the medical journal JAMA. It found the price of a milliliter of insulin rose from $4.34 in 2002 to $12.92 in 2013. And a March report from the House of Representatives, found “prices continued to climb, nearly doubling between 2012 and 2016.” Dramatic price hikes have left some people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes who use insulin to control their blood sugar levels in the unfortunate position of making dangerous compromises. They either forego the medication or they ration their prescribed dose to stretch it until they can afford the next prescription. In some instances, those compromises can lead to tragedy. As NPR reported, an uninsured Minnesota man who couldn’t afford to pay for $1,300 worth of diabetes supplies, died of diabetic ketoacidosis, according to his mother. The man, who was 26, had been rationing his insulin. The move in Colorado comes on the heels of recent commitments by manufacturers to limit the drug’s cost to consumers, which in turn comes on the heels of mounting pressure (and some skewering) from elected officials. Following a U.S. Senate Finance Committee hearing in February and a subcommittee hearing in the House in April, pharmaceutical company leaders have reluctantly admitted they have a role to play in reducing drug prices. Last month Express Scripts, one of the largest pharmacy benefit managers in the country, announced it is launching a “patient assurance program” that will place a $25 per month cap on insulin for patients “no matter what.” In March, insulin manufacturer Eli Lilly said it will soon offer a generic version of Humalog, called Insulin Lispro, at half the cost. That would drop the price of a single vial to $137.35. “These efforts are not enough,” Inmaculada Hernandez of the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy tells NPR, of the latest legislation in Colorado. Hernandez was lead author of a January report in Health Affairs attributing the rising cost of prescription drugs to accumulated yearly price hikes.While the Colorado out-of-pocket caps will likely provide financial relief for diabetes patients, she noted “the costs will kick back to all of the insured population” whose premiums are likely to go up as a result.”Nothing is free,” Hernandez said.”It also doesn’t fix the real issue,” she added, pointing to her own research which found “that prices have increased because there’s not enough competition in the market, demand will always be high and manufacturers leverage that to their advantage.” Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

A crossbench disabled peer has called for an end t

first_imgA crossbench disabled peer has called for an end to government-led austerity and the “personal misery” it has caused.Lord [Colin] Low, speaking in the Lords debate on last week’s Queen’s speech, said he believed the result of the general election showed voters were “no longer willing to buy neoliberal austerity”.He told peers that austerity had caused “a great deal of personal misery”, with one in four children living in poverty, the use of foodbanks continuing to rise, and a social security system that was “increasingly inhuman and self-defeating”.He pointed to disabled people losing their Motability cars – and consequently their jobs –because of the government’s personal independence payment reforms, while other benefit claimants have had their payments sanctioned for “unavoidably missing appointments”.He added: “The film I, Daniel Blake is all too true to life. The iniquitous work capability assessment finds people fit to work who are patently unfit and who, coroners find, are taking their lives as a result.”Lord Low (pictured, speaking in the debate) said that this “misery” was caused by “conscious, strategic decision-making” by the government, including cutting £12 billion from social security spending in the last parliament, on top of nearly £20 billion cuts under the coalition government.He said this was part of a 40-year project to “systematically shrink” public sector spending to just 36 per cent or less of national income, compared with 44 per cent in Germany and 50 per cent in Denmark.And he told fellow peers that the Grenfell Tower fire showed the harm caused by this attack on state spending, with the NHS and other public services in crisis and local services unable to cope.He said: “Local government, which provides many of these services, will have lost 60 per cent of its funding by 2020.“The election and the Grenfell Tower fire should serve as a wake-up call that we need to change course.”He called instead for government to borrow while interest rates are low in order to “invest in infrastructure, thus giving people work, getting them off the dole and being productive, fuelling growth by spending and creating demand for consumer goods, and paying taxes and boosting receipts for the exchequer”.The independent peer said he believed that voters in the general election had been attracted by the alternative to “neoliberal austerity” offered by the policies of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party, which although they were widely described as “hard left” were in fact “fairly standard social democracy”.Lord Low also said that the “colossal misjudgements” of the last two prime ministers, David Cameron and Theresa May – over calling the Brexit referendum and a snap general election – showed that it was “surely no longer possible to sustain the pretence that the Conservative party is self-evidently more effective than the Labour party as a vehicle for governing the country”.And he said that “people should realise that the centre of gravity has shifted [leftwards], in defiance of the political establishment, the media and the commentariat”.last_img read more

London Startup Scene Weighs Threat of British Techxit

first_img Britain’s tech startup scene was having a bumper year in terms of new company creation, fresh funding and acquisitions by global tech players before voters decided to leave the European Union in Thursday’s referendum.Now high-profile companies are threatening to pull out or slow down plans to enter the U.K. market, international employees are second-guessing their immigration standing and investors could cut new funding that is the lifeblood of young tech firms.Market researchers are predicting a sharp slowdown in U.K. technology and advertising spending and the longer-term threat that sizeable portions of these budgets will move to the continent.”Nothing’s changed yet but everything’s changed,” said Taavet Hinrikus, the Estonian CEO and co-founder of cross-border money service Transferwise, which is based in London.London has become a magnet for tech entrepreneurs looking to do business in the European Union and a global launch pad for firms aiming to compete with U.S. and Asian web giants. Half the founders of London’s top tech startups come from outside Britain.One-third of recent European investments by venture capitalists, who are often drawn to tech startups, were made in Britain. In the first quarter, U.K. firms drew in $1.3 billion (984 million pounds) in funding, while the rest of Europe took $2.2 billion, according to research firm CBInsights.”The two main benefits of being part of the EU are access to talent because of the free movement of labor and the fact that you can ‘passport’ regulation so if you’re regulated in the U.K., you’re regulated across the EU,” said Hinrikus.”We don’t know what’s going to happen with either of those.”The Transferwise CEO now says “it’s too early to say” what the company may do but said before the referendum that his company could scale back further investment in London and consider moving its headquarters if Britain voted to leave the EU. Body blowsNumber26, a Berlin-based startup offering internet banking services over smartphones in eight European countries, is now reconsidering its planned entry into the U.K. market.”We are probably going to consider other markets first,” said co-founder and chief executive Valentin Stalf, citing separate bank licensing requirements likely to be required once outside the EU. “The U.K. market suddenly became a much more expensive proposition.”Detached from the EU, London could lose some key advantages: its status as a world financial center, European talent and the uniformity of regulations that allowed London-based companies to cater to the European market.Its international employee base may leave the city amid uncertainty about future immigration laws, creating shortages in retail, hospitality, healthcare and financial services, Forrester Research analyst Laura Koetzle said.Questions about who will have the right to stay “will both drive footloose talent to look for jobs abroad and dissuade others from coming,” she said, as employers likely face tougher work visa regimes.Berlin, London’s biggest rival for new tech firms, is likely to become more attractive as a European base, nearly a dozen entrepreneurs told Reuters. Aspiring fintech hubs including Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Dublin and Switzerland also could see more investment shift in their direction, financial services players said.Matthias Kroener, head of Munich-based internet bank Fidor, which entered Britain only last year, said: “Fintechs with the European market in their sights, may pull the plug on London because as young companies with the smallest roots they can react fastest and move first.”The vote requires Britain to file a two-year notice of plans to leave Europe, creating a period of uncertainty that will have immediate effect on overall technology and advertising spending, as well as fragile startups, analysts and entrepreneurs said.Number26 is likely to focus on other countries in Europe before expanding to the U.S. or Asia starting in 2018, although it has not ruled out the UK market completely, Stalf said.”The decision weakens Britain but it is not good for Europe altogether. Suddenly, the common market has shrunk by 60 million people,” the Berlin-based executive said.The decision is a setback for Europe generally, which in recent years has been out-gunned by five-fold in tech funding by the United States and twice over by Asia, as its bids to build world-class firms capable of taking on Apple, Google, Amazon and Uber.Budgets at riskTechnology spending for both Britain and Western Europe will turn negative both this year and next due to uncertainty caused by ongoing political volatility, said John Lovelock, chief forecaster for global technology market research firm Gartner.U.K. spending will sink by 0.3 percent in 2016 and 3 percent in 2017, the world’s largest corporate technology advisory firm now estimates, while expected tepid growth of 0.2 percent across Western Europe will fall to an unspecified level below zero.Gartner previously saw U.K. tech spending growing 1.7 percent in 2016 and 2 percent in 2017. The tech sector accounts for around 10 percent of British gross domestic product.Frost & Sullivan, another research firm, said start-ups face steeper funding and credit hurdles, with the big question mark whether the European Investment Fund (EIF), the largest investor in U.K. venture capital firms, will continue to invest there, and for how long.But not everyone thinks Brexit will harm London startups.”People are going to continue to live in London, the world’s hippest city. Whether or not the U.K. is part of the European Union, it still has a super business environment,” said Mark Tluszcz, co-founder and CEO of Mangrove Capital Partners, a Luxembourg-based venture capital firm with $750 million under management. With 15 to 20 percent of his portfolio in Britain, he’s still looking for fresh prospects.Oleg Fomenko is a Russian-born London entrepreneur whose latest company, Sweatcoin, is a fitness app which pays people to be more active. He said entrepreneurs adapt quickly.”The whole country turned around 180 degrees,” Formenko said. “If anyone knows how to get through this, it’s us.”(By Eric Auchard; additional reporting by Andreas Kroener in Frankfurt and Meg Garner in San Francisco; editing by Anna Willard) Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Image credit: Reuters | Paul Hackett –shares Add to Queue Russian co-founders of Sweatcoin fitness app (L-R) Oleg Fomenko, Ranbir Arora and Anton Derlyatka. Next Article Reuters London Startup Scene Weighs Threat of British ‘Techxit’ Brexit This story originally appeared on Reuters 6 min read Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand June 28, 2016 Enroll Now for $5last_img read more

Summer Streamlining 7 Tools to Help You Automate Your Workload

first_img Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Summer Streamlining: 7 Tools to Help You Automate Your Workload 7 min read Next Article Workload Automation Guest Writer Image credit: ShutterStock July 3, 2016 Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel.center_img Managing partner of HigherVisibility Add to Queue –shares Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Scott Langdon It’s summer, and that means nice weather, pool parties, beach days and relaxation. Summer shouldn’t mean long days at the office, cooped up in a small space and missing all the outdoor fun. If the latter describes how you’ve been spending your time, perhaps now is a good time to start outsourcing some of your workload. Let a program do the annoying, tedious tasks your business requires to survive (and thrive), leaving you more time to enjoy summer with family and friends.Related: 4 Tools to Put a Stop to Time Wasters in 2016Workload automation might seem like a dream come true, but it’s important to understand that not every automated program is going to be right for your business. The land of workload automation is more complex now than ever, and there are an abundance of tools out there vying for the chance to handle your business tasks. So which one(s) are right for you? Read below to learn about eight of the most helpful tools in workload automation and how to use them most effectively.Social media.1. BufferBuffer is a social media marketing tool that is geared towards saving you time by connecting to various social media sites and posting on your behalf. They offer three different plans, and each includes varying amounts of assistance based on your budget and goals. As you can see below, the bigger your budget, the more you get from Buffer. But don’t feel like you need to go deep into your pockets in order to make this program a success. Their $10 a month plan still gets you 100 scheduled posts across 10 different social media accounts. Although it’s nowhere near as much as their Enterprise Plan — which also comes with analytics data — depending on the size of your business and your future goals, it might just be enough. It’s 100 less times you need to worry about making a scheduled post. This would be a very helpful tool if you’re struggling to handle a wide variety of social media accounts. If you have the extra money, the analytic data that comes with the Business and Enterprise plans could also be helpful in seeing whether or not your social media marketing is working — and thus, whether or not Buffer is a good investment.2. Sprout SocialSprout Social is another type of social media management software that works with many of the most popular social media sites out there — Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, Feedly, zendesk, etc. Sprout Social is different in that instead of integrating with as many profiles as possible, it focuses on quality vs. quantity. The most expensive plan only includes up to 30 profiles for $500 a month.That being said, they offer a lot more goodies for your money than Buffer does, including, but not limited to, analytic data, an all-in-one social inbox, varying types of reports, keyword tracking and message and content tracking. So again, think about your budget and your long-term goals before deciding which, if any, of these social media programs would be beneficial. Sprout Social would be great for businesses that don’t integrate with a ton of social media sites, and instead want to get the most value for the few that they do use for marketing.Related: Top 20 Social Media Tools to Add to Your Arsenal in 2016Productivity.3. IfThisThenThatIFTTT is a great way to cut down on your workload and increase productivity by creating “recipes” that utilize “if this, then that” statements. They give you an extensive list of suggestions to choose from to meet the needs of your business, home or personal life. You also have the option to customize recipes to really get the most out of this creative program. For example, you can use this site to easily and quickly create events in Google Calendar, catalog important emails using Evernote (which will also be discussed below), send reminders to yourself and/or your team, keep track of recurring tasks by scheduling to-dos and sync items across various cloud storage folders.4. TopTrackerTopTracker is a free time tracking app. Free! Who doesn’t like that? Whereas IFTTT is an app designed to increase productivity, TopTracker is designed to track your productivity in order to identify and correct deficiencies. TopTracker was made specifically with freelancers in mind. It can track activity levels and integrate timed screenshots, webcam shots or simple time tracking. It has a basic dashboard that gives you an uncluttered view of all your projects and their progress. You will also get detailed productivity reports so you know how everything is going. In addition, TopTracker gives freelancers a ton of privacy options, such as blurred screenshots and detailed privacy settings. This is a great way for small businesses to easily and privately track their productivity so they know what to improve on in the future.Organization.5. WunderlistWunderlist does exactly what their homepage boasts — it helps users keep their lives in sync by offering customized lists and reminders that you can create based off of your needs and goals. You can access Wunderlist on your phone, computer or tablet no matter where you are, making it very simple to create and keep up with all your daily, weekly and monthly tasks. You can also share your lists with friends, family and coworkers in order to collaborate on the aforementioned tasks. This would be very helpful for a business. Instead of one person slaving away on a list, you can divide and conquer with your coworkers so the work gets done more efficiently.Communication.6. InfusionsoftInfusionsoft automates your sales and marketing by combining your CRM, email marketing, lead capture and ecommerce all in one place. Their homepage boasts of the following benefits:Unfortunately, these benefits come with a price. Their cheapest plan is $199 a month and only includes CRM and marketing automation. The most expensive plan costs $599 a month and includes CRM, marketing automation, sales automation and ecommerce for up to 10 users. There’s also some plans in between that are customized for your various needs, whether they be ecommerce, sales automation or something else. There’s no doubt in my mind that Infusionsoft could help ease your workload by automating so many of your important tasks, but is the time saved worth the cost?  Weigh the pros and cons before making an investment as big as this one.Content.7. EvernoteEvernote is exactly what it sounds like — an online note-taking application that allows you to keep your thoughts, creative ideas, lists and more in a space that can be accessed from pretty much anywhere. Similar to Wunderlist, Evernote lets you keep track of photos and notes in an easy-to-find format that can also be shared with others in order to promote collaboration. Related: 4 Transformational Questions Your Business Should AskBoth offer free versions of the basic app with the option to pay to upgrade. Evernote also has a specific business option for $12 a month per user. The business version encourages teams to work together and share feedback on projects, and individuals to keep track of and sync their lists, images, files and web research all in once place.  This is a great app to use to promote working together and team-building among coworkers, which will in turn lighten everyone’s workload. Who wouldn’t be interested in that?Successful workload automation can help businesses combine both customer expectations with their business practices, resulting in happy customers and a more efficient business model. Who doesn’t want their business to operate more efficiently, especially during the summer months when there’s so much to enjoy outside of the office? Start incorporating one or more of the tools above, and you’re guaranteed to have business success, more free time and happier employees. How are you going to start?  Comment in the section below! Register Now »last_img read more

Top Email Marketing Best Practices to Increase Revenue

first_imgEmail Marketing Can Generate an ROI of over 4400%. Designrush Determined the Top Email Marketing Best Practices to Increase Revenue and the Best Email and Marketing Automation Agencies Research shows that email marketing can provide a return on investment up to 4400 percent. However, certain tactics within email campaigns will foster better revenue growth than others.DesignRush.com, a B2B marketplace connecting brands with agencies, discovered the three best email marketing best practices that can boost brands and encourage high click-through and conversion rates.The top 3 email marketing best practices of 2019 are:1. Collect Email Addresses HonestlyBrands should always ensure that the recipients of their email lists are aggregated fairly. Consumers should know exactly what they are signing up for, who is sending it, and how often they can expect emails.In addition, businesses should avoid tactics such as buying email lists. Although those might initially boost the number of people who receive communications, brands will also likely see lower click-through rates and conversions, and higher unsubscribe rates.Marketing Technology News: Contact Centers Adding AI to Become More Intelligent, Responsive to Customers2. Write Engaging Subject Lines Without Looking Like SpamThe key to increasing open rates – which is essentially the first step to email-driven conversions – is to write buzz-worthy subject lines. These should concisely describe the contents of the email and the unique value added. For instance, eCommerce stores should highlight sale details, while news organizations should focus on breaking news.However, too many buzz words can look like spam to inboxes – causing messages to go straight to spam – and recipients – causing them to delete the email. Avoid elements such as all capital letters and too many emojis in subject lines.3. A/B TestEach brand will find that certain email strategies work better for them than others – and no two brands are exactly the same. Therefore, the best way to understand the content and email tactics that a target audience wants is to A/B test campaigns.To do so, brands send two email campaigns that are exactly the same save for one element – such as delivery time, subject line, content format, or something else. A randomized half of their email list will receive one, and the other will receive the test campaign. Then, brands can compare results to determine which tactic was the most effective.“Email is one of the most effective – and trackable – forms of digital marketing,” says DesignRush Founder and Executive Director Gabriel Shaoolian. “By implementing a few best practices, brands will be able to sharpen their email campaigns, improve overall success, and grow their businesses and revenue more effectively.”Marketing Technology News: PX Open Marketplace Surpasses 500 Publishers in its ExchangeDesignRush’s Agency Listing section features the top local and global email marketing companies. The top email and marketing automation agencies include:1. B2B Data GuyB2B Data Guy is a one-stop shop for B2B email lists and managed email campaigns. All contacts are verified deliverable, and if an email bounces its refunded. B2B Data Guy boasts average open rates 62%, varies by industry, lists delivered within 72 hours of payment, discounts for orders over 1,000 contacts and for repeat orders, 36 data points per contact, amazing customer service, and email campaign creation/support help available upon request.2. BestSEO4uBestSEO4u is an online marketing agency which stands proudly among the leading specialist UK WordPress agencies and is a trusted Internet Marketing expert. To them, online success doesn’t mean just traffic – it translates to top conversion rates and earnings. Their experience and portfolio recommend them as the dynamic, flexible, innovative and reliable partner each online business has always needed. Their London-based company is at the heart of everything – they’re among thriving businesses in a most competitive environment, where players are always on the look for the next best strategy. Nothing better for them, as it allows BestSEO4u to improve their game consistently and deliver outstanding solutions to clients!3. Black87Black87 is the team of inspired, ambitious and creative fellows. Their performance marketing services are designed for brands to have full control over their marketing spending. They can help brands own their piece of the web. Driving measurable results, Black87’s forward-looking approach has helped clients in technology, physical retail, e-commerce, and crowdfunding projects.Marketing Technology News: Pagely Announces 2nd Annual Scholarship for Underrepresented Students in Tech Top Email Marketing Best Practices to Increase Revenue PRNewswireApril 25, 2019, 4:00 pmApril 25, 2019 A/B testb2b marketplacecrowdfunding projectsemail marketingmarketing automationMarketing TechnologyNews Previous Article9 out of 10 Marketers Deploy Personalization to Improve Customer Experiences, According to New Evergage StudyNext ArticleData-Driven Marketers Head to the Cloudlast_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

Ebola spread to Uganda could threaten international health

first_img What is Ebola? Ebola Virus Epidemiology Ebola Virus Symptoms Ebola Virus Diagnosis and Treatment Ebola Virus Prevention Ebola Research Related StoriesNovel vaccine against bee sting allergy successfully testedScripps CHAVD wins $129 million NIH grant to advance new HIV vaccine approachNew shingles vaccine reduces outbreaks of painful rash among stem cell transplant patientsOther contacts have been identified, and advised to remain at home to be vaccinated against the disease. Uganda is in a state of Ebola alert, which was initiated since the DRC outbreak began. There have been no mass gatherings, and information about the disease is being broadcast continuously. Almost 4,000 health workers have received vaccination, and screening camps are operating all along the border with DRC, and other major portals. Places at high risk because of high people mobility and proximity to the border are being monitored constantly for spot diagnosis and management of any cases.Uganda will begin ring immunization on June 14 to contain the spread of the virus by immunizing direct contacts and their contacts. A rapid response team is already in place to identify those at high risk. 400 doses of Ebola vaccine have been sent in by the DRC with another 4,000 doses from the WHO. This new vaccine prevents infection in almost 98% of cases.The WHO Emergency Committee will also sit for the third time to decide whether to declare the DRC outbreak a “public health emergency of international concern,” or PHEIC, which will attract international help in dealing with it.The DRC epidemic began in August 2018, with almost 2,100 cases so far and counting. Civil conflicts have made it difficult to control the illness, with approximately 200 medical facilities being attacked on several occasions this year. As a result, health workers have been forced to suspend operations in some centers where the disease is raging. Despite this, WHO has not declared it a PHEIC so far.Other countries are taking their own precautions. Rwanda has already decided to police its borders, and its people are being exhorted to stay away from virus-rife areas. Vaccination is being promoted among health workers who come in contact with possible contacts.Ebola is primarily an animal disease, with the virus taking shelter in bats and other mammals. It may spill over into the human population when someone eats an infected bat, for instance. However, such events usually end spontaneously with a chain of not more than 5 people. The DRC outbreak is the second largest ever recorded and the worst ever in this country.The first Ugandan case reported on June 11 was a 5-year old boy whose grandfather in DRC had just died of Ebola. His Ugandan family, who had crossed the border to care for their father, returned home just a few days before the boy fell sick, followed by two others. Two of them died shortly afterwards. The remaining family members were given passage back over the border, while several other contacts with high fever, also from the DRC, were put in isolation. However, many of them absconded from the treatment center. Ebola viruses in blood of a patient with Ebola hemorrhagic fever, 3D illustration – Illustration Credit: Designua / Shutterstock Surveillance for ebola virus disease at the border between DR Congo and Uganda | Photo: Matt Taylor Researcher Emma Glennon modeled the size of likely distributions using available datasets on Ebola outbreaks from three countries in West Africa. She found that compared to the reported size of the outbreak in these places, only about 17% to 48% were actually reported. In other words, about half of all outbreaks are never reported. When it comes to single cases of infection, dying out without spreading any further, the chances of detection are below 10%. Glennon remarks, “Early detection of outbreaks is critical to timely response, but estimating detection rates is difficult because unreported spillover events and outbreaks do not generate data.”This research points to the importance of identifying outbreaks as early as possible before many people are infected. However, it also explains why many people in these countries show the presence of antibodies to Ebola. Clinically recognized outbreaks include only symptomatic cases, and if over 80% of single cases or small outbreaks are missed, this could be the reason for the presence of these antibodies, says Ian Mackay, at the University of Queensland in Australia. By Dr. Liji Thomas, MDJun 14 2019After smouldering in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for almost a year, killing near 1,000 people, the deadly Ebola virus crossed the border to Uganda in June 2019. This virus causes sudden high fever and sore throat, with severe weakness and muscle pain. It quickly progresses to vomiting and diarrhea, with signs of internal and external bleeding. It is transmitted through contact with body fluid from an infected person. The fatality rate is high. Further Reading Source: Confirmation of case of ebola virus disease in Uganda, https://afro.who.int/news/confirmation-case-ebola-virus-disease-ugandalast_img read more

Indian sacred texts and the logic of computer ethics

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. More information: Project website: mimamsa.logic.at/ideas.html Classical logic deals with statements which are either true or false, and it provides rules we can use to combine true statements, creating new statements which are also true. This is how mathematics works: if we start out with something true and follow a certain set of rules, the end result will still be true. But this kind of logic is not useful if we want to deal with ethics. “When we are dealing with prohibitions and obligations, we are not interested in what is true or false, but in what we should or should not do,” says Ciabattoni. “Therefore, a completely different kind of logic is required, called deontic logic. Just like classical logic, it can be expressed as mathematical formulae which allow us to unequivocally prove whether or not a certain line of reasoning is correct.”There have been attempts to create such a “deontic logic,” but so far the success has been limited. “We are confident that working with the Vedas and the school of Mīmāṃsā will greatly help us to understand how deontic logic can work,” says Ciabattoni. “These ancient Sanskrit texts provide us with many arguments, carefully analysed for centuries, on which we can test our mathematical formulae.”The Ethics of Self-Driving CarsSuch a deontic logic could be used to teach ethics to computers. A machine could be given a certain set of obligations and prohibitions, and following certain rules it could then determine automatically, whether or not a certain kind of behaviour is acceptable or not. “Consider a self-driving car during a traffic accident,” says Agata Ciabattoni. “Let’s assume that a crash is inevitable, and somebody will definitely get hurt – but the car has to decide whom to harm and whom to spare.” A general rule such as “do not harm anybody” will not help in this case. Much like in the ancient Vedas, certain rules have to be combined to arrive at the logical solution. And perhaps such machine decisions will even be more ethical and beneficial to us humans as a human decision would be. The Indian sacred texts of the Vedas have been studied for millennia. But now, for the first time in history, computer scientists in Vienna analyse them by applying the methods of mathematical logic. This gives Sanskritists new insights and can even settle philosophical disputes which are more than one or two thousand years old. On the other hand, it helps computer scientists to develop reasoning tools to deal with deontic concepts (such as prohibitions and obligations). Such tools are enormously important if we want to implement ethics in artificial intelligence – for instance if a self-driving car has to make ethical decisions in case of an accident. Credit: Vienna University of Technology Explore further Provided by Vienna University of Technology Applying the Laws of Logic to Ancient Texts”The Vedas are a large body of ancient Sanskrit texts, some of which contain very clear moral statements – such as ‘one should not harm any living being'”, says Agata Ciabattoni from the Institute of Logic and Computation at TU Wien. She is leading the research project, in close collaboration with Elisa Freschi, Sanskritist from the Austrian Academy of Science. There is a philosophical school originated in ancient India in the last centuries BCE, called Mīmāṃsā, which uses a rigorous approach to analyse the obligations and prohibitions mentioned in the Vedas. For many centuries, Mīmāṃsā scholars have formulated rules to draw conclusions from premises and to resolve apparent contradictions. “This is actually closely related with what logicians like us are doing,” says Agata Ciabattoni. “We can formalise such rules in a language that can also be understood by computers.”There is, for example, an old dispute about the “Śyena sacrifice,” a sacrifice in the Vedas meant to kill one’s enemies. How can this be reconciled with the rule not to harm any living being? “For a Hindu, the Vedas are absolutely correct, so there cannot be any contradiction,” says Agata Ciabattoni. In the 7th century, Prabhākara, an Indian philosopher in the Mīmāṃsā tradition resolved this problem by applying several rules from the Vedas in a logically rather complicated way. Various scholars did not believe that his reasoning was correct, and this dispute has been going on for centuries.Agata Ciabattoni and her team closely collaborated with Sanskritists to translate the Mīmāṃsā rules and the Vedic laws into mathematical formulae – and they could prove that Prabhākara had been right all along. Given the prescriptions of the Vedas, Prabhākaras logic was flawless. Mathematical logic settles an old philosophical dispute.Building a Logic System for Ethics”For us, this was a first proof of concept that we can really learn something new by combining Indology and formal logic,” says Agata Ciabattoni. “But ultimately, we want to achieve much more. We want to understand how to formulate with mathematical precision useful logics dealing with prohibitions and obligations.” Citation: Indian sacred texts and the logic of computer ethics (2018, January 29) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-01-indian-sacred-texts-logic-ethics.html Logic in computer science read more

Facebooks Sheryl Sandberg is tainted by crisis after crisis

first_img Outgoing Facebook exec takes fall for hiring opposition firm Until now, Sandberg focused on growth, often tackling obstacles with strategic messaging, rather than addressing the root cause of problems, according to the current and former employees who spoke with Bloomberg.In October 2017, Facebook was preparing for its first-ever congressional hearing on Russia’s interference in the U.S. presidential election. Before the public grilling, Sandberg wanted to make a personal visit to Washington D.C., thinking she could smooth things over behind the scenes. But the company didn’t have much to say about how it was fixing holes in its system that let Russia run its manipulation campaign, and it didn’t have satisfying answers about why it failed to catch the operation. So the company’s policy advisers asked Sandberg not to go. And if she did go, they suggested she listen more than talk, according to people familiar with the matter.Sandberg went anyway, with plenty of talking points. It didn’t work. She mostly told lawmakers that Facebook should have moved faster to find problems, and promised to do better. In some cases, like in a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus, the lack of substance backfired. Members of the caucus told the media afterwards that they wanted concrete changes, not promises.It was the beginning of a campaign that focused largely on the perception of Facebook, not the reality of its flaws. The company said Sandberg took this approach, however unsatisfying, because world leaders were interested in hearing from people in power at Facebook, and it seemed better than not showing up. But The New York Times detailed how Sandberg’s side of the organization obfuscated and denied problems. That included hiring a firm that helped Facebook smear critics behind the scenes, in part by linking a Facebook protest group to the billionaire George Soros, who is often the subject of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.”I want to be clear that I oversee our comms team and take full responsibility for their work and the PR firms who work with us,” Sandberg said in a memo to employees last week. “I also want to emphasize that it was never anyone’s intention to play into an anti-Semitic narrative against Mr. Soros or anyone else.”Sandberg has at times focused on her own priorities over Facebook’s, the current and former employees also said. The COO is proactive when thinking about interpersonal relationships and messaging campaigns. Each winter, before the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, her team prepares a binder of all the people she might meet and what they might ask her. She uses this tactic throughout the year. But that kind of analysis—of what might occur before it happens—wasn’t as thoroughly applied to assessing risks to Facebook and how the company might be run differently, the employees said.Around the same time Sandberg made the trip to D.C. in October 2017, Facebook and the broader technology industry were preparing for a battle over an important piece of legislation. The bill, meant to address child sex trafficking, also increased internet companies’ liability for content users posted on their services. Facebook’s policy team argued against the law. But then Sandberg got involved. After she was personally lobbied by women in Washington, she decided Facebook should support the legislation, according to people familiar with the matter. The surprise shift crippled the industry’s united front, and the bill passed.The episode prompted questions among some Facebook staff over whether Sandberg was putting her own politics and relationships ahead of what was best for the company, according to two of the people. Facebook confirmed Sandberg led support for the bill, but a company spokeswoman said the COO “made the call because it was consistent with the company’s values.”Sandberg has also suffered from a weakness that has affected other powerful corporate executives, according to the employees who spoke with Bloomberg. She surrounded herself with trusted lieutenants who protected her from criticism and bad news, potentially slowing her response to growing crises, they said. And she protects them in return.Elliot Schrage, Facebook’s head of communications and policy, is an example. He worked with Sandberg when she helped build Google’s advertising business, then moved with her to Facebook in 2008. Schrage wrote a note to employees last week to take responsibility for hiring the Republican crisis communications firm, Definers, that conducted opposition research against Soros and others. Facebook leaked the memo to take pressure off Sandberg, according to a person familiar with the situation.In 2011, Sandberg hired Joel Kaplan as a vice president of public policy. The two had been close at Harvard. Kaplan has come under fire within the company for his close friendship and public support of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh at a time when Facebook is being accused of political bias. But Kaplan will not face consequences, the people said.Sandberg’s favorites are known by the term FOS, for “Friend of Sheryl,” and several have been promoted to powerful positions at the company, according to four people familiar with the situation. But there’s been little incentive for these advisers to tell her negative things because she often criticizes people harshly and sometimes ousts them from her close circle when they disappoint her, the people said. “She’s so brutal to people, no one wants to bring her anything,” one of the people added.Sandberg seems to realize she needs to create a new culture where people feel more comfortable telling her about Facebook’s problems. One of her biggest regrets this year, she has told friends and colleagues, is that the company took too long to respond to the unfolding crisis over Cambridge Analytica, the consulting firm that obtained data on Facebook users without their consent. The revelations emerged in March, but Sandberg and Zuckerberg waited several days before addressing it publicly.Soon after, Sandberg created a new “strategic response” team, reporting up to Justin Osofsky, vice president of operations and corporate development. The group’s mandate is to bring Sandberg up to speed on the biggest immediate risks facing the company. The group is seated next to her conference room in Facebook’s Menlo Park, California, headquarters and meets with the COO every Friday at 10:30 a.m. local time.It’s a team that attempts to handle critical and time-sensitive situations, the “types of problems that cut across the company, touching a lot of different product teams,” Osofsky said. Before the meetings end, Sandberg either makes a decision or escalates the issue to Zuckerberg, Osofsky added.Two months ago, Facebook showed off a “War Room” that brought employees from different teams together to quickly spot and fix issues like misinformation during the U.S. midterm elections. At the time, the company said the War Room might be deployed for future elections. But it’s been disbanded in favor of the strategic response team as a more-permanent solution, a Facebook spokesperson said. The group coordinated Facebook’s response to a tip from the Federal Bureau of Investigation on potential Russian activity ahead of the U.S. midterms, something that may have previously taken the company longer to address.Osofsky, who spoke to Bloomberg News with Facebook’s blessing, disagreed with employee criticisms of Sandberg’s leadership. “Sheryl’s style is very fact-based,” he said. “She sets an exceptionally high bar for my team and all the teams that report to her. I often have conversations where I personally disagree, and she’s very receptive.”Sandberg is also recruiting advisers with different experience. Schrage is currently training his replacement—Nick Clegg, a former U.K. deputy prime minister.”One of the things Nick brings, which is very helpful given his political experience, is a perspective to the table that is different from a person who works in California,” Osofsky said.And just in time. Over the weekend, the U.K. government seized Facebook documents that include emails between executives about data sharing with third-party app developers. Clegg will be tested in handling Facebook’s next potential crisis on his home turf. Citation: Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg is tainted by crisis after crisis (2018, November 27) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-11-facebook-sheryl-sandberg-tainted-crisis.html 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. ©2018 Bloomberg News Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.center_img Some of her staff, who saw the executive as larger than life, now blame her for Facebook’s woes. At times, she prioritized her own brand over Facebook’s; surrounded herself with trusted lieutenants who filtered bad news; and didn’t address problems quickly enough or treated them as perception issues not opportunities for real change, according to eight current and former Facebook employees from her side of the organization.Ever since the 2016 presidential election, Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg has been criticized for his failure to understand the potential downsides of Facebook’s products. Sandberg escaped direct scrutiny until a New York Times report earlier this month linked some of Facebook’s current woes to her decisions. From now on, “she is always going to be tainted,” said one Facebook worker. The person asked not to be identified for fear of losing their job.When Facebook was growing quickly and its shares were soaring, Sandberg was lauded for her leadership and meticulous management of relationships. After writing the 2013 book “Lean In,” which advocated for women in the workplace, she became the most famous female executive in America.But this year, a series of company scandals and missteps, including misinformation on the social network and privacy breaches, have caught up to the 49 year-old executive. As COO, Sandberg oversees advertising and is rightly praised for masterminding an explosion in revenue. But she also leads legal and policy at Facebook, making her largely responsible for rising regulatory risks, souring government relationships and a 39 percent slump in Facebook’s stock since late July.”Many of the most pressing problems fall under Sandberg’s responsibility,” said Brian Wieser, an analyst at Pivotal Research Group. “Placing the blame on Sandberg would be a convenient path forward for them.”Zuckerberg is only really accountable to himself; he holds the majority of Facebook’s voting power and is chairman of the board. But he doesn’t seem interested in shifting blame. He’s fiercely loyal to Sandberg after a decade in business together, and recently told CNN he hopes to work with her for “decades more to come.” Still, Sandberg will have to change the way she works to undo the damage to the company and her reputation. There are signs she’s already altering her approach, changing key advisers and creating a “strategic response” team to speed her reaction to hiccups that could turn into the company’s next crisis. Facebook Inc. crises this year have put immense pressure on Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, undermining her authority and tainting an image that was burnished by the social-media company’s meteoric rise. Explore furtherlast_img read more

Deep learning for electron microscopy

first_img In mere hours, scientists using MENNDL created a neural network that performed as well as a human expert. It reduces the time to analyze electron microscopy images by months. MENNDL is the first known approach to automatically identify atomic-level structural information in scanning transmission electron microscopy data. In 2018, MENNDL received an R&D 100 award, considered the Oscars of innovation. It’s also a finalist for the Gordon Bell award.MENNDL, an artificial intelligence system, automatically designed an optimal deep learning network to extract structural information from raw atomic-resolution microscopy data. To design the network, MENNDL used 18,000 GPUs on all of the available 3000 nodes of the Summit supercomputer. In a few hours, MENNDL creates and evaluates millions of networks using a scalable, parallel, asynchronous genetic algorithm augmented with a support vector machine to automatically find a superior deep learning network topology and hyper-parameter set. This work is far faster than could be done by a human expert. For the application of electron microscopy, the system furthers the goal of better understanding the electron-beam-matter interactions and real-time image-based feedback, which enables a huge step beyond human capacity toward nanofabricating materials automatically. Explore further Citation: Deep learning for electron microscopy (2018, December 28) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-12-deep-electron-microscopy.html Provided by US Department of Energy Researchers use Titan to accelerate design, training of deep learning networks More information: 167-PFlops deep learning for electron microscopy: From learning physics to atomic manipulation. SC’18: Proceedings of the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis, Dallas, TX (2018). Finding defects in electron microscopy images takes months. Now, there’s a faster way. It’s called MENNDL, the Multinode Evolutionary Neural Networks for Deep Learning. It creates artificial neural networks—computational systems that loosely mimic the human brain—that tease defects out of dynamic data. It runs on all available nodes of the Summit supercomputer, performing 152 thousand million million calculations a second. The same image shown using different analysis methods. a) Raw electron microscopy image. b) Defects (white) as labelled by a human expert. c) Defects (white) as labelled by a Fourier transform method. d) Defects (white) as labelled by the optimal neural network. Defects that don’t exist are shown in purple, and defects that weren’t identified are orange. In mere hours, researchers created a neural network that performed as well as a human expert, demonstrating MENNDL’s ability to significantly reduce the time to analyze electron microscopy images. Credit: US Department of Energy 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.last_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

Old style board games still a draw for todays generation

first_img COMMENT SHARE SHARE EMAIL SHARE games July 12, 2018 software and games Published on There is nothing new about gadget-free games. It’s just that with gadgets taking over our lives – be it from cooking, ordering things online, banking from the convenience of our homes or tracking our childrens’ moves, most of us cannot visualise a day without gadgets.If someone were to ask present generation parents or youngsters to name a gadget-free game, chances are that most would run a search before naming one. This is possibly because most parents are more familiar with gadgets, and some rather proud that their wards are at ease using these.However, this does not mean a lack of interest in traditional, gadget-free games. At a recent ‘summer carnival’ at Prozone Mall, a Coimbatore-based start-up, Dhatz Entertainment, kept both young and old hooked to some of its gadget-free games.From ludo to snakes and ladder to tic-tac-toe, the company managed to catch the attention of every visitor, encouraging the crowd to indulge in not just the traditional board games, but some fun-filled colourful ones as well.S Sivashankaran, founder-promoter and Business Development Head of Dhatz, told BusinessLine that he foresaw the need for gadget-free gaming solutions as most young children were addicted to gadgets and parents often failed to think beyond gadgets to keep their wards engaged.“Our intention is to wean kids away from gadgets while trying to entice older ones, too, to disengage from machines. We decided to take people – from toddlers to senior citizens – back to their roots to a fun-filled, gadget-free environment. We have more than 70 games at present; we will be adding another 30 to take it to 100 by September,” he said. The company has come up with digital-detox gaming solutions for all age-groups.Asked why people would want to play snakes and ladder, brainvita or ludo (as these are common in most households), he said “we facilitate people to play these games on life-size wooden boards. The moment they see it, they stop by to try, give it a shot.”“Some are fun-filled games such as pumping a balloon and jumping castle (for toddlers), which you would have seen in a reality show. Corporates enjoy our offerings; we also take up birthday party engagements,” he added.Dhatz has not opened a shop to showcase its array of gaming solutions. Instead, the company partners with corporates. In recent days, some corporate groups have evinced interest in partnering with us at their family functions and get-togethers.“We were part of the Colour Colororam carnival organised by Chennai Silks at Tirunelveli and Tuticorin,” he said and pointed out that Dhatz has developed solutions in such a way that they could be easily transported and assembled at any location within a given timeframe. Sivashankaran and Govindarajan (co-founder) have invested Rs 40 lakh in this venture since inception in April this year. COMMENTSlast_img read more