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Defence chief scheduled to testify in ViceAdmiral Mark Norman pretrial today

first_imgOTTAWA — Canada’s top military officer, Gen. Jonathan Vance, is slated to take the witness stand today as a pre-trial hearing resumes for his former second-in-command, suspended Vice-Admiral Mark Norman.Vance is expected to face questions over whether Defence Department officials tried to prevent Norman’s lawyers from accessing departmental records and what instructions he gave military officers about talking to journalists.The court heard five days of arguments last month, during which Norman’s lawyers accused the government of hiding key documents, preventing access to witnesses and cherry-picking what information is made public.Suspended in January 2017 as vice-chief of defence staff, Norman was charged last March with one count of breach of trust in connection with the alleged leak of cabinet secrets around a $700-million shipbuilding contract.He denies any wrongdoing and vowed to fight the charge.Court heard this morning that former Liberal cabinet minister Scott Brison has turned over personal emails that may be relevant to the case and that he has retained lawyers to ensure his privacy is properly protected.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

NASA ESA project offers people 13L rupees to lie in bed for

first_imgBerlin: A new project offers to pay volunteers nearly 13 lakh rupees to lie in bed for 60 days to help scientists study how weightlessness affects the human body, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) said. Effective countermeasures against bone and muscle atrophy must be developed if astronauts are to live for long periods of time in space or on the Moon and Mars. DLR in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA, has launched the Artificial Gravity Bed Rest Study (AGBRESA). The study will investigate the use of artificial gravity as a possible means of preventing the negative effects of weightlessness on the human body, DLR said in a statement. During the three-month study, two thirds of the test participants will be ‘rotated’ each day while lying in the DLR short-arm centrifuge in the :envihab aerospace medical research facility. According to a report in CNN, the study participants will be paid 16,500 euros or nearly 13 lakh rupees. “Crewed spaceflight will continue to be important in the future in order to carry out experiments in microgravity, but we must make it as safe as possible for the astronauts,” said Hansjorg Dittus, DLR Executive Board Member for Space Research and Technology. “This bed rest study conducted by DLR, NASA and ESA offers space researchers from all over Europe and the USA the opportunity to work together and jointly acquire as much scientific knowledge about human physiology as possible,” Dittus said. The 12 female and 12 male volunteers will spend 60 days in the beds, according to DLR. They will remain there for 89 days, including the pre-test and recovery phases. All experiments, meals, and leisure pursuits will take place lying down during the bed-rest phase. The participants will be restricted in their movements, so that the strain on muscles, tendons and the skeletal system is reduced. The beds are angled downwards towards the head end by six degrees. This will simulate the displacement of bodily fluids experienced by astronauts in a microgravity environment. “Both effects are similar to what astronauts experience in space,” said Leticia Vega, Associate Chief Scientist for International Collaborations for NASA’s Human Research Program. “Although the effects of weightlessness are primarily investigated on the International Space Station, analogues such as :envihab are helpful when studying certain research topics under controlled conditions on Earth. These findings will later be validated on the ISS,” Vega said.last_img read more

Search for next chief of UN health agency narrowed to five candidates

The Executive Board of the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) today said that it has narrowed to five the list of candidates to replace outgoing Director-General Gro Harlem Brundtland. Included in the short list are Julio Frenk of Mexico, Jong Wook Lee of the Republic of Korea, Pascoal Manuel Mocumbi of Mozambique, Peter Piot of Belgium and Ismail Sallam of Egypt. Following a round of interviews, the 32 expert-members of the Board will vote on 28 January, the final day of its 111th session, for the candidate who will be nominated to the World Health Assembly for confirmation in May. The new Director-General will take over from Dr. Brundtland on 21 July. read more

End of the lullaby as younger parents eschew the bedtime ritual survey

 Laura Jane-Foley, a soprano singer and ambassador for the Lullaby Trust which aims to prevent unexpected deaths in infancy and promote infant health, said: “Singing to children is just as important as reading to them.”The musical three R’s of rhythm, rhyming and repetition are crucial to a child’s mental and emotional development. “And, by participating in the shared activity of singing, parents are strengthening the bonds between parent and child.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. It may once have been seen by parents as a staple of the bedtime regime – but now it seems that lullabies are falling out of favour as younger parents eschew the ritual.  Just over a third (38 per cent) of parents sing lullabies to their children aged under five, according to a YouGov poll of over 2,000 adults.  But the vast majority – 70 per cent – of those who sing lullabies are aged over 45-years-old, suggesting that the practise is less popular with younger parents.The poll shows that women are more than twice as likely to sing to their children every night than men.  –– ADVERTISEMENT ––Research carried out at Great Ormond Street Hospital has previously shown that lullabies help to make children feel better.  They sang the songs to a group of children under three, some of whom were waiting for heart transplants, and monitored their heart rates and pain perception.  Results of the study, published by the journal Psychology of Music, showed that a group of child patients at the hospital experienced lower heart rates, less anxiety and reduced perception of pain after they had lullabies sung to them.  A separate study, published by the National Literacy Trust last year, found that  singing songs and rhymes with your baby and young child support language development and reading skills by encouraging children to listen carefully to predict. read more

Mother accused of murdering two of her children sobs in dock

Detectives have given no indication about the nature of the incident, but confirmed it was not a shooting and said it was confined to one property.A spokesman for South Yorkshire Police said no one else is being sought in connection with the incident. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. A mother sobbed in the dock on Monday as she was accused of murdering two of her children at their home in Sheffield.Sarah Barrass, 34, is charged with killing Blake Barrass, 14, and Tristan Barrass, 13, at the property in the Shiregreen area on Friday.Brandon Machin, 37, also appeared in the dock at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court charged with their murder.It remains unclear how the boys were killed, but four other children were taken to hospital for treatment following the incident at the house.Mr Machin has also been charged with three counts of attempted murder against two separate children, who cannot be named for legal reasons.Ms Barrass began sobbing as soon as she entered the dock yesterday morning for the 10-minute hearing.She and Mr Machin appeared wearing grey prison T-shirts and flanked by three security dock officers.They spoke to confirm their names, dates of birth, addresses and nationalities.No application for bail was made and they were remanded in custody to appear at Sheffield Crown Court on Tuesday.Ms Barrass could be heard shouting as she left the dock.Police were called to a semi-detached house in Shiregreen at around 7.30am on Friday. read more

Jan Pytlick is new advisor of ZRK Vardar Skopje

Jan Pytlickzrk vardar ← Previous Story Brunei appoints first proffesional NT head-coach Next Story → EHF Cup Group stage began: HSV beat Gorenje Only 10 days after they parted with the Danish coach Kim Rasmussen, ZRK Vardar appointed his compatriot Jan Pytlick for a new advisor and member of the coaching staff. Legendary Dane, Olympic champion from 2000 and 2004 with Denmark, is one of the most successful active coaches in women’s handball. However, he will be only addition to the coaching team led by Indira Kastratovic.He ended his job with the Danish squad after failure at Women’s EHF EURO 2014, where Denmark didn’t qualified for semi-finals.Hopefully, the love between Pytlick and team from Skopje will last more than 28 days as the last one with Rasmussen… read more

Simon Harris pleased to announce Crumlin Hospital scoliosis theatre to open in

first_img 26,836 Views Source: Leah Farrell/Rollingnews.ieUpdated 6.39pmMINISTER FOR HEALTH Simon Harris has announced that a new operating theatre for the treatment of scoliosis is to open at Crumlin Children’s Hospital in April.Speaking in the Dáil this evening, Harris said he was “pleased to announce” the opening. The announcement has come as an RTÉ Investigates programme claimed that patient waiting lists around the country are far larger than official estimates suggested.The new theatre is to carry out 194 spinal operations, a significant increase on last year according to Harris.The Minister also said that children on waiting lists must be treated within the scheduled wait time or have their case outsourced to private clinics for treatment.He added that a HSE action plan on scoliosis is now to be delivered by the end of the month.While the new theatre may be set to open, an older theatre closing means that capacity will not necessarily be greatly enhanced. Simon Harris ‘pleased to announce’ Crumlin Hospital scoliosis theatre to open in April It has emerged that there are an extra 80,000 people on hospital waiting lists outside the government’s official figures. http://jrnl.ie/3226537 By Sean Murray Source: Roisin Shortall/Twitter Feb 7th 2017, 6:39 PM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Tuesday 7 Feb 2017, 6:39 PMcenter_img The HSE previously told TheJournal.ie that Crumlin hospital commenced using the new theatre in November 2016 “to enable training with new equipment and also to facilitate spinal surgery in the most up-to-date environment”.Recruitment of nursing staff continues and until all staff are in place this theatre will not provide additional capacity.A new orthopaedic surgeon hire is now set to be in place for the end of June, according to Harris.Last night’s programme showcased how thousands of patients waiting for appointments and procedures in Irish hospitals are not included in the official waiting list figures.The total number of people waiting on the inpatient/day case waiting list as published by the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) on the 30 December 2016 was 81,015.However, RTÉ Investigates uncovered evidence that shows there are at least two other significant waiting lists which are not published by the NTPF.Speaking on Claire Byrne Live following the show, Health Minister Simon Harris defended the waiting list figures and rejected the idea that the government was not being open and fair on the issue.He did say, however, that he was “ashamed” and “heartbroken” at the number of people waiting for treatment.Taoiseach Enda Kenny told the Dáil today that Harris will speak to the heads of the Health Service Executive and the National Treatment Purchase Fund about the disclosure that many more patients were on the list than was first thought.“I found it difficult to watch,” said Kenny, speaking about last night’s programme.He outlined, that as of 31 January, there were 193 patients awaiting spinal procedures in Crumlin Children’s Hospital, of which 143 were for new spinal fusions.On average there are additional 250 patients every year, he said.He said the children’s hospital group confirmed there were 133 spinal fusions for scoliosis conducted in 2016, of which 44 were carried out by the private sector.Waiting listsThe RTÉ programme delved into the personal stories of patients who have remained on waiting lists for a long period of time.One of those on a waiting list is 13-year-old Megan who suffers from scoliosis, and her spinal curvature means she now finds it almost impossible to attend school.Megan described how she can feel sick with the pain and the programme revealed how she is forced to endure it while waiting for her surgery. Megan said, “I’m just sick of this stupid thing.” Share907 Tweet Email2 Shocking denial of people’s human rights to critical healthcare. We must end this shameful scandal! #RTEInvestigates— Roisin Shortall (@RoisinShortall) February 6, 2017 Short URL The Taoiseach told the Dáil today that the scoliosis issue “is an absolute priority”.He said more will be done, adding that the private sector will “assist with this”.“The opening of a brand new theatre [at Crumlin Children’s Hospital] is dependent upon the recruitment of adequately trained staff and, believe me, the efforts that are going on to have staff who are qualified to do this work are exceptional,” said Kenny.Kenny said Minister Harris has called in the CEO of Crumlin Children’s Hospital to ask why an operating theatre has not been opened.“This is an issue that the minister himself was upset about,” said the Taoiseach.Additional reporting Cianan BrennanRead: Stories of people on hospital waiting lists are “absolutely inexcusable”, says Simon HarrisRead: ‘We had to get up at 4am and travel nearly four hours so Mum could get chemo’ Source: RTÉ InvestigatesHer mother said: “All she needs is her surgery and this will go away and she can start her life again and she’s not having her surgery, she doesn’t have a date. We’re still in limbo.”The programme had a look at the numbers, which shows an extra 80,000 people on waiting lists that are not published by the State.This included 22,927 on the Pre-Admit list, which details patients from across the country waiting up to 18 months on surgical procedures.A further 59,843 patients on the Pre-Planned list which details patients who require follow-up treatment such as surgical-pin removal, cataract removal, hip replacement or even corrective spinal surgery.People on this list can be waiting anywhere between six weeks to a year.Simon HarrisAired immediately after the programme, Simon Harris was interviewed on RTÉ’s Claire Byrne Live and defended the waiting list figures released by the government.He said: “[Long waiting times] shouldn’t be happening. Having said that, we produce waiting list figures in this country every month.”“They show, and they’re not produced by my department, the government or the HSE, they are produced by the national treatment purchase fund. They show how many people are waiting.” Byrne then drew his attention to the other, unpublished lists.“But do they really?” Claire Byrne asked. “We have the official waiting list, and the pre-admit list and the pre-planned list.There are over 80,000 people on these lists. They aren’t published, are they?Harris didn’t respond directly but said: “Yes, they are additional, but I think you need to be careful how they are described. My understanding is that there are two types of people in those categories.The first are people who have had procedures scheduled. These are people who finally get the phone call and now have a procedure booked. Secondly, there is a category of people who aren’t clinically able to go to the next stage of their procedure.Byrne then asked: “Should we not, in the interests of fairness and openness, tell people in Ireland, rather than an RTÉ investigations unit going to find out, that these lists exist.“I don’t think that is a fair categorisation,” the Health Minister replied. “Waiting lists are published monthly. They are audited. The NTPF follow international standards.I don’t, by the way, dispute the figures. What I am saying is they do tell us something different.He said that for people who have been contacted by a hospital and given an appointment within six weeks for their procedure, “that is very different”.A HSE statement on the matter apologised to patients and said that it was “unacceptable that any patient in our care, particularly patients suffering and in pain should experience any difficulty in making contact with our hospitals”.The HSE added that it will aim to ensure that no one is waiting longer than 18 months by the end of June this year.Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Fianna Fáil Health spokesperson Billy Kelleher said we “simply don’t have the capacity” to meet demand in our hospitals. He also said hospital facilities were not being used efficiently.Róisín Shortall also called for end to this “shameful scandal”. 161 Comments last_img read more

Election Bell Rings

first_imgofficial announcement of the date of the election said he is “confident will be free and fair elections, following a spirited but peaceful campaign.” Related Items:#Electionbellrings, #magneticmedianews Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppBahamas, April 11, 2017 – Nassau – On Wednesday 10th April 2017, the people of the Bahamas will finally be able to have a say as to which political party they want to lead the country for the next five years. This comes after Prime Minister Perry Christie officially announced the date of the next general election at his office this morning. However, before Bahamians are able to voice their concerns with a ballot, many have taken to social media, the people’s platform, to voice their opinions on Christie’s announcement. While some voters took to Facebook to proudly state, “going all the way through with the PLP”. Others claim they will “Roc with Doc.” It was evident that both the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) and the Free National Movement (FNM) had online support in the hundreds today. Persons supporting the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) online presence were lesser in comparison. Some however, were more concerned with the date itself. One person wrote, “in the middle of National GLAT Exams and the day of the sinking of the HMBS Flamingo, one of the worst national disasters in Bahamian history. Who advised this?” Another Bahamian said,  “They should of leave that day Sacred for those Marines who died on H.M.B.S Flamingo, May 10th, 1980.” Many persons were of the belief that this date already holds a lot of significance to the country and an election should not be scheduled on the same day. On the other hand, members of the parliament have also voiced their concerns.  Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Phillip Davis yesterday made a bold predication in an interview on a radio talk show.  He told the host of “Donald Miller Live” that the PLP will win 30 seats in the upcoming general election and the FNM will win nine.   If however, the FNM were to come out victorious, Davis questioned whether Dr. Minnis would remain the leader of the FNM. Prime Minister Christie, in his official announcement of the date of the election said he is “confident will be free and fair elections, following a spirited but peaceful campaign.”In addition to Facebook, the announcement of an election in one month raised a lot of chatter on Twitter as well. The office of the Prime Minister even took to Snapchat to announce the date. Despite differences in political preference, one thing is certain; the people of the Bahamas are ready to vote.Story by: Kay-Marie Fletcher#MagneticMediaNews#Electionbellringscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img read more

BSO deputy arrested for trying to extort sex bonds out of jail

first_imgThe affidavit stated, “(Victim) informed deputy McLeod that he was armed and possessed a concealed weapons permit… McLeod continued the search and informed (victim) that he found narcotics on him.”The security guard denied having drugs on him and, according to the affidavit, “(Victim) was never placed in handcuffs, informed he was under arrest, nor did McLeod advise dispatch on the radio of the incident.”The affidavit went on to say the “Victim reaffirmed his innocence… McLeod reportedly stated, ‘You’re going to have to (expletive) me, I’m not only talking about one time, on a consistent basis.’”The deputy reportedly went to get something out of his vehicle, and the guard took off, ran across Hammondville Road and into some bushes. He called his wife, who picked him, and he went to the police.Now, McLeod has been fired. According to BSO, McLeod was arrested at 12:05 p.m. at the department’s Central Broward district office and will be facing charges of extortion, official misconduct and tampering with evidence.Israel released a statement saying: “It’s always disappointing to learn that a deputy who swore to serve and protect the public was only out to serve himself. I am extremely proud of the swift actions of our Internal Affairs and Public Corruption Units. Within four days of receiving the complaint, they investigated, conducted surveillance and brought forth evidence to support the immediate termination of this rookie deputy.”Because McLeod was so new to the Broward Sheriff’s Office, he was still on probation. The department, however, was able to fire him without any further investigation. FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) – A rookie Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy bonded out of jail overnight after being arrested for fondling and trying to extort a security guard.The now former deputy, 20-year-old Trazell McLeod, covered his face with a sweatshirt as he was released on bond early Friday morning.Broward Sheriff Scott Israel’s Internal Affairs and Public Corruption Units arrested McLeod, who has been on the job for less than a year, Thursday afternoon.McLeod, who kicked off his career as a police explorer before becoming a deputy, was arrested by his colleagues. He is accused of encountering a 34-year-old man, demanding sexual favors and committing extortion.Investigators said McLeod was patrolling near the Ali Cultural Arts building in Pompano Beach, Oct. 16, when he encountered a security guard, asked him some questions and told him he needed to be frisked. It happened in the back of the building, under a security camera.According to the arrest affidavit, “McLeod frisked [victim] … In doing so, [victim] stated that McLeod grabbed his ‘private area’ and stated, ‘You’re gonna have to give me this.’ [Victim] replied, ‘What do you mean I’m gonna have to give you this?’ McLeod responded, ‘You’ll see.’”After that encounter and the conversation described by the victim, McLeod allegedly fondled the victim and then told him he would need to engage in increased sexual activity. Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Walker Administration Asks For 10M For Seismic Testing In ANWR

first_imgEstimates by the Department of Interior to Congress indicated that as much as $2.2 billion could be earned from the sales of oil and gas leases there. That amount could potentially be increased depending on the survey results. Natural Resources Commissioner Andy Mack, spoke to a Senate Finance Committee on Monday, February 19, saying the state’s investment would pay for itself by attracting companies to bid on leases in the refuge. In December, Congress and President Donald Trump approved a federal budget that calls for oil and gas lease sales in the coastal plain. The provision to open ANWR was written in by U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). State officials believe the money could be used to provide better information about the oil and gas below the surface of the coastal plain. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Last updated on February 22nd, 2018 at 05:45 amGovernor Bill Walker’s administration has submitted a request to the state Legislature to spend $10 million dollars on seismic surveying in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). But according to the Associated Press, Senator Peter Micciche (R-K-Pen) said the state’s plan isn’t a zero-risk scenario. If surveys turn up no oil, or oil in smaller amounts than expected, it could actually decrease demand for leases. Sen. Micciche: “If you were to lease without that knowledge, sometimes folks will take that risk believing that entire area may have the potential.”last_img read more

Cisco GRAMMY Museum Announce Music Education Grant Winners

first_img Enterprise Award Grants Going To 20 Music Programs cisco-grammy-museum-announce-music-education-grant-winners News Facebook 2017 GRAMMY Signature Schools Enterprise Award to empower 20 music programs with $5,000 apiecePhilip MerrillGRAMMYs Nov 29, 2017 – 4:15 pm Cisco, the GRAMMY Museum, and the OneRepublic Good Life Foundation have teamed to distribute the 2017 GRAMMY Signature Schools Enterprise Award, 20 monetary grants of $5,000 to public school music programs, and to enable more connected classroom experiences by donating the Cisco Spark collaboration platform to recipients of the award. “We have seen the incredible benefits of our GRAMMY Signature Schools program at work in classrooms across the country, and we couldn’t be more grateful to Cisco and OneRepublic’s Good Life Foundation for their generous donation,” said Scott Goldman, GRAMMY Museum Executive Director.Music at its core is a collaborative process, and Cisco Spark will foster innovative collaboration opportunities for students and positively impact the way they work and learn. The company’s leading work with online networks has already enriched 500,000 concert attendees at dozens of Live Nation venues with WiFi, and it is committed to driving digital transformation in the music industry as well as music classrooms. “We are committed to not only supporting but also rewarding the outstanding work of the students, teachers and administrators at these schools, and hope this donation continues to make music education a reality for students across America,” said Maria Dincel, Managing Director, Olympics, Global Sponsorships and Product Placement at Cisco.Since its inception in 1998, the GRAMMY Signature Schools Program has donated more than $2.4 million in financial assistance to school music programs nationally.2017 GRAMMY Signature Schools Enterprise Award RecipientsAntioch High School, Antioch, TNBroad Ripple Magnet High School, Indianapolis, INCamden High School, Camden, NJCamelback High School, Phoenix, AZCharlestown High School, Boston, MACleveland NJROTC Academy, St. Louis, MOEastern Senior High School, Washington, DCFranklin Learning Center, Philadelphia, PAJames Hillhouse High School, New Haven, CTJohn Hancock Preparatory High School, Chicago, ILLincoln High School, , Yonkers, NYOakland Technical High School, Oakland, CAPatrick Henry High School, Roanoke, VARainier Senior High School, Rainier, WASouthwest Magnet High School and Law Academy, Macon, GAStephen F. Austin High School, Houston, TXStranahan High School, Fort Lauderdale, FLThomas Jefferson International Newcomer’s Academy, Cleveland, OHThomasville High School, Thomasville, NCWashington High School, Freemont, CAGRAMMY Music Education Coalition Brings Music To Public SchoolsRead more Twitter Email Cisco, GRAMMY Museum Announce Music Education Grant Winners last_img read more

August takes its connected smart lock tech to highend Emtek locks

first_img CES 2019 CNET Smart Home Check out all the smart home products at CES 2019 52 Photos Tags Share your voice Smart Locks Post a comment CES 2019: Every story so far: It’s the year’s biggest tech show.CES 2019 schedule: It’s six days of jam-packed events. Here’s what to expect. August 0 An Emtek lock display model. Tyler Lizenby/CNET After it was acquired by Assa Abloy last year, August Home demonstrated its value to by introducing a new connectivity module for its now-sister brand Yale. It’s now doing the same for another Assa Abloy-owned lock brand, the high-end residential lock maker Emtek, which has a new EMPowered Smart Lock line out this year, with EMPowered Smart Lock Keypad Deadbolt out in February, and the EMPowered Smart Lock for Deadbolt/Entryset out in August. If you haven’t custom-designed your own home lately, you might not be familiar with Emtek. You’ll find its lock hardware in high-end home design stores, where it’s the market share leader. You can custom configure an Emtek lock with all kinds of different finishes, materials, handles and other lock hardware designs to match the vision for your dream home. Thanks to the same August-connected module you can pop into a Yale Assure lock, you can also order an Emtek lock that will connect to August’s smart home app. From there, you get all the benefits of an August Smart Lock, including remote control via your phone’s app, geofencing and the ability to assign digital keys to anyone you want to have access to your home. August says the pricing for the August-connected Emtek locks will start around $350, and go up from there depending on your choice of lock hardware. last_img read more

Microsoft combines Xbox Live Xbox Game Pass in new ultimate service

first_img Culture Gaming Share your voice 0 Tags Microsoft Post a comment Microsoft is expanding the services it offers for the Xbox. CNET Microsoft has a new Xbox service to offer gamers.The tech giant said on Tuesday that it’s planning to offer a new subscription service that would combine two of its online gaming services into one larger subscription for $14.99 a month.The new service, called Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, combines Microsoft’s $60 per year Xbox Live Gold with its $9.99 per month Xbox Game Pass. Xbox Live Gold is a gaming social network where you can play and chat with friends. Xbox Game Pass gives players access to a back catalog of more than 100 games, such as the world building title Minecraft and the epic action series Gears of War.The Ultimate service launches later this year, Microsoft said, though the company will begin testing it soon.”We heard you,” Microsoft said in a statement. The announcement was made during the company’s Inside Xbox livestream Tuesday. The company also announced a new $249 Xbox One S All-Digital Edition device, launching May 7.The new subscription is just the latest change Microsoft has planned for its Xbox. The company has said it’s building a new Xbox console, which is said to be planned for release next year. The company is also building a game streaming service, which would let people play games over the internet in a way similar to how they watch movies on Netflix. last_img read more

Houston Experts Categorize Trumps Order On Immigration As Historic And An Overreaction

first_img Share Listen 00:00 /01:11 Laura IsenseeIn downtown Houston on Sunday more than a thousand people gathered just steps away from the Super Bowl festivities.Many Houstonians are still reacting to President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration.Downtown Houston and Bush Intercontinental Airport were some of the scenes for protests over the measure this past weekend.Brandon Rottinghaus, a professor of political science at the University of Houston, says that “in terms of immigration authority, this is definitely one for the ages, it’s definitely something that ranks high in the list of major changes.”Trump has argued his measure is similar to what former President Barack Obama did in 2011 when he banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months.However, Obama Administration officials say there was no such ban because the measures didn’t prohibit entry to the United States.Rather, they imposed additional checks on applications from Iraqis.The Obama Administration took that measure after an investigation revealed that an Iraqi man who had been granted asylum in the U.S. had made improvised roadside bombs in Iraq.Charles Foster, a veteran immigration attorney who has practiced law for more than 40 years, categorizes the President’s executive order as “unprecedented because it’s an overreaction, a greater reaction than what President George W. Bush did immediately after 9/11.”After the attacks, Bush created the Department of Homeland Security, but he didn’t restrict the entry of foreigners based on their nationality.Foster, who leads the firm Foster LLP, adds the measure can significantly impact Houston because of its international workforce and particularly because many companies based in our city work in the energy sector.The executive order bans the entry of nationals from some countries involved in the oil business, such as Iraq and Yemen, and Foster explains that “it’s not unusual, if you’re doing business in those countries, to hire nationals from those countries, to have them on your staff here and have them going back and forth.” X To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:last_img read more

Beware smartphone crashing text

first_imgThe warning was also published on the My Broadband site.How do they target me?They send you a shortcode link to a story. The link looks very similar to the links we send with our WhatsApp and BBM news notifications. So be careful for the next few days about what links you click on. And if your phone does go all crazy, you now know what to do to fix it. Simply turn it off and back on, and you are fixed.DID YOU KNOW?Click on the words highlighted in red to read more on this and related topics.If you are reading this on your cellphone and there are telephone numbers provided in the text, you can call these simply by clicking on them.To receive news links via WhatsApp.For the latest news, visit our webpage or follow us on Facebook and Twitter  why not join us there? WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite A malicious link is doing the rounds, specifically targets smartphones including Apple’s iPhones and Android phones. It can also make PCs and Apple macs running Chrome very sluggish, but the main target is the iPhone.It started basically as a prank text which would knock out iPhones and was sent normally by friends of the victim. It has since virally spread and can randomly hit.So what does it do and how does it work?The link, called crashsafari.com, overloads the browser with a self-generating text string which populates the address bar and becomes increasingly difficult to load.In layman’s terms, it gives your Apple smartphone’s cpu so much rubbish to perform that it just freezes and crashes, and in the case of Android smartphones, makes them operate  so slowly you would cry….It takes about 20 seconds or so to force an iPhone to reboot, as the phone significantly heats up as the smartphone tries to handle the code of the site,” stated the report initially published in the Guardian.For PCs, Macs and Android devices, they do not crash, they just become very slow.The problem can be solved with a simple reboot of either PC, Mac, Iphone or Android smartphone.last_img read more

NeurIPS 2018 Rethinking transparency and accountability in machine learning

first_imgKey takeaways from the discussion To solve problems with machine learning, you must first understand them. Different people or groups of people are going to define a problem in a different way. So, we shouldn’t believe that the way we want to frame the problem computationally is the right way. If we allow that our systems include people and society, it is clear that we have to help negotiate values, not simply define them. Last week, at the 32nd NeurIPS 2018 annual conference, Nitin Koli, Joshua Kroll, and Deirdre Mulligan presented the common pitfalls we see when studying the human side of machine learning. Machine learning is being used in high-impact areas like medicine, criminal justice, employment, and education for making decisions. In recent years, we have seen that this use of machine learning and algorithmic decision making have resulted in unintended discrimination.  It’s becoming clear that even models developed with the best of intentions may exhibit discriminatory biases and perpetuate inequality. Although researchers have been analyzing how to put concepts like fairness, accountability, transparency, explanation, and interpretability into practice in machine learning, properly defining these things can prove a challenge. Attempts have been made to define them mathematically, but this can bring new problems. This is because applying mathematical logic to human concepts that have unique and contested political and social dimensions necessarily has blind spots – every point of contestation can’t be integrated into a single formula. In turn, this can cause friction with other disciplines as well as the public. Based on their research on what various terms mean in different contexts, Nitin Koli, Joshua Krill, and Deirdre Mulligan drew out some of the most common misconceptions machine learning researchers and practitioners hold. Sociotechnical problems To find a solution to a particular problem, data scientists need precise definitions. But how can we verify that these definitions are correct? Indeed, many definitions will be contested, depending on who you are and what you want them to mean. A definition that is fair to you will not necessarily be fair to me”, remarks Mr. Kroll. Mr. Kroll explained that while definitions can be unhelpful, they are nevertheless essential from a mathematical perspective.  This means there appears to be an unresolved conflict between concepts and mathematical rigor. But there might be a way forward. Perhaps it’s wrong to simply think in this dichotomy of logical rigor v. the messy reality of human concepts. One of the ways out of this impasse is to get beyond this dichotomy. Although it’s tempting to think of the technical and mathematical dimension on one side, with the social and political aspect on the other, we should instead see them as intricately related. They are, Kroll suggests, socio-technical problems. Kroll goes on to say that we cannot ignore the social consequences of machine learning: “Technologies don’t live in a vacuum and if we pretend that they do we kind of have put our blinders on and decided to ignore any human problems.” Fairness in machine learning In the real world, fairness is a concept directly linked to processes. Think, for example, of the voting system. Citizens cast votes to their preferred candidates and the candidate who receives the most support is elected. Here, we can say that even though the winning candidate was not the one a candidate voted for, but at least he/she got the chance to participate in the process. This type of fairness is called procedural fairness. However, in the technical world, fairness is often viewed in a subtly different way. When you place it in a mathematical context, fairness centers on outcome rather than process. Kohli highlighted that trade offs between these different concepts can’t be avoided. They’re inevitable. A mathematical definition of fairness places a constraint over the behavior of a system, and this constraint will narrow down the cause of models that can satisfy these conditions. So, if we decide to add too many fairness constraints to the system, some of them will be self-contradictory. One more important point machine learning practitioners should keep in mind is that when we talk about the fairness of a system, that system isn’t a self-contained and coherent thing. It is not a logical construct – it’s a social one. This means there are a whole host of values, ideas, and histories that have an impact on its reality.. In practice, this ultimately means that the complexity of the real world from which we draw and analyze data can have an impact on how a model works. Kohli explained this by saying, “it doesn’t really matter… whether you are building a fair system if the context in which it is developed and deployed in is fundamentally unfair.” Accountability in machine learning Accountability is ultimately about trust. It’s about the extent you can be sure you know what is ‘true’ about a system. It refers to the fact that you know how it works and why it does things in certain ways. In more practical terms, it’s all about invariance and reliability. To ensure accountability inside machine learning models, we need to follow a layered model. The bottom layer is an accounting or recording layer, that keeps track of what a given system is doing and the ways in which it might have been changed.. The next layer is a more analytical layer. This is where those records on the bottom layer are analyzed, with decisions made about performance – whether anything needs to be changed and how they should be changed. The final and top-most layer is about responsibility. It’s where the proverbial buck stops – with those outside of the algorithm, those involved in its construction. “Algorithms are not responsible, somebody is responsible for the algorithm,”  explains Kroll. Transparency Transparency is a concept heavily tied up with accountability. Arguably you have no accountability without transparency. The layered approach discussed above should help with transparency, but it’s also important to remember that transparency is about much more than simply making data and code available. Instead, it demands that the decisions made in the development of the system are made available and clear too. Mr. Kroll emphasizes, “to the person at the ground-level for whom the decisions are being taken by some sort of model, these technical disclosures aren’t really useful or understandable.” Explainability In his paper Explanation in Artificial Intelligence: Insights from the Social Sciences, Tim Miller describes what is explainable artificial intelligence. According to Miller, explanation takes many forms such as causal, contrastive, selective, and social. Causal explanation gives reasons behind why something happened, for example, while contrastive explanations can provide answers to questions like“Why P rather than not-P?”. But the most important point here is that explanations are selective. An explanation cannot include all reasons why something happened; explanations are always context-specific, a response to a particular need or situation. Think of it this way: if someone asks you why the toaster isn’t working, you could just say that it’s broken. That might be satisfactory in some situations, but you could, of course, offer a more substantial explanation, outlining what was technically wrong with the toaster, how that technical fault came to be there, how the manufacturing process allowed that to happen, how the business would allow that manufacturing process to make that mistake… you could, of course, go on and on. Data is not the truth Today, there is a huge range of datasets available that will help you develop different machine learning models. These models can be useful, but it’s essential to remember that they are models. A model isn’t the truth – it’s an abstraction, a representation of the world in a very specific way. One way of taking this fact into account is the concept of ‘construct validity’. This sounds complicated, but all it really refers to is the extent to which a test – say a machine learning algorithm – actually measures what it says it’s trying to measure. The concept is widely used in disciplines like psychology, but in machine learning, it simply refers to the way we validate a model based on its historical predictive accuracy. In a nutshell, it’s important to remember that just as data is an abstraction of the world, models are also an abstraction of the data. There’s no way of changing this, but having an awareness that we’re dealing in abstractions ensures that we do not lapse into the mistake of thinking we are in the realm of ‘truth’. To build a fair(er) systems will ultimately require an interdisciplinary approach, involving domain experts working in a variety of fields. If machine learning and artificial intelligence is to make a valuable and positive impact in fields such as justice, education, and medicine, it’s vital that those working in those fields work closely with those with expertise in algorithms. This won’t fix everything, but it will be a more robust foundation from which we can begin to move forward. You can watch the full talk on the Facebook page of NeurIPS. Read Next Researchers unveil a new algorithm that allows analyzing high-dimensional data sets more effectively, at NeurIPS conference Accountability and algorithmic bias: Why diversity and inclusion matters [NeurIPS Invited Talk] NeurIPS 2018: A quick look at data visualization for Machine learning by Google PAIR researchers [Tutorial]last_img read more

Air China celebrates 30 years in Australia

first_imgAir China, China’s national carrier and the first Chinese airline to operate in Australia, is celebrating 30 years of Australian service with a special public event to mark the milestone in Martin Place, Sydney.Kicking off from 12.00pm on Thursday, 30 October 2014 at the Martin Place Amphitheatre, the Sydney city community can expect live entertainment with Chinese traditional music and dance acts performed by the Australia Oriental Sing and Dance Group.Other activities include a unique fine art demonstration featuring a large scale Oriental calligraphy “dance writing” performance by the Master, Mr. Franz Cheung.Furthermore, “boarding passes” will be distributed to the public at the event to be in the running to win a variety of prizes.First prize is two economy class tickets return to China plus two nights at the 5-star Shangri-La China World Hotel, Beijing.Second prize is a two night stay at the 5-star Pudong Shangri-La, East Shanghai, there are also 50 consolation prizes up for grabs.Air China general manager for Australia and New Zealand, Jie Rui has said this celebration acknowledges Australia’s most valuable international inbound market, China.“Air China is proud to be the preferred carrier of passengers travelling from Beijing to Australia, with the success of the route and ongoing confidence in our service, the demand continues to grow and today Air China operates many routes,” said Mr Rui.Air China has a fleet of 523 passenger aircraft and freighters of mainly Boeing and Airbus families and it operates 332 routes, including 80 international routes, 15 regional routes and 237 domestic routes.Source = ETB News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more

New Global Partnership between NYC Company and Mastercard

first_imgSource = NYC & Company New Global Partnership between NYC & Company and MastercardNew Global Partnership between NYC & Company and MastercardNew York City is one of the most visited cities in the world, delivering unrivaled experiences and events across culinary, theatre, music, sports, arts and more. In a move to enable people to further experience all this unique city has to offer, NYC & Company and Mastercard today announced a new global, multi-year partnership.From NYC & Company’s iconic programs including NYC Restaurant Week®, NYC Broadway WeekSM and NYC Must-See WeekSM to its other citywide initiatives, the two will collaborate to bring all that is Priceless about NYC to life. In addition, Mastercard will also become the preferred payment technology partner of NYC & Company and will be integrated into the organization’s global tourism promotional efforts.Ranked consistently as one of the top cities for both travel and dining by Mastercard’s Global Destination Cities Index, New York City offers unique opportunities to both travelers and residents. Mastercard has always been deeply engaged in the growth and well-being of the city – whether through curated experiences for cardholders through Priceless Cities, identifying and solving urban challenges through City Possible, or by innovating and establishing its first Tech Hub in NYC.Market and traveler insights from Mastercard will help NYC & Company’s business-to-business partners more effectively communicate the dynamic city to audiences around the world. Local businesses could also benefit from Mastercard’s support of NYC & Company’s successful Tourism–Ready efforts, which trains emerging businesses big and small throughout the five boroughs to become better equipped to benefit from tourism.The partnership comes as NYC & Company releases its 2018 year-end tourism figures. Last year, the City welcomed a record 65.2 million visitors, comprising 51.6 million domestic visitors and 13.5 million international visitors. 2018 represented the ninth consecutive year of tourism growth. A record 37.7 million hotel room nights were sold citywide in 2018, generating $623 million in estimated hotel occupancy tax revenues. The top five international markets for 2018 NYC visitation were: UK (1.24 million); China (1.1 million); Canada (1 million); Brazil (920,000); and France (807,000).“This record breaking year of tourism proves what every New Yorker knows: this is the greatest City in the world to live in and visit. New York City embodies true American values. We embrace diversity and are welcoming to all, and the more than 65 million visitors to our city were able to experience that first hand,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.“While celebrating a new tourism milestone, it is an exciting moment to announce our new partnership with Mastercard, an iconic and innovative global brand, elevating our efforts to attract a broader worldwide audience to experience New York City’s unparalleled offerings,” said NYC & Company president and CEO Fred Dixon. “Through this unprecedented marketing collaboration with Mastercard, we will reach more consumers directly to grow overnight stays and expand neighborhood exploration across the five boroughs while also supporting small business development, continued job growth and opportunities for New Yorkers.”“Experience lies at the heart of New York City and we are thrilled to partner with NYC & Company to support one of the world’s most visited cities while also giving our cardholders Priceless opportunities to experience it in new and meaningful ways,” said Cheryl Guerin, executive vice president of North America Marketing & Communications at Mastercard. “Together with this expanded relationship, we can further our local economic development efforts to continue to ensure New York City remains a must-visit destination.”NYC & Company is predicting more than 67 million visitors will visit New York City in 2019, a “monumental year” with many large-scale openings and the City hosting WorldPride, the first time the celebrated event will be held in the United States.New York City’s travel and tourism sector currently supports 9 percent of payroll employment— 391,000 employees—and generates approximately $66 billion in annual economic impact (based on 2017 data).“We are proud to join forces with Mastercard on this significant partnership to strengthen New York City’s global reach around the world,” said Emily Rafferty, chairman of NYC & Company. “This new collaboration along with the City’s ninth consecutive year of tourism growth inaugurates our monumental year.”NYC Restaurant Week, NYC Broadway Week and NYC Must-See Week are all part of NYC & Company’s new NYC Winter Outing initiative, a bundle of offers that encourages visitors and locals to enjoy the City’s restaurants, theaters, museums, attractions and performing arts from Jan. 21 – Feb. 10. More information can be found at nycgo.com/nycwinteroutingAs part of this partnership, Mastercard cardholders will get unique NYC Priceless experiences around key passion areas, have exclusive access, pre-sale opportunities and ongoing discounts at many merchants during iconic NYC & Company programs to make NYC Priceless year-round.About NYC & CompanyNYC & Company is the official destination marketing organization and convention & visitors bureau for the City of New York, dedicated to maximizing travel and tourism opportunities throughout the five boroughs, building economic prosperity and spreading the positive image of New York City worldwide. For all there is to do and see in New York City, visit nycgo.com.About MastercardMastercard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. Our global payments processing network connects consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. Mastercard products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MastercardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.last_img read more

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