12 Oct

No respite for Gurugram residents as dust storm continues to make air

first_imgGururgam: There seems to be no respite for the residents of Gurugram as dusty winds have resulted in the city’s air being in the very poor category.On Monday, the particulate levels of 2.5 microns in Gurugram was registered at 350 micrograms per cubic metres. This is way above the prescribed limits of 60 micrograms per cubic metre set by the world health organisation (WHO). According to the met department, dust storm conditions are making the situation in the city worse. Also Read – Odd-Even: CM seeks transport dept’s views on exemption to women, two wheelers, CNG vehicles”Dust particles from the Thar in Rajasthan are blowing towards this region. That is a major cause of continuous deterioration in air quality. Also, wind direction is west-south-west, leading to the transportation of more dust particles from the desert,” said the Met official. If weather conditions were not favourable for the air to breathe what made the matters worse was the dust and vehicular pollution in the city. There was a high concentration of posonous gases like nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide that is mostly emitted by the vehicles. Also Read – More good air days in Delhi due to Centre’s steps: JavadekarIn order to save the cost, there are a large number of vehicles especially the three-wheeler that use low quality fuel that further causes more harm to the people breathing the air. Large scale construction activities and the receding green cover has resulted in dust being the major contributor to pollution in the Millennium city. Even as strict orders have been issued by the National Green Tribunal to not allow the burning of the waste, the brazenness of not following the law can be seen even in the crowded area of National Highway-8. “There is a need for sustained and committed effort in dealing with such a major challenge. Unfortunately, a few days of favourable weather conditions cannot help us escape from the big challenge that surrounds us.” “The citizens and the government must collaborate together to fight this menace. Unfortunately, even though the awareness about pollution has improved, the pro-activeness about it has not changed much,” said Shweta Narang, a city resident. Most of the citizens from the city have taken to digital platforms to highlight the challenges that are resulting in a spike of deadly air levels.last_img read more

12 Oct

Consumer group warns of dangers of classic summer toys

BOSTON — A consumer advocacy group is reminding parents of the dangers of classic summertime toys like baby pools, high-powered water guns and inflatable pool rings.Boston-based World Against Toys Causing Harm issued its annual list of 10 “summer safety traps” Tuesday.Other toys on the list include water balloon slingshots, on-ground water slides such as the Slip ‘N Slide, and projectile-firing toy guns.Nonmotorized scooters also earned a spot because the organization says they’re responsible for most toy-related injuries.Trampoline parks, all-terrain vehicles, pool covers and defective pool drain covers were other child safety risks included on the list.The organization says July and August account for more preventable, accidental deaths than any other two-month period of the year.The Associated Press read more

7 Oct

Take Our Survey Communications Careers in the Spotlight

Over the last several years of doing our annual Career & Salary Survey, we’ve learned quite a bit about how the communications industry breaks down in terms of job responsibilities and career opportunities. For example, last year’s survey results revealed that communications and collaboration has become more of a team effort, with responsibilities falling across a variety of IT disciplines ranging from PBX manager to network engineer, security analyst, application developer, contact center manager, and beyond.The continually diversifying roles is one of the things that makes this industry so interesting to follow. When I joined the No Jitter team just five years ago as an associate editor, there was no talk of digital transformation; yet now, not only do you hear about digital transformation efforts regularly, but there are entire IT teams dedicated to such projects, in some cases led by the newly emerging role of chief digital officer.Last year’s survey participants identified technologies and skills related to digital transformation as important for career advancement. In addition to digital transformation, the survey results suggested that communications professionals looking to differentiate themselves should consider boning up on technologies like communications integration, Internet of Things, speech interfaces, and artificial intelligence (AI).Put simply, there’s a lot of change going on in the communications space right now. Last year’s survey respondents called out IP networking, email, and communications APIs as among the most important to for IT professionals to understand in order to find success in their current jobs, but times they are a-changing. As the industry evolves, new technologies emerge, IT/communications roles shift, and the state of careers and salaries, as well as the opportunities for career advancement, transform right along with everything else.That’s why we’re hoping that, if you work for an enterprise organization, you will take a few minutes to participate in our 2018 Career & Salary Survey and keep us up to date on the changing factors that are impacting your career in enterprise communications and collaboration. Click here for the survey, and complete it by this Friday, November 16, for the chance to win one of three $100 gift cards. We’ll share the results on No Jitter, as per usual, so be sure to check back to this space for insights gleaned!Tags:News & ViewsCareer & SalarySurveydigital transformationIP networkingcommunicationsCareersNo Jitter ResearchTechnology Trends Articles You Might Like Enterprise Connect Research: 2018 Career & Salary Survey Beth Schultz December 12, 2018 A snapshot of your career in enterprise communications, from the skills you possess, your top job factors, and the salaries you earn 4 Imperatives for Enterprise IT Communication Managers Marty Parker June 11, 2019 With enterprise communications more dynamic than ever, you must adapt and lead to keep your organization competitive. Cisco Gives Certifications a Software Facelift Zeus Kerravala June 17, 2019 A new line of DevNet programs will verify core and advanced skills of Cisco platforms, applications, and APIs. Network Engineers: Time to Give Up Your Blankies Zeus Kerravala August 29, 2019 Following an SD-WAN user session at VMworld, sharing advice on why you need to embrace reskilling Don’t Surrender in the Fight for IT Talent Joyce Osenbaugh June 12, 2019 Combat the shortage by looking for your next hires in non-traditional places. Success_731.png See All in Careers » read more

7 Oct

Firstyear student wins an iPad for participating in survey

Valentina Escobar is the third winner of an iPad for participating in the National Survey on Student Engagement.The first-year Sociology student filled out the undergraduate survey, which is for first-year and graduating students. The survey was distributed recently to students’ email accounts.Brock is giving away a total of four iPad prizes to students who fill out the survey.

7 Oct

Pound slides on Brexit on track for lowest close since 1985

LONDON — The pound dropped Tuesday to its lowest level against the dollar since 1985, excluding a brief “flash crash” in 2016 that may have been caused by technical glitches, as international investors fret over a political showdown over Brexit this week.The British currency fell as low as $1.1960, down almost a cent on the day before stabilizing around $1.1990. Not counting the brief plunge in the autumn of 2016, in which the currency fell to $1.1789 for about two minutes before recovering, the pound is now at its lowest level in 34 years.Brexit is facing a crucial few days as lawmakers challenge Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s insistence that the U.K. will leave the European Union on Oct. 31 even without a deal.Parliament is returning from its summer recess Tuesday with a key piece of legislation on its agenda that would see it take control of the Parliament’s agenda. If that passes, the lawmakers are expected to vote to block the government from bringing the country out of the EU without a deal, which many experts say would cause chaos for people and businesses as border checks and tariffs resume, among other things.Johnson has tried to crack down on members of his Conservative Party who oppose his Brexit plans, warning them they would be expelled from the party if they supported parliamentary efforts to block or delay Brexit. Johnson’s office also says he would call an early election, with uncertain consequences.“Markets are extremely negative about the consequences of a no-deal scenario,” said Alex Kuptsikevich, analyst at online brokerage FxPro. “The pound will have a hard time if the (lawmakers’) initiatives fail.”The pound has become the main indicator of international investors’ confidence in Britain’s economy. Its fall effectively makes British people poorer as they can spend less on travel and foreign goods, which become pricier.But it also helps British exporters as well as the many multinationals that are based in the country but make most of their money in other countries and currencies. Oil companies like Shell and BP make their money in dollars around the world, converting that back to pounds when they report earnings, so the pound’s drop is generally a boost to them. It’s a similar story for global bank HSBC, mining firms Antofagasta and Rio Tinto and consumer goods producer Unilever.That’s why the main stock index, the FTSE 100, has actually held up well in the face of the Brexit chaos. While the pound is down almost 7% this year, the stock index is up 8%. Stocks focused on Britain’s own economy, however, have fared more poorly.The fall in the pound can also make British companies more vulnerable to takeovers from abroad as they effectively become cheaper to buy. Foreign takeovers of British companies jumped after the June 2016 Brexit referendum, when the pound fell around 10% from over $1.500. They have increased again this year as the pound slipped again.___Follow AP’s full coverage of Brexit and British politics at: https://www.apnews.com/BrexitCarlo Piovano, The Associated Press read more

6 Oct

As elections near in DR Congo Annan calls for end to intimidation

“Any attempt to manipulate the process, including through restrictions on the freedom of the national and international press, the intimidation of voters and arbitrary arrests, cannot be tolerated and should be strongly condemned,” he says in his latest report on the poll that aims to cement stability in the vast country after a disastrous civil war.The six-year civil war cost 4 million lives through fighting and attendant hunger and disease – widely considered the most lethal conflict in the world since World War II – and the security still remains tenuous in several parts of the country, notably in the east, as Mr. Annan notes in the report to the Security Council released today.Terming the elections historic, he “strongly encourages” Congolese political leaders to show a spirit of reconciliation and renewal, calls on the national police to take the necessary security measures to prevent possible violence, and warns of a twofold security challenge – inter-party tensions in large cities and the volatility in the eastern rural areas.The Congolese electorate of 25.5 million voters will be called upon, for the first time in45 years, to cast their vote in some 50,000 polling stations for some 33 presidential, over 9,000 national legislative and over 10,000 provincial assembly candidates, in polls that will cost hundreds of million dollars.“Risks of violence during the forthcoming elections are potentially high,” the Secretary-General writes. “Security sector reform efforts remain largely incomplete and most of the former belligerents maintain a military capacity with which they could challenge electoral results. The deployment of the (presidential) Garde républicaine to parts of the country has raised concern about possible intimidation of certain candidates.”He notes that despite some progress, the political and security situation in Ituri, the Kivus and Katanga, all eastern provinces, remains tenuous with militia fighting continuing to affect civilians. Joint operations by the national army, known by its French acronym FARDC, and the UN mission in the DRC (MONUC) have improved the overall situation in the Kivus, with progress made in containing and disarming militias.But there are a number of intransigent armed groups in the area that continue to pose a threat to the populations and MONUC intends to intensify operations against these remaining elements after the elections.Meanwhile, FARDC has engaged in “widespread, serious violations of human rights” partly due a somewhat ineffective integration of the national army, particularly given the lack of political will, the mismanagement and diversion of funds earmarked for salary payments, and inadequate training and logistical support.“I urge the Congolese authorities and bilateral donors, including the European Union and others, to accelerate the establishment of a reformed army and police force and to ensure that those responsible for human rights violations are swiftly brought to trial by an independent and credible justice system,” he writes.Mr. Annan notes that the humanitarian crisis in DRC remains severe, with a large number of internally displaced persons and while the UN and its partners have invested much effort and resources to mitigate the worst aspects, donors have pledged only 14 per cent of the $682 million needed for this year’s humanitarian action plan. He also stresses the importance of vital importance of continued aid after the elections. “The sustained engagement of the international community, and the establishment of follow-up peace consolidation mechanisms, will be critical,” he says.The future Government must establish a national action plan, including benchmarks and coordinated programmes of donor support targeted at key objectives, such as poverty reduction and security sector reform. As for UN involvement, Mr. Annan says he intends to provide the Council, after a possible second round of the presidential poll in October, with proposals for MONUC’s post-electoral role, including “critical areas” such as the extension of State authority, security sector reform, protection and promotion of human rights, protection of civilians and the provision of overall security. read more

3 Oct

US 30year average mortgage rate rises to 408 per cent

US 30-year average mortgage rate rises to 4.08 per cent by The Associated Press Posted Dec 1, 2016 8:21 am MDT Last Updated Dec 1, 2016 at 11:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email FILE – In this Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016, file photo, “For Sale” signs are stacked up outside a new complex of townhouses in Houston. On Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016, Freddie Mac reports on the week’s average U.S. mortgage rates. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, File) WASHINGTON – Long-term U.S. mortgage rates marked a fifth week of surges in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s election win, reaching their highest levels this year.Mortgage giant Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate on a 30-year fixed rate loan rose to 4.08 per cent from 4.03 per cent the previous week. The benchmark rate topped its 3.93 per cent level of a year ago.The rate on 15-year home loans, a popular choice for people who are refinancing, jumped to 3.34 per cent from 3.25 per cent.Long-term mortgage and interest rates have climbed in the four weeks since Trump’s surprise victory on Nov. 9 to become the country’s next president.Bond investors are looking toward tax cuts and increased government spending to upgrade roads, bridges and airports under a Trump administration, which could fuel inflation. That would depress prices of long-term Treasury bonds because inflation would erode their value over time. When bond investors foresee rising inflation, they demand higher long-term yields and pay lower prices for bonds. Bond yields move opposite to prices and also influence long-term mortgage rates.The yield on the 10-year Treasury bond stood at 2.38 per cent Wednesday, the same as a week earlier and up from 1.87 per cent on Election Day Nov. 8. It climbed to 2.45 per cent Thursday morning, its highest level since July 2015.More immediately, Federal Reserve policymakers are expected to raise the central bank’s benchmark rate at their Dec. 13-14 meeting for the first time in nearly a year. Fed Chair Janet Yellen recently told Congress that the case for a rate boost has “continued to strengthen.”The effect of advancing mortgage rates could be seen in reduced activity by prospective homebuyers. Applications for mortgage loans fell 9.4 per cent in the week ended Nov. 25 from a week earlier, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Applications for refinancing dipped 16 per cent.Higher mortgage rates, along with rising house prices, could eventually reduce demand for housing.To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country between Monday and Wednesday each week.The average doesn’t include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 per cent of the loan amount.The average fee for a 30-year mortgage was unchanged this week at 0.5 point. The fee on 15-year loans also remained at 0.5 point.Rates on adjustable five-year loans rose to 3.15 per cent from 3.12 per cent. The fee was steady at 0.4 point. read more

2 Oct

Ohio State mens hockey stays in CCHA hunt against Notre Dame

The Ohio State men’s ice hockey team capped off its weekend series against No. 3 Notre Dame with a 2-2 tie. The Fighting Irish went on to win the shootout, 1-0, in five rounds. The Saturday night draw came after a 6-3 OSU victory the night before. The series moved the Buckeyes from sixth place to fifth in the 11-team Central Collegiate Hockey Association. The top five teams will receive a bye in the CCHA Tournament next month. Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson’s starting lineup Saturday night featured five changes out of six positions from the night before. He replaced junior goalie Steven Summerhays, who was benched after two periods in the series opener, with senior Mike Johnson. Despite the personnel change, OSU’s sophomore forward Darik Angeli tallied a shorthanded goal with 8:49 left in the opening period. Notre Dame would pull even with just 6.7 seconds left in the first period on a goal credited to freshman forward Thomas DiPauli. The goal, of which OSU coach Mark Osiecki questioned the legitimacy, came after a number of players from both sides fought for the puck near the crease. “I’d love to see the replay that they had. The replay that we had, there’s no stick involved, and you see an arm move,” Osiecki said. Both teams would tally once in the second period. Notre Dame gained its first and only lead on a power play goal from senior defenseman Sam Calabrese. OSU freshman defenseman Craig Dalrymple scored with 65 seconds left in the period to knot the score at two. The Irish outshot the Buckeyes in the third, 14-3, but were unable to get past OSU senior goalie Brady Hjelle. In the period, Hjelle made 14 of his career-high 45 saves. “That is by far the most traffic I have seen in front of the net so far this year,” Hjelle said. “I thought we did a great job and didn’t give up any easy shots.” Osiecki said his men “had a hard time getting out of our zone,” and that it might have had to do with the absence of junior defenseman Curtis Gedig, who left Friday’s game with an injury. After a scoreless overtime period, Notre Dame junior forward Anders Lee made a shootout goal to earn his team a second point after getting one for the tie. On Friday, the pivotal play of the series opener came late in the first period when Irish forward Mike Voran illegally checked OSU sophomore forward Nick Oddo from behind. Voran received a game misconduct penalty for the hit and was disqualified for the remainder of the game. “(He) was one of our penalty killers,” Jackson said. His absence would loom large. Oddo returned early in the second, scoring once and earning two assists in a span of less than three minutes on the ensuing power play to put the Buckeyes up, 3-1. Each team would score twice more in the period. An empty net tally by OSU sophomore defenseman Justin DaSilva provided the only offense in the closing period. OSU is scheduled to continue play with CCHA opponent Alaska Friday in Fairbanks, Ala., at 11:05 p.m. EST. read more

28 Sep

The Rams Went Shopping For A Super Bowl — And It Worked

The dream-team paradigm has gone through several permutations over the years. In the era before the salary cap, star-powered rosters could stay together for many consecutive seasons, resulting in monstrous talent collections such as the Steel Curtain-era Pittsburgh Steelers (who had an absurd nine Hall of Famers on their roster in 1978) and even more recent teams such as Bill Walsh’s San Francisco 49ers and Jimmy Johnson’s Dallas Cowboys. But the advent of free agency in 1993 — and the subsequent addition of the salary cap — made such dream teams more difficult to keep together, whether by pre-emptively forcing teams to let useful players go or penalizing for years teams that tried to skirt the cap by pushing player paydays into the future.More recent dream team attempts have been the subject of ridicule, such as when the 2011 Philadelphia Eagles signed a group of veteran free agents that included Nnamdi Asomugha, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Jason Babin and — of course — Vince Young. When Young was asked to describe Philly’s new squad, he infamously responded with a smile and two words: “dream team.” In the end, the Eagles went a disappointing 8-8, writing a cautionary tale for future free-agent spending sprees.But around the same time, the NFL’s current preferred team-building strategy began to come into focus as young, cheap (at the time) quarterbacks such as Baltimore’s Joe Flacco and Seattle’s Russell Wilson won Super Bowls. With a change to the league’s collective bargaining agreement significantly lowering the price tags on incoming rookie QBs, teams realized that they could use the draft to acquire the most important asset in football — a star quarterback — for a relatively low price and then trick out the rest of their roster with the savings. The dream team concept was reborn.Take the 2017 champion Eagles, who spent a combined 4.5 percent of the cap on signal-callers Carson Wentz and Nick Foles — the former of whom vied for league MVP honors before a knee injury ended his season and the latter of whom was the Super Bowl MVP. That Philly team was laden with non-QB talent, and many of its members were productive veterans (Ronald Darby, Jay Ajayi, Alshon Jeffery, Timmy Jernigan, etc.) who had been plucked from other teams.This season’s Rams have taken a version of that same formula and run with it even further. They got 40 total points of Approximate Value1Pro-Football-Reference.com’s single-number measure of player value. out of veteran newcomers, which would rank 10th among Super Bowl winners, and that was with Talib, Peters, Suh and Fowler all having relative down seasons.That last part makes the Rams a bit different from other successful dream teams of the past. The 1994 49ers, for instance, were jam-packed with talented veteran newcomers — including Rickey Jackson, Ken Norton Jr. and Bart Oates, each of whom posted double-digit AV the previous season. The crown jewel, of course, was Deion Sanders, who arrived from Atlanta in free agency. They were all meaningful contributors to the Niners’ Super Bowl win that season, most notably Sanders, who won defensive player of the year honors. Similarly, the 1999 St. Louis Rams picked up Marshall Faulk from the Indianapolis Colts, along with many other newcomers, and went on to win the Super Bowl thanks to Faulk’s NFL offensive player of the year season.2An MVP turn from QB Kurt Warner didn’t hurt, either.The 2018 Rams don’t have anyone with the instant impact of a Sanders or Faulk. But one thing that makes them intriguing is how they’ve supplemented the dream-teamers they do have with younger, cheaper talent. The average age (weighted by AV) for the 10 Super Bowl champs most laden with new veteran talent3Ages are as of Dec. 31 for each season. I used a quick-and-dirty calculation that multiplies together AV from the current and previous seasons for incoming veteran players, to capture both established production and current-season value. was 27.6 years old; for L.A. this season, that number is 26.8. The Rams’ four best players by AV — Gurley, Donald, Jared Goff and Robert Woods — are all 27 or younger, and none of them were among the newcomers L.A. brought in this season. (And only Donald and Gurley were playing on contracts guaranteeing more than $30 million.) Whereas yesterday’s dream teams rose or fell more on the performances of their incoming stars, the new formula for general manager Les Snead and coach Sean McVay has been to use them as supplemental pieces to help support a young core.Not that the current Rams have nothing in common with their dream-team precursors, mind you. Even though teams have gotten much savvier about using contractual tricks to free up cap space and avoid the kind of “salary-cap hell” that, say, the 49ers found themselves in during the late 1990s, the Rams’ aggressive roster moves have still ratcheted up the pressure to win in a relatively short window of time. While most of the Rams’ key starters are still locked up in 2019 as well (with the exceptions of Suh, Cory Littleton and Rodger Saffold), they will begin facing tough salary constraints in the offseason before 2020 — when most of the current secondary and offensive line hits free agency — and particularly before 2021, when Goff will need to sign an extension. Compounding things, L.A. also traded away its second- and third-round draft picks this spring to snag Peters and Fowler.4On top of downgrading from the fourth round to the sixth in 2018 and losing a 2020 fifth-rounder. Even a smartly managed win-now strategy has an expiration date.But then again, so does every team-building tactic in the NFL — unless we’re talking about the Patriots. The Rams are exactly where they knew they’d need to be to justify their all-in roster strategy. They have the young stars and the veteran talent, plus the right coach to steer things in McVay. All that’s left is one more win to prove that dream teams are a viable way to build an NFL champion after all. The Super Bowl-bound Los Angeles Rams are a fascinating exercise in modern NFL team-building. While their opponents in Atlanta, the dynastic New England Patriots, seldom break the bank for anybody other than quarterback Tom Brady — who has been under center for a record nine Super Bowls with the Pats — the Rams spent aggressively after the end of last season. They opened the pocketbook for homegrown stars such as Aaron Donald and Todd Gurley, who each signed massive extensions, and also made a handful of outside pickups, including Brandin Cooks, Ndamukong Suh, Marcus Peters, Aqib Talib and Dante Fowler Jr.All told, the spree left L.A. with 34 percent of its 2018 salary-cap dollars committed to returning veteran players on fresh extensions (tops among playoff teams) and an additional 22 percent of the cap spent on incoming veterans (third only to the Bears and Texans among playoff teams), according to data from ESPN’s Stats & Information Group. The result was a star-studded roster that many called the dreaded D-word — “dream team” — a label that has come to symbolize a roster concept that doesn’t always work in the NFL. But unlike previous dream-team iterations, the Rams have made it work, primarily by relying less on the newcomers and more on the talent they’ve developed. And that might provide a blueprint for future champions, if not exactly future dynasties. read more

22 Sep

Obama Evidence suggests MH17 shot down by missile that came from rebel

first_imgUS PRESIDENT BARACK Obama has said that a missile fired from rebel-held territory in Ukraine downed a Malaysian passenger jet as he pressed for an international investigation.Obama said that at least one US citizen was among the 298 dead. The State Department identified the victim as Quinn Lucas Schansman, who also held Dutch nationality.“Their deaths are an outrage of unspeakable proportions,” Obama told reporters.“Evidence indicates that the plane was shot down by a surface-to-air missile that was launched from an area that is controlled by Russian-backed separatists inside of Ukraine,” Obama said.Obama, while saying he was waiting for the full picture, highlighted that the pro-Russian rebels have in the past downed Ukrainian aircraft.SanctionsObama, who earlier this week ramped up sanctions on Russia over the conflict, called on President Vladimir Putin to “take the path that would result in peace in Ukraine”, but warned that more sanctions could be imposed.“I think it’s important for us to recognize that this outrageous event underscored that it is time for peace and security to be restored in Ukraine,” Obama said.“Now is, I think, a somber, appropriate time for all of us to step back and take a hard look at what has happened. Violence and conflict inevitably lead to unforeseen consequences,” he said.- © AFP, 2014Timeline: Here’s everything we know so far about the flight MH17 crash >Read: 100 AIDS experts were killed in the Ukraine plane crash >last_img read more

21 Sep

Amazon algorithm freaks out sells book for 236 million

first_imgToday is John James Audubon’s 226th birthday. Why does this matter? Because what was once the world’s most expensive book, a carefully-preserved copy of Audubon’s “Birds of America”, which sold at Sotheby’s for about $11.5 million last year, has been beat out of the title of the world’s most expensive book. A copy of Peter Lawrence’s “The Making of a Fly” was seen being sold for $23.6 million on Amazon.Michael Eisen, an evolutionary biologist at UC Berkeley, wrote a post on his blog regaling the tale of two algorithms fighting each other to produce an ungodly expensive book. Eisen said a postdoctoral scholar in his lab tried to buy the lab an extra copy of Lawrence’s book on Amazon. “The Making of a Fly” is a “classic work in developmental biology” that the lab, as well as most other developmental biologists, regularly use.The book was published in 1992 and is since out of print, but it’s not particularly rare. Amazon had 17 copies for sale. Fifteen of the books were used and started at $35.54, and the two others started at $11,730,045.91 with $3.99 for shipping. True, these were new copies, but that’s not quite worth the sales price.When Eisen reloaded the page the next day, the prices of both books had gone up drastically. Each was at about $2.8 million. He found it interesting that the day before, the prices were $400,000 apart, but that day they were within $5,000 of each other. Eisen followed the page obsessively and by the end of the day, the higher-priced book had gone all the way up to $3.5 million. Eisen detected a pattern.With some research, Eisen uncovered the hidden algorithm that was causing the prices to rise so drastically. It’s actually pretty simple. He said all it took was two sellers adjusting their prices in response to one another “by factors whose products were greater than 1.” The two Amazon merchants, “profnath” and “bordeebook,” seemed like legitimate sellers, with 8,000 and 125,000 ratings in the last year, respectively.Eisen said the prices seemed random, which meant that they were probably computer generated. Each day profnath would try to sell its book at a slightly higher price (Eisner figured the amount was 0.9983 times bordeebooks’ price). The prices would stay close for a few hours, but then bordeebook’s price would predictably change (to 1.27059 times profnath’s). This pattern would go on and on until we had the final total of $23.6 million for one book.The book got up to $23,698,655.93 (plus $3.99 shipping). Then, on April 19, the price of profnath’s book dropped to $106.23, and, lo and behold, bordeebook’s price dropped by 7059 times that of profnath’s list price, totaling $134.74. These prices are much more reasonable.The price is back up to $976.98 at Amazon, but there only seems to be one new version. It seems profnath has won the war, as bordeebook is sitting alone in the new section of the book’s product page.Read more at MichaelEisen.org, via Seattlepilast_img read more

21 Sep

Security experts concerned about data collected by popular beauty filter app

first_img Whoops! We couldn’t find this Tweet Security experts concerned about data collected by popular beauty filter app The app has hundreds of millions of users – but are they aware of the permissions they have agreed to? http://jrnl.ie/3196036 Friday 20 Jan 2017, 12:26 PM Source: Greg Linares/Twitter 14 Comments Short URL Share29 Tweet Email1 Whoops! We couldn’t find this Tweet Here’s Donald Trump in the Meitu app HAPPY NIGHTMARES! pic.twitter.com/eSTyrAgMXt— Sam Stryker (@sbstryker) January 18, 2017 In its privacy policy, Meitu says it only uses the information it collects;To improve functionality;For identity verification, security control and customers services;To prevent and investigate fraud and other illegal actions.Will Strafach, who runs a service that allows users to check the privacy of their apps, told TechCrunch that many free apps require users to hand over more data than is necessary.“It’s becoming the new normal. It’s because we’re at this point in society, people want to generate their likes and retweets. People download this app and put security in the backseat to make sure they have their social media presence.”- With reporting by AFPRead: Meitu is the new beauty filter app that’s taking over – here’s what all the fuss is about>center_img Let me get this straight…All of you just installed a photo app from China that requires these permissions? Let me know how it works out. pic.twitter.com/wGDUYbRdSA— Greg Linares (@Laughing_Mantis) January 19, 2017 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article By Michelle Hennessy Last month analyst Jackson Wong said a lot of institutional investors wanted to follow the stock because it is a “one-of-a-kind in the market”. However, he said the profitability of the stock was not foreseeable at that stage.“Whether they can monetise this app is a key for institutional investors to look at.”Now security analysts have expressed concern about how the app’s creators might be trying to make money.Meitu’s permissions include access to:Information on apps running on the device;Your location;The contents of your USB storage;Your WiFi connection;Your network information;Your IMSI number, which can be used to track user activity in other apps and browsers.The app can also prevent the device from sleeping. Speaking to Wired, security researcher at Vectra Networks Greg Linares said many apps collect data, but Meitu is “collecting some very odd data that shouldn’t be looked at necessarily for the application functioning”.Experts have speculated that the app may be collecting this information to sell to advertisers.“I didn’t see anything overtly evil, but that doesn’t mean there’s not something more serious in there. The thing [that’s noteworthy] is the number of different analytics and ad tracking packages they’ve loaded into the app. I counted at least half a dozen different packages in there. You don’t generally need that many unless you’re selling data,” iOS security researcher and forensics expert Jonathan Zdziarski told the website. Jan 20th 2017, 12:26 PM Source: Sam Stryker/Twitter 16,266 Views THERE HAS BEEN a lot of talk this week about the Chinese photo editing app Meitu, which allows users to turn their selfies into anime-like images.The app, which has hundreds of millions of users, targets teenagers and young adults and enables users to smooth and change the colour of their complexions, widen their eyes and slim themselves down.Meitu made went public in Hong Kong in December but only gained popularity with users outside of China in the last couple of days.last_img read more

19 Sep

WWE Smackdown Live Ratings: Viewers down on October 2, Second lowest viewers of 2018

first_img WWE Female Superstars Get Green Light To Bounce Between Brands WWE Smackdown Live Ratings are in for October 2, 2018.This week’s episode from Portland drew an average of 2.09 million viewers on Tuesday night according to a report by Showbuzzdaily.com.This is down from last week’s show that averaged 2.19 million viewers. WWE came in at No. 2 for the night on cable in the 18-49 demographics.It was the second lowest viewership total for the show in 2018.The MLB Wild Card game (Rockies vs. Cubs) won the night with 6.33 million viewers.Demographic Ratings for Smackdown LiveSmackdown, headlined by a segment with Becky Lynch and Charlotte, averaged a 0.69 rating among adults 18-49. This is down from last week’s 0.72 rating.Recommended videosPowered by AnyClipWWE Female Superstars Get Green Light To Bounce Between BrandsVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPauseUnmuteDuration 0:34/Current Time 0:04Loaded: 100.00%0:05Remaining Time -0:30 FullscreenUp NextThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Replay the list Ronda Rousey Releases Mugshot After Arrest On WWE Raw Charlotte Flair Now Playing Up Next Adam Martin RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Wrestleview Weekly: Predictions for tonight’s Clash of Champions event in Charlotte Now Playing Up Next Pinterest Google+ Facebook Now Playing Up Next Ronda Rousey Videos Articlescenter_img Videos Articles WWE Draft confirmed to be taking place as a two-night event starting on October 11 Becky Lynch Becky Lynch `WWE 24` Documentary Premier Date Announced Charlotte Flair And Becky Lynch Involved In Brawl At An Unlikely Location Now Playing Up Next Now Playing Up Next WWEs Becky Lynch Invited To RAW Twitter WhatsApp Videos Articles WWE Hall of Famer Trish Stratus confirmed for WWE Smackdown premiere on FOXlast_img
31 Aug

Illegal structure of Bidhan Market dismantled

first_imgDarjeeling: The Bidhan Market Byabsahi Samity (BMBS,) Siliguri has dismantled the first floor of the “illegal” structure in Bidhan Market.This comes on the heels of the Siliguri Jalpaiguri Development Authority (SJDA) issuing a notice on July 15 ordering the dismantling of the structure within 72 hours. Talking to media persons in Siliguri on Wednesday, Minister Deb stated that the traders have dismantled the first floor. “They have given a written undertaking that this structure is temporary and they will remove it as soon as the SJDA starts construction. Among them there are many shops that have trade license and are paying electricity bills. Some of the traders have been running shops here for more than 30 years. The SJDA in the next two months will draw up designs, plans and complete the tender process for building 20 kiosk styled shops in place of this illegal construction, where the deserving traders will be rehabilitated in these kiosks,” said the minister. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataHe said a Rs 50 crore project for the modernisation of the Bidhan Market area had been passed on 12-09-2011 under the Siliguri urbanization plans. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had chaired the meeting then. A meeting was held in Siliguri on Wednesday attended by the district administration, police, fire brigade, electricity department, SJDA authorities and other concerned departments. “I have stated that while issuing trade license, electricity connections there has to be strict checking of documents. Whether the building is legal? Whether ownership is legal? After this only trade license, electricity connection, water connections should be given,” added Deb. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateThe minister stated that illegal constructions had started to mushroom. “We will not allow any illegal constructions. The public have to be made aware. The public need to come out and protest against all illegal constructions. Incidentally, Deb during a visit to the Bidhan Market on Saturday found out that a two- storied concrete structure was being built in the area where 7 shops had been gutted in a fire in June. Instead of rebuilding 7 shops that had been gutted, the two-storied structure was being built to accommodate 22 shops in the ground floor and an open hall like structure on the first floor. Dubbing it as an “illegal” structure being built by a section of traders on SJDA land the minister had threatened to demolish it. The BMBS had then staged a demonstration and blocked the busy Bidhan road.last_img read more

27 Aug

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first_img News | Radiation Dose Management | July 15, 2019 Mirion Showcases Instadose2 Wireless Dual Detector Dosimeter at AAPM and AHRA Featuring dual detectors, the Instadose2 dosimeter addresses international requirements for independent deep [Hp(10)]… read more Figure 1: Example of an intentionally truncated CT image. The truncation percentage was calculated as the ratio of the patient border touching the field of view to the total patient border (red/(read+blue)). Image courtesy of Qaelum. William P. Shuman, M.D., FACRA successful dose management program faces a number of hurdles.First, staff needs to be onboard with the initiative. It’s not simply another project pushed by technologists, physicists or physicians. It’s a change in the organizational mindset, “a cultural change driven by leadership,” according to William P. Shuman, M.D., FACR, vice chair and medical director, University of Washington Medical Center (UW), Seattle. “Cultural change requires department leadership, with leadership in alignment and backed by education.” Participants need to understand the clinical relevance of dose management, grasp the underlying physical principles and feel confident presenting ideas or raising alerts to each other. Initial StepsControlling acquisition technique is an important and relatively low-cost initial step. “Our first focus was on the easy stuff,” explained Shuman. “We spent a great deal of time and effort educating technologists on the proper protocols for controlling the z-axis scan length, minimizing the number of phases, applying external body shields and centering patients.” Kalpana Kanal, Ph.D., DABR, director of diagnostic physics and associate professor, University of Washington Medical Center, also encourages participation in the American College of Radiology’s (ACR) dose index registry, adding “if you do nothing else, invest the money to join the National Radiology Data Registry, and see where you stand.” Technologists, physicians and physicists all need continuing education on dose, as well as education on any new technology implementation. Train all appropriate staff (not just technologists) on the latest “bells and whistles” available on installed imaging systems. Shuman added that when working with staff outside radiology, remember to keep the education focused on helping personnel. Provide examples, approaches and things to be aware of. Most importantly, keep the material “digestible.”University of Washington takes pride in being an early technology adopter, noting that it’s a key differentiator between them and their competitors. In 2011 they were also the first adopter in the Northwest of an informatics system called DoseWatch, which provides near real-time collection, evaluation and alerting of patient radiation exposure. Coupling dose reduction technology with efficient data collection and reporting tools was synergistic, resulting in dose optimization for the patient, timely identification of outliers and reduced staff effort. DoseWatch implementation is ongoing and so far 22 radiation emitting devices throughout the Medical Center, including computed tomography (CT), interventional systems, mammography and digital radiography (DR) have been connected. When sub-milliSievert CT imaging became a possibility through the use of Veo, they invested in the capability and have used it extensively. UW implemented GE Healthcare’s Veo, a model-based iterative reconstruction product that delivers high-quality CT images with ultra-low dose and GE Healthcare ASiR, an image noise-reduction technology, across the hospital. The addition of Veo to the hospital’s low-dose strategy is particularly noteworthy, especially as it relates to the emergency department (ED). Forty-eight Veo CTE protocols were developed for patients under the age of 45 and communicated to physicians throughout the facility. ED physicians were particularly interested in the technology because it allowed them to be more confident in their choice of imaging modality — knowing their patients could benefit from a CT exam with significantly less patient exposure. Data from DoseWatch supported the case, indicating a greater than 60 percent reduction in some cases. Shuman observed, “The immediate information DoseWatch provides helps us know if the changes we make are actually improving our dose performance. After all, that’s what is really most important.” Dose Management InitiativeThe dose management initiative at UW has been all-encompassing, including radiation emitting devices and procedures throughout the center. The immediate access to dose information provided by DoseWatch has enabled the team to establish a pro-active follow-up process for angiographic patients. This process ensures patient dose levels are monitored and the appropriate workflow is implemented if a 5Gy threshold is exceeded. The dose follow-up process for angiographic patients includes:  Prepare a patient information sheet on skin reactions  Establish a dose trigger level for follow-up  During case, notify physicians of AK values  Review dose and tissue reaction thresholds and combine with LUT with physicians  If estimated entrance skin dose of 5Gy is exceeded, physics section notifies the physician in charge of the case and this triggers the follow-up protocol  Follow-up involves calling the patient to discuss if any potential skin reaction is observedTechnique and TechnologyShuman and Kanal have developed a vigorous program using both technique and technology to lower CT dose on many exams by 40-70 percent over the past three years. They are energized about the future of dose informatics and imaging technology, viewing them as essential tools to help physicians make good choices and improve patient outcome and safety. FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 Technology | Radiation Dose Management | May 23, 2019 ControlRad Announces FDA Clearance and Launch of ControlRad Trace ControlRad Inc. announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted 510(k) clearance for its ControlRad… read more Sponsored Content | Case Study | Radiation Dose Management | August 13, 2019 The Challenge of Pediatric Radiation Dose Management Radiation dose management is central to child patient safety. Medical imaging plays an increasing role in the accurate… read more News | Radiation Dose Management | July 18, 2019 Low Doses of Radiation Promote Cancer-capable Cells Low doses of radiation equivalent to three computed tomography (CT) scans, which are considered safe, give cancer-… read more The CT scanner might not come with protocols that are adequate for each hospital situation, so at Phoenix Children’s Hospital they designed their own protocols, said Dianna Bardo, M.D., director of body MR and co-director of the 3D Innovation Lab at Phoenix Children’s. PreviousNext Kalpana Kanal, Ph.D., DABR Case Study | May 01, 2014 | Sponsored by GE Healthcare University of Washington Medical Center Combines Technique and Technology to Reduce Radiation Dose A successful dose management program faces a number of hurdles Feature | Medical 3-D Printing | April 29, 2019 | By Steve Jeffery The Development of Tungsten Collimators May Advance Medical Imaging In … read more William P. Shuman, M.D., FACR News | Radiation Dose Management | July 09, 2019 Radcal Exhibits Accu-Gold Touch Systems at AAPM 2019 Radcal Corp. will be presenting the new Accu-Gold Touch platform, a multi-analyzer the company says is the latest in X-… read more Technology | Radiation Dose Management | July 11, 2019 Fluke Biomedical Introduces RaySafe 452 Survey Meter Radiation measurement often requires different devices for varying applications, adding to the cost and complexity of… read more News | Radiation Dose Management | May 31, 2019 Applications Open for ASRT Foundation and Canon Medical’s Safety FiRsT Grant Program The ASRT Foundation and Canon Medical Systems are now accepting applications for the 2019 Safety FiRsT grant program,… read more News | Radiation Dose Management | April 10, 2019 Qaelum NV and Toyo Corp. Sign Japanese Distribution Agreement for Dose Monitoring Solution Qaelum NV of Leuven, Belgium, and Toyo Corp. of Tokyo, Japan announced they have entered into a cooperation agreement… read more A 3-D printed tungsten X-ray system collimator. The tungsten alloy powder is printed into the form desired and is laser fused so it can be machined and finished. Previously, making collimators from Tungsten was labor intensive because it required working with sheets of the metal to create the collimator matrix.  Feature | Radiation Dose Management | July 15, 2019 | Niki Fitousi, Ph.D., and An Dedulle Can CT Image Truncation Cause False Dose Alerts? One of the main benefits of a radiation dose management system is the possibility to automatically generate alerts when… read more Related Contentlast_img read more

19 Aug

Britain saw record 12 increase in Canadian visitation last year

first_imgBritain saw record 12% increase in Canadian visitation last year Travelweek Group Share LONDON — Canadians are visiting Britain in record numbers, with visits up 12% to 643,000 and spending up 24% to a record £505 million from January to September 2016.According to VisitBritain, due to the drop in the exchange rate, Britain saw a surge in overseas visitors in the first three quarters of 2016. A strong finish is projected for the year’s final quarter.“These strong numbers show how much Canadians enjoy exploring the culture, heritage, cities and countryside of Britain. And with the current exchange rate, Canadians see value for money. It’s a great time to visit the U.K., and enjoy the benefits of how much further your dollar can take you,” said Paul Gauger, VisitBritain Interim Executive Vice President.When considering inbound visits overall to the U.K., there were a record-breaking 28.1 million visits from January to September, up 2% on the previous year. Strong growth was also seen in visits and spend from the U.S., Britain’s most valuable visitor market, with spend up 9% to a record £2.5 billion and visits up 3% to 2.7 million.More news:  Flight Centre Travel Group takes full ownership of Quebec-based agencyIn the first nine months of 2016, there were a record-breaking 12.2 million visits to English regions outside London, up 4% compared to the same period in 2015. Canadian visits to the English regions from January September, outside of London, were up 15% to 280,000.Wales saw inbound visits increase 12% from January to September last year to 856,000, while in Scotland, overseas visits grew 4% to 2.2 million, the strongest year to date since 2007.As for this year, VisitBritain’s latest inbound tourism forecast shows that growth is set to continue in 2017 with 38.1 million visits, up 4% on 2016, which is likely to see about 36.7 million visits by year’s end.Spending by overseas visitors is predicted to reach £24.1 billion this year, an 8% increase on spending last year, which is expected to top out at £22.3 billion. Latest flight booking data from ForwardKeys shows that flight bookings to the U.K. for January 2017 are up 11% on the same month last year. Flight bookings from January to March are up 10% on the same three-month period last year. Monday, January 23, 2017 center_img Posted by Tags: Britain, Trend Watch << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

10 Aug

by Nicole Winfield The Associated Press Poste

first_img by Nicole Winfield, The Associated Press Posted Jan 5, 2018 8:06 am PDT Last Updated Jan 5, 2018 at 10:20 am PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email ROME – One was a delicate, tasseled pendant, featuring a flawless 10-carat diamond surrounded by a ring of rubies and diamonds. The other was simpler but no less gorgeous: two pear-shaped 30.2-carat diamond earrings surrounded by smaller, irregular-cut diamonds suspended like starbursts.The Al Thani Collection on Friday revealed details of the precious jewels stolen Wednesday from a Venetian palace exhibit in a brazen theft that sorely embarrassed Italian security officials. A manhunt has been launched for the thieves, who calmly pocketed the gems and mixed in with the crowd to make their getaway.The collection, assembled by Qatar’s Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al Thani, hasn’t revealed the value of the stolen pieces. But news reports have estimated they are worth a few million euros.Al Thani said the two pieces were designed by Bhagat Jewelers, the exclusive Mumbai jeweler, in 2011 and 2014. Bhagat jewels, known for the unique craftsmanship, quality gems and one-of-a-kind designs by Viren Bhagat, can fetch into the seven figures.Common to both stolen pieces and Bhagat’s style are the unique, minimal platinum settings that make it look as if the jewels are floating, Al Thani said.Surveillance footage of the theft Wednesday at the Doge’s Palace in Venice show one of the thieves calmly opening the showcase window, as if he had a key, putting the jewels in his pocket and sauntering off while another stands nearby watching.Police say the alarm was triggered a minute later, giving the thieves time to escape. That makes them think the job was done by professionals who knew what they were doing and what they wanted. A gold necklace in the same display case was reportedly left untouched.The Al Thani Collection is a renowned collection of 270 pieces of Indian and Indian-inspired jewelry and precious stones, jades and artifacts, spanning 400 years from the Mughal period to the present. The more modern pieces are often Art Deco in style, evidence of the popularity of Indian motifs and gems that inspired Cartier and other jewelers in the West in the last century.The Venice exhibit, located in the famed Palazzo Ducale on the on the edge of St. Mark’s Square, was the latest stop in an exhibit “Treasures of the Mughals and the Maharajas” that has brought the collection to Paris’ Grand Palais, London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, New York’s Metropolitan and the Miho Museum near Kyoto, Japan. Stolen jewels from Venice include 30-carat diamond earringslast_img read more

9 Aug

Man hospitalised after being hit by drunk driver

first_imgA man was hospitalised on Sunday evening after being hit by a car driven by a drunk woman on the road from Kofinou to Kornos.The accident occurred when the woman, a 21-year-old resident of Tseri, tried to overtake the man’s car and collided with it at around 9.10pm.A breathalyser test for the woman gave a 59μg reading while the maximum permitted by law is 22μg.The man was taken to Nicosia general hospital by ambulance and is being kept for treatment.The woman was fined and released.You May LikeMemory Care | Search AdsLuxury Memory Care Facilities Near Rowland Heights For SeniorsMemory Care | Search AdsUndoFigLeaf Beta AppTake Online Privacy on a whole New levelFigLeaf Beta AppUndoLuxury SUVs | Search AdsLuxury SUVs For SeniorsLuxury SUVs | Search AdsUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

20 Jan

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