Kaka Unfair to pin Brazil blame on Neymar

first_imgAfter numerous criticism about Neymar’s performance at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, he finally receives words of encouragement from Brazil teammate, Kaka.Kaka is confident Neymar attracts unequal criticism concerning his performance and admonished that Neymar should not be blamed for the country’s bad performance at the World Cup campaign. “This search for the one to blame is what I don’t agree with too much,” Kaka told Omnisport as quoted in FourFourTwo, speaking courtesy of Adidas.“Brazil lost. It wasn’t Neymar who lost. The Brazilian national team was eliminated in the quarter-finals.“[The response to] everything he does is very unbalanced. When he does something good, it’s very big. And when something not so good happens, it’s also very big.PSG, Neymar, Ligue 1PSG ultras sent a warning letter to Neymar Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Brazilian superstar Neymar might play today his first game of the season for Paris Saint-Germain and the team’s ultras have warned him.“He, as a 26-year-old lad, has to manage all this… I think he’s fine. Many who criticise Neymar are much older and more mature than Neymar is today.“Faced with all the situations he faces, given the age he is… I’m a fan of Neymar. And that’s speaking about him as a celebrity. As an athlete, he’s an excellent player.”“He was decisive, he did good passes, he didn’t score, but he looked for the game,” the retired midfielder said.“He tried at every moment, he put his team-mates near the goal lots of times, but this happens.”last_img read more

Schuster tips Joachim Low to become Madrids boss

first_imgFormer Real Madrid boss Bernd Schuster has tipped current Germany coach Joachim Low to take over this summer.Schuster enjoyed a successful stint at the club as a player and manager where he won League titles in both cases. And has gone further to anoint his German compatriot for the position.Schuster further claimed he recommended Low to club president Florentino Perez. According to quotes cited on Football Espana.“I spoke with him (Perez) at an honorary event and I explicitly mentioned Low.Jose Mourinho, Lionel MessiMourinho: “Lionel Messi made me a better coach” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho believes the experience of going up against Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi at Real Madrid made him a greater coach.“He reacted by looking at me oddly as if I had surprised him.“Germans are very highly regarded at Real and it would not surprise me if Real tried to sign Low this summer.”The club confirmed Santiago Solari as their new head coach in October, following the departure of Julen Lopetegui, with a contract up until June 2021.However, there are rumours circulating that the club may make moves for another manager if results don’t pan out well, with Jose Mourinho and Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino both linked.last_img read more

Murder again in Nassau three shot in armed robbery – one dies

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, December 11, 2017 – Nassau – Police are searching for the suspects responsible for a shooting incident that has left one male dead and two others injured on Sunday, 10th December, 2017.   According to reports, shortly before 1:00pm three (3) men were working at a construction site on Shirley Street when they were approached by two men, one armed with a firearm, who demanded cash and shot two of the workers.   The third worker was gun butted before the suspects fled on foot.   One of the victims was pronounced dead on the scene while the other two men were taken to hospital and are listed in serious condition. Investigations are ongoing.Shortly before 9:00am on Sunday, 10th December, 2017 Officers from the Mobile Division were on routine foot patrol on Bimini Avenue off Market Street, when they observed a male acting in a suspicious manner.The officers conducted a search of the male and found a quantity of marijuana. The male was arrested and is expected to be charged later this week#MagneticMediaNews#anothermurderinNassau#threeshotinrobbery Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:#anothermurderinNassau, #magneticmedianews, #threeshotinrobberylast_img read more

Survey reveals SoCal drivers admit to using smartphones while driving

first_img April 3, 2019 KUSI Newsroom Survey reveals SoCal drivers admit to using smartphones while driving KUSI Newsroom, 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – April is National Distracted Driver Awareness Month. The Automobile Club of Southern California released a survey showing that 10% of adult drivers use their smartphones while driving.Drivers who are more likely to drive “in-texticated” are between 25-to-39 years old.About 10% of drivers who were in a car crash in the last five years believe smartphone distraction was a factor. Posted: April 3, 2019 Categories: Local San Diego News, Traffic & Accidents FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

Enterprise Edition of Adobe Digital Publishing Suite Released Today

first_imgBonnier’s head of IT development, Tore Fjaertoft says, “We have adopted the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite as an integral part of our News+ platform. Leveraging the abilities to product and distribute digital editions of our daily newspapers using the Digital Publishing Suite has been a key element of the success of the News+ platform.” The Enterprise Edition of the Digital Publishing Suite is available as of today. Pricing is available via a custom quote through Adobe’s website. In other tablet news, Apple announced last week its newest version of the tablet, the iPad 2, at an event in San Francisco. The latest model of the iPad is lighter and thinner, and features front and rear end cameras. The tablet is available in black and white. Adobe announced the immediate availability of the Enterprise Edition of Adobe Digital Publishing Suite today. Already used by companies like Conde Nast, Dennis Publishing, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and National Geographic for Android technologies, the Enterprise Edition will also be adaptable for the RIM PlayBook and iOS tablets. The Enterprise Edition includes technology that will allow users to “create, distribute, monetize and analyze digital magazines, newspapers and publications.” The Suite incorporates a viewer builder service, an e-commerce service and a Folio Producer service, which will enable users to support content directly from Adobe InDesign CS5 software. The Digital Publishing Suite also allows direct entitlement with third party subscription fulfillment service providers. This gives publishers the ability to leverage current print accounts, increase digital subscription numbers and to create digital-print bundles as well as merchandising options. last_img read more

PIC Deepika Padukone Ranveer Singh lock lips onstage picture goes viral

first_imgInstagramBollywood’s power couple Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh have been flying high and how! The duo not only has given probably their career-best performance last year (Ranveer Singh as Khilji and Deepika Padukone as Rani Padmini in Padmaavat) but, also have established themselves as the most sought after stars in the filmy world.Right when their films had released, the industry had predicted that this year all the awards would belong to the two of them and rightly so! As the award season has begun so has the two taking home some shining awards.At the recently held Vimal Filmfare awards, Ranveer Singh won the best actor award. Deepika Padukone handed him the trophy to which, Ranveer Singh said, “This Black Lady (award) is very special to me, but this lady (Deepika) is the most special lady to have ever happened to me, I love you, are you proud of me?” He further added, “I dedicate this award to my nani as it was my nani as favourite character. One day I called my sister and asked what nani is doing, she said that nani is on terrace doing her favourite thing that is watching Padmavaat.”Ranveer won the award for playing Alauddin Khilji in Padmaavat which went through a lot of controversies before its release. Ayushmann Khurrana won the Best Actor (Critics) award for Andhadhun. Despite a superlative performance, Deepika Padukone lost out to Alia Bhatt who won the Best Actress award for Raazi. Neena Gupta won the Best Actress award (Critics) for Badhai Ho.Alia Bhatt too proclaimed her love for Ranbir Kapoor while accepting the award. Bhatt called Ranbir her ‘special one’ and blew a kiss at him. Ranbir was left blushing with Alia’s special gesture of love.last_img read more

NASAs Juno Spacecraft Prepares For Cosmic Date With Jupiter

first_img Share A solar-powered spacecraft is spinning toward Jupiter for a close encounter with the biggest planet in our solar system.NASA’s Juno spacecraft fires its rocket engine late Monday to slow itself down from a speed of 150,000 mph (250,000 kph) and slip into orbit around Jupiter.Juno was put on autopilot days ago, so the critical move comes without any help from ground controllers. The spacecraft’s camera and other instruments were also turned off for the arrival so there won’t be any pictures at the moment Juno reaches its destination.Here’s the last pic @NASAJuno took prior to shutting off its instruments 5 days ago https://t.co/eW0o09yEgh #Jupiter pic.twitter.com/xD9R9CxRn0— NASA (@NASA) July 4, 2016Scientists have promised close-up views of Jupiter’s poles, clouds and auroras during the 20-month, $1.1 billion mission.Juno is only the second mission designed to spend time at Jupiter. Galileo, which launched in 1989, circled Jupiter for 14 years.NASA TV coverage begins on July 4 at 9:30 p.m. CT.last_img read more

Bedi hails adversary takes potshots at party

first_imgAt a time when BJP humbly accepted  defeat and described it as a ‘collective loss’, its Chief Ministerial candidate Kiran Bedi blamed party leadership for her rout.While giving ‘full marks’ to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Chief Arvind Kejriwal for his historic victory, Kiran quickly changed her stand and claimed that she had given her best. “It was the BJP that lost and needs to introspect. They should find the reasons for the defeat,” Bedi, who lost from Krishna Nagar seat, a BJP stronghold for years, said. Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJIRaking up the issue, she claimed that BJP made her a member without taking any money and said, “I am part of the BJP. I don’t regret my decision. Who is saying I am not taking responsibility for the BJP defeat? I am.. I also said BJP leadership will take stock of what went wrong!” she said.Shocked over the debacle, a reluctant and cornered BJP initially refused to come out with an official statement but senior party leader and union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad accompanied by state BJP chief Satish Upadhyay accepted the defeat ‘officially’. “BJP respects the verdict of Delhi voters. We humbly accept our defeat in Delhi. People chose to go with PM Modi and BJP in the Lok Sabha elections, but chose AAP over us in Assembly elections. We will play the role of a responsible opposition,” he added. Also Read – Health remains key challenge in India’s development: KovindUpadhyay, who was accompanied by party MP Prabhat Jha and national general secretary Ram Lal, looked devastated. “People have dissected us and we have to accept it,” Jha said. On the context of whether the result would weaken BJP’s standing in Bihar, West Bengal and in Punjab in coming years, a party leader said: “ We will take stock after our party chief Amit Shah returns from Ahmedabad after his son’s wedding. Then there will be major changes in the party structure.”last_img read more

Casey Researchs Chief Energy Investment Strategis

first_imgCasey Research’s Chief Energy Investment Strategist, Marin Katusa, whose portfolio profited nicely the last time the uranium bull broke loose a decade ago, recently interviewed a group of world-renowned energy experts to discuss the prospects for the sector that some considered doomed by the Fukushima disaster. Anti-nuclear power sentiment has by no means evaporated, but Katusa sees clear signals that the bulls are ready to run, not least of which is the recent attack on the Somair uranium mine in Niger. Why? First, the 20-year Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) Program agreement between the U.S. and Russia, aka “Megatons to Megawatts,” expires this year. Second, the end of that program will allow Russia to sell its coveted uranium, which currently powers one of every 10 homes in the U.S., to the highest bidder. With 200 nuclear power plants under construction or on the drawing boards, China is likely to be first in line, with India and even oil-rich Saudi Arabia on its heels. Third, the increase in nuclear plants being built around the world will stimulate huge demand while supply inevitably dwindles. Because it can take a decade to bring a uranium mine on-line, new mining production can’t grow fast enough to meet the demand. Fourth, like it or not, nuclear energy is clean—while the average coal-fired power plant in the U.S. emits nearly 4 million metric tons of CO2 each year, nuclear power plants emit no carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, mercury or other toxic gases. Finally, last Thursday, an Al-Qaeda splinter group attacked the Somair uranium mine in Niger—owned by French uranium giant Areva. This will further disrupt global uranium supplies and emphasizes what the energy experts have been saying: Uranium is prime for price increases. Casey Research agreed to share Katusa’s segment with Sprott U.S. Holdings Chairman Rick Rule with The Energy Report readers and invites you to listen to the rest. Marin Katusa: We first met 10 years ago, when you were begging people to buy uranium companies, and the market boomed. Those of us who followed your advice made a lot of money. Are you expecting a replay in that market? Rick Rule: I think so. The similarities are interesting. At that time, the price of uranium on the market was less than what it cost to produce it, which meant that one of two things would happen: Either the uranium price would go up, or the lights would go out. Those were the only two choices. We’re in a situation now where the uranium price on world markets is lower than what’s required to bring online the supplies needed to keep the lights on around the world. So once again, either the uranium price goes up, or the lights go out. I think the price will go up. MK: What can you tell investors who are nervous about uranium? Nuclear power is unpopular. Why should investors expect its feedstock to have this massive bull market? RR: You make money in financial markets by buying low and selling high, and you can’t buy low when something is universally loved and every investor is competing with you. You have to buy things when they are unloved. In natural resources, you can be a contrarian or a victim. You had the good sense of getting into the market when uranium was cheap, and you also had the good sense to get out when everybody else was flocking in. You did what you were supposed to—buy it when it was out of favor and sell it when it came into favor. It’s out of favor again. You will make money buying it now and selling again when it returns to favor, because it will. MK: Are you currently investing in companies that are exploring for and producing uranium in the junior resource sector? RR: We are. We are investing in the broader junior resource sector because it is universally unloved, and we are specifically investing in the uranium sector. We invest in any commodity where the selling price on global markets is less than the cost of production and where we see ongoing demand. The price has to rise to meet demand. MK: Considering that China is on its way to building twice as many nuclear reactors as America, India is building theirs and Saudi Arabia—which is so rich in oil and gas—is planning on building 16 nuclear reactors, does that make the argument for uranium better today than it was 10 years ago? RR: I wouldn’t argue that it’s better, because the situation 10 years ago was superb. But it doesn’t have to be better. A lot of people added a zero to their net worth as a consequence of that market. If they increase their net worth only five times, would that be sufficient? MK: I think it would. Like uranium, the junior resource sector is not popular. How would you advise people to invest in that sector today? RR: They have to invest in themselves before they invest in the sector. They have to get educated about natural resources and you don’t get educated about natural resources in The Wall Street Journal. These businesses differ from other businesses. You need the courage and the common sense to invest in contrarian fashion. You need to buy out-of-favor sectors and once your thesis has been vindicated and you’re feeling smart, you need to sell those sectors. It’s very important that you both buy low and sell high. Industry cycles in natural resources are very predictable, and after you discipline yourself, find information sources you can trust and figure out how to use those information sources, you will find the sector extremely generous. MK: What is the most important factor when you look at a company? When Rick Rule and Sprott write a check with their own money into a company, what’s the most important element of that investment decision? RR: If it’s a speculative, junior company, the three most important factors are people, people and people. In the uranium sector for example, when the resource became popular in the middle part of the last decade, there were 500 junior uranium companies but only 20 competent teams. MK: And of those 500 companies, about 480 disappeared. RR: Another thing that argues in your favor today is that you’re now able to come in and buy companies with $50M market caps that spent $250–300M they raised cheaply during the boom. Those are very attractive propositions. MK: Can anything derail this nuclear renaissance? RR: If there’s a black swan on the nuclear side, it would be another event like Fukushima, Chernobyl or Three Mile Island. On the financial side, it would be another 2008-style psychotic break. But if that happened, your uranium portfolio would be probably the least of your concerns. MK: As always, Rick, it was a pleasure. Thank you. Uranium prices have nowhere to go but up. Rick confirmed that, as do the other experts in the videocast. Listen for the insights from: Spencer Abraham, who served as the 10th U.S. Secretary of Energy (2001-2005) during the George W. Bush Administration. Lady Barbara Thomas Judge, chairman emeritus of the U.K. Atomic Energy Authority, chairman of the Pension Protection Fund, and U.K. business ambassador on behalf of U.K. Trade and Investment, and is an appointed member of the TEPCO Nuclear Reform Monitoring Committee. Herb Dhaliwal, former Canadian minister of natural resources and senior regional minister for British Columbia. Amir Adnani, co-founder and CEO of Uranium Energy Corp. (UEC:NYSE.MKT), which operates North America’s newest uranium mine; located in South Texas, it’s the first new uranium production in the U.S. in seven years. Casey Research has identified the top three undervalued uranium stocks that you should invest in right now to be well positioned for the coming uranium bull market. Compiled into a special report, Three Must-Own Uranium Stocks, Casey is making this time-sensitive special report available exclusively for viewers of this webinar.last_img read more

The US federal government may be ladling on more r

first_imgThe US federal government may be ladling on more regulations to Bitcoin and making disparaging comments about the cyber-currency, but it’s one of the largest holders of the virtual money in the world. The federal government has trashed Bitcoin by way of an investor alert from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) entitled “Bitcoin: More than a Bit Risky.” FINRA said it issued the alert to caution investors that buying and using digital currency, such as Bitcoin, carries risks. Speculative trading in bitcoins carries significant risk. There is also the risk of fraud related to companies claiming to offer Bitcoin payment platforms and other Bitcoin-related products and services. The financial watchdog warned investors that Bitcoin wasn’t legal tender and therefore, “If no one accepts bitcoins, bitcoins will become worthless.” Trading platforms can be hacked, and transactions can involve fraud or theft. Digital wallets don’t guarantee safety like FDIC-insured banks. Property actually transfers in a Bitcoin transaction, so refunds are at the discretion of the seller. Bitcoin has been used in illegal activity because of the anonymity it offers. And finally, speculation in the cyber-currency makes the price volatile. Uncle Sam: Second Largest Bitcoin Holder With all that, the government must figure Bitcoin is worthless, right? Well, no. Readers may remember an online marketplace called Silk Road that was seized by the US Marshals Service (USMS). Bitcoin was the coin of the Silk Road realm, and the US government went ahead and auctioned roughly $20 million of the cyber-currency seized from the online marketplace, despite the Silk Road entrepreneurs not yet having had their day in court. Forty-five bidders registered to buy 29,656 bitcoins. Each ponied up a $200,000 deposit. Reportedly, 63 bids were received by the USMS, with the currency transferred to the winner after the 12-hour auction. What’s curious is that a single anonymous bidder won the auction, beating out prominent investment firms, including Pantera Capital and SecondMarket. There was even speculation that the auction was a ruse and the government didn’t sell at all. Either way, the government still holds 110,000 bitcoins, worth $55 million at today’s $500 per coin price, down considerably from $641 when the auction was held at the end of June. However, given that there are only 13 million or so bitcoins outstanding, the US government is the second largest single holder of this unregulated, potentially “worthless” digital currency (in FINRA’s words), that is used, again according to FINRA, in criminal activity. Government Ignores the Warnings Federal marshals evidently aren’t listening to Mark T. Williams, former Federal Reserve bank examiner and Boston University finance instructor, who wrote last December for Business Insider, “I predict that Bitcoin will trade for under $10 a share by the first half of 2014.” The ex-bank examiner called Bitcoin a “wannabe currency” with a “flawed DNA” that is “steep in Libertarian and anti-Fed dogma but weak in understanding of how global economics, central banking policies, and financial markets function.” Yes, Bitcoin was created by Satoshi Nakamoto (whoever that may be) in response to how badly governments have handled monetary policies. The PHDs running the world’s central banks are creating booms and busts and misery for millions, while destroying the value of their currencies in mere decades. Yet, Professor Williams has the brass to write, “To assume currency can be computer generated, run in a decentralized manner and outside of the central banking system and controls is farcical and economically dangerous.” The Return of Money to the Marketplace Bitcoin is merely the return of money to where it came from—the entrepreneurial marketplace. Money wasn’t a creation of government policy; it is an idea that was stolen by government in order to tax people covertly through inflation. What started with kings shaving and clipping coins, has become cruelly efficient, with central bank economists conjuring up money with computer keystrokes. The bother of paper and ink are no longer required. People use Bitcoin because they want to; they use dollars because they have to. Government hates competition, so it prosecutes counterfeiters aggressively and takes a dim view of cyber money competitors. Williams takes a swipe at the Winklevoss twins who have predicted Bitcoin will reach $40,000 per coin and who have a Bitcoin exchange traded fund (ETF) in the SEC’s approval process. Nasdaq Vice President of Transaction Services and head of ETF business, David LaValle, says about the proposed Bitcoin ETF: I think it’s significant that we’re on the precipice of a new investable asset that’s coming to market or becoming available to investors first in the form of an ETF. In some ways, it gives the ETF credibility, and it accentuates many of the benefits of the ETF as an investment wrapper. To that extent, it’s important for the ETF industry. He went on to say, “I think bringing it in an ETF wrapper gives bitcoins more credibility.” Once upon a time, buying gold meant breaking the law. From 1933 to 1974, US citizens could only own up to $100 worth of gold. After 1974, buying gold meant searching for coins in out-of-the-way pawn shops and coin shops. Then in November 2004, the gold ETF (GLD) began trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The yellow metal was lifted from the investment shadows and rose in price from the mid-$400 range to $1,900 before falling back to where it is today. Bitcoin Is Gold 2.0 Approval of the Winklevoss ETF will do the same for Bitcoin, which Chriss Street of the American Thinker calls “Gold 2.0.” Street points out that only 5.6 million troy ounces of gold have been mined, and Satoshi’s protocol allows only 21 million bitcoins to be mined. Street explains: … by 2040 when the world population reaches 10 billion, there will only be 1 bitcoin for every 500 people on the earth. Gold and bitcoins are similar in lacking intrinsic value unless members of society have confidence they will maintain their value over time.… The value of bitcoins and gold are rooted in their rarity, ease of handling, and inability of government to destroy its store of wealth…. Welcome to the true full-faith of Gold 2.0. Recently, online travel agent Expedia began accepting Bitcoin, joining Dell, Overstock, TigerDirect, and other retailers. Flat 128, a retailer that sells British jewelry and accessories in New York’s West Village, just installed a Bitcoin ATM, where patrons can exchange cash for the electronic currency. Flat 128’s owner says 15 to 20 people a day come into her store to use the ATM. “Merchants around the country say that the Bitcoin A.T.M.s are helping draw would-be customers, too,” writes Sydney Ember for the New York Times. “Some of those are in coffee shops, where the tech crowd and early Bitcoin adopters are coming in for beverages.” This movement toward the cyber-currency flies in the face of what ex-bank examiner Williams wrote at the end of last year, “This is why in recent weeks, as large price movements have occurred, we have seen more credible retailers saying ‘No’ to Bitcoin.” The government knows Bitcoin (or something like it) isn’t going away. The government just wants to tax it, or steal it when its functionaries can conjure up a crime. If you don’t trust the dollar, and you shouldn’t, be like Uncle Sam: keep some money in gold and Gold 2.0.last_img read more

Threequarters of a million people would likely lo

first_imgThree-quarters of a million people would likely lose their food stamps later this year under a new proposal by the Trump administration. The goal is to encourage able-bodied adults to go to work and get off government aid. But opponents predict people would go hungry instead, if the rule goes into effect. A public comment period, which ends Tuesday, has so far drawn more than 28,000 comments overwhelmingly against the proposed rule. Those affected by the proposed changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits are known as able-bodied adults without dependents, or ABAWDs. There were close to 4 million adults in this category receiving food stamps in 2016. About three-quarters of them did not work, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says the administration thinks these people should be able to get jobs, especially now that the nation’s unemployment rate is the lowest it has been in years. “We believe the purpose of our welfare system should help people to become independent rather than permanent dependency,” he recently told the House Agriculture Committee. “We think we are helping people to, again, move into the dignity of work and the respect of providing for their families.”To do that, the administration would stop food stamps after three months for ABAWDs who don’t work, volunteer or get job training for at least 20 hours a week. That’s already the law, but many states waive that requirement in high unemployment areas. The Trump administration would make those waivers much more difficult to come by.It’s part of a broader effort by the administration to impose tighter work requirements on recipients of government aid, such as housing vouchers and Medicaid. A federal judge last week blocked two states, Arkansas and Kentucky, from implementing the Medicaid work rule, calling it “arbitrary and capricious.”But the concept has strong Republican support. “People believe that able-bodied people who can work, should work,” Tennessee Republican Rep. Scott Desjarlais told Perdue, “Do you have any idea why there might be so much pushback and concerns on this measure?””I have no clue,” Perdue responded.At the Franciscan Center in Baltimore, where low-income individuals come every day for food, clothing and other help, people think they have a pretty good idea why opposition is so strong. “Right now, I’m literally dependent on places like this,” says 41-year-old Alton Royal, who carries a small plastic bag containing a couple of rolls and two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. “This is my meal for the rest of the day.”Royal says he gets $185 a month in SNAP benefits, but he worries he’ll lose them under the proposed rules because he can’t find work. He has a severely injured leg and a criminal record, which limit his options.”But still I have to eat. I have to still try and find employment but I have those barriers against me,” Royal says.Others here are struggling with other barriers, such as homelessness, mental illness and drug addiction. Some already work, but not enough to meet the 20-hour-a-week threshold. One man says he has a janitorial job at the Baltimore Orioles’ stadium, but only when the baseball team is in town. In the winter, he relies on food stamps.”Everybody I know wants to work,” says Royal. “Everybody.”Michael J. Wilson, director of Maryland Hunger Solutions, an advocacy group that opposes the rule, says threatening to take people’s food away won’t help them get a job. By the administration’s own admission, the change would save $8 billion over five years, largely because 755,000 individuals will not meet the new requirements. Wilson estimates that about 30,000 of them will be in Maryland. He says that it’s not just the lack of jobs, but the lack of other options.”If all those folks showed up at a job training site tomorrow, they would swamp the offices,” he says. “There’s not enough space for them to be able to do this.”Perdue notes that there would be exceptions for those who are disabled or can’t work for one reason of another, but it’s largely up to the states. States are not required to guarantee an individual a job, training or volunteer opportunity before stopping their benefits. Looking for work only counts toward the required 20 hours if it’s paired with an education and training program.Craig Gundersen, a professor of agriculture and consumer economics at the University of Illinois, questions the administration’s assertion that imposing work requirements will move more SNAP recipients into the labor force. He says there’s no evidence that receiving food stamps discourages work. “This idea that people are ripping off the system or something, that’s just not true,” he says. In fact, food stamp benefits are structured to encourage work, he says, by reducing benefits gradually as income grows. Gundersen also says the proposal “is just not consistent with the goals of the program,” which is to reduce hunger.For the most part, SNAP has enjoyed strong bipartisan support. A similar work requirement was rejected by Congress last year when lawmakers debated a new farm bill. President Trump announced the proposed rule the same day he signed that bill into law. As a result, congressional Democrats have threatened to sue if the change goes into effect later this year, as the administration intends. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

Cutting Printing Costs With Tablets

first_img January 27, 2011 Agam Shah Next Article Growth Strategies 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Cutting Printing Costs With Tablets Add to Queue As the mobile workforce increasingly uses tablets and smartphones, a nonprofit group hopes to use the devices to reduce paperwork and cut printing costs.ChildNet, which focuses on child welfare, will use tablets and smartphones to upload and access case files remotely, which could ultimately help cut printing costs, said Emilio Benitez, president and CEO of ChildNet.ChildNet, which is based in and based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, works with Broward County to manage cases related to adoption and independent living of abused, abandoned and neglected children. The organization is moving toward using the Android mobile platform to help case workers remotely access documents.Printing is a huge expense for the small nonprofit, and cutting down on the paperwork could add up to significant cost savings.”For us, it’s a lot of money, it’s very measurable,” Benitez said.Case workers on an average spend 40 percent to 50 percent of their time filing and processing paperwork, and each child on an average has five binders, with each binder consisting of 550 pages. The time spent on paperwork also impedes the ability for case workers to spend more time with the children and families they serve, Benitez said.Tablets and smartphones could also save case workers from lugging around cartloads of binders when at court or when investigating a case on the road, Benitez said.The company currently uses HTC smartphones based on the Windows Mobile platform to access documents remotely. Windows Mobile is expressly designed for smartphones, and the organization is moving toward Google’s Android development platform, which is used on both smartphones and tablets.The cost related to printing, imaging and document management are usually hidden and can be very high, said Crawford Del Prete, executive vice president of research products and chief research officer at IDC. The costs could account for 11 percent of revenue for low-end manufacturing firms, and up to 15 percent for health-care firms, he said.One of the biggest savings could be achieved by controlling document printing and achieving better data flow, Del Prete said.It’s just not about the device, though. More workers are going mobile, and the amount of data available is exploding, so organizations need to manage mobile devices in sync with the data flow to effectively cut costs, Del Prete said.ChildNet is working with Ricoh to digitize existing case files so they become accessible through mobile devices, and has implemented an indexing system to provide quick access to certain data in compliance with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).Ricoh provides a number of options for organizations to print documents from tablets and smartphones, said Shogo Hyakutake, associate director of the global marketing group at Ricoh.Users can send an e-mail to a printer attached to the Internet, or use a remote printing service. Ricoh can also provide printer drivers for devices based on the Android OS to clients, Hyakutake said.Ricoh has not yet looked at developing drivers for the iPad as Apple maintains strong control over development of its devices, Hyakutake said. But the company may look at developing iPad drivers if consumer demand increases.Ricoh is investing US$300 million over the next three years to expand its managed document services offerings, including mobile printing services. That is a shift in strategy for Ricoh, which in the past has heavily relied on its printer business.But ChildNet will likely stick with Android in the future as it is gaining more traction in the smartphone and tablet markets, said Dipak Parekh, chief financial officer at ChildNet.Android provides the capability for ChildNet to build a security apparatus for mobile devices to access documents. Considering the security and sensitivity of documents, Android also provides the flexibility to test the application before full implementation.Parekh said that ChildNet has provided its Windows Mobile software to the Florida Department of Children and Families, which took some parts of the program to work on the BlackBerry platform. But for ChildNet, the screen space on Blackberry is small, and it does not provide enough real estate to record signatures, Parekh said. The HTC phones provide enough screen space for a case worker to record a signature, upload a picture and record the location through GPS.Parekh is looking at the Apple’s iOS platform, which is used on the iPhone and iPad, but will write applications only after the OS “is proven.”center_img 4 min read –shares Brought to you by PCWorld The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Learn how a small nonprofit is seeking to save money and reduce paperwork by adopting tablet computers and smartphones. Apply Now »last_img read more

No Eggs No Mayo FDA Goes After Hampton Creek for Naming Its

first_img Image credit: Hampton Creek | Facebook Updated Thursday, Aug. 27 at 9:00 a.m. ETHampton Creek’s stated mission is to produce healthy, sustainable and affordable food products.According to the Food and Drug Administration, it’s also misleading consumers by labeling its line of vegan spreads “Just Mayo.”The crux of the issue hinges on eggs. True mayo must contain them, the FDA stipulates. Hampton Creek’s line of “Just Mayo” spreads does not, and thus the name is a misnomer at best, misleading at worst. The FDA is making it very clear it’s not amused by Hampton Creek’s antics, writing in an Aug. 12 warning letter to the company:”Just” together with “Mayo” reinforces the impression that the products are real mayonnaise by suggesting that they are “all mayonnaise” or “nothing but” mayonnaise. However, your Just Mayo and Just Mayo Sriracha do not meet the definition of the standard for mayonnaise. According to the labels for these products, neither product contains eggs. Additionally, the products contain additional ingredients that are not permitted by the standard of identity for mayonnaise, such as modified food starch.This is not the first time Hampton Creek has been the target of an egg-based lawsuit. Last year, Unilever (which owns the prominent mayonnaise brand Hellmann’s) sued the company over false advertising and unfair competition arguing, essentially, what the FDA is laying down: no eggs, no mayonnaise.In December, Unilever dropped the lawsuit, perhaps in part because of a Change.org petition asking the company to “stop bullying” the startup, which collected more than 112,000 signatures.Is the FDA perhaps being a tad oversensitive? After all, its definition of mayonnaise hasn’t been updated since the 1950s, when a vegan diet was a mere twinkle in the eyes of the mainstream public. Should Hampton Creek really have anticipated that the FDA would cleave so thoroughly to the egg requirement?Related: Hampton Creek Reinvents the EggAbsolutely, according to Ivan Wasserman, an attorney at Manatt Phelps & Phillips. “What’s surprising is that it took this long. As far as having to comply with the standards of identity, I’d say the FDA has a very strong position,” he told The Washington Post. For the record, when advertising the Just Mayo brand on its site, Hampton Creek does not explicitly state that the product is eggless. Hampton Creek CEO Josh Tetrick is adamant that despite the letter, the Just Mayo name isn’t going anywhere. “We had a good call with the FDA yesterday. They get the import of what we’re doing — and why it matters to our food system,” he said in a statement to Entrepreneur. “This is larger than a conversation about mayo, as innovation — especially when it has a positive impact — is important to them. We’ll sit down with the FDA shortly, and are excited to talk with them about our approach. They understand our mission more than folks realize, and want to find a way forward.”In its letter, the FDA also takes issue with Hampton Creek’s claim that its Just Mayo spreads are cholesterol-free. (To advertise with that label, the agency dictates that food cannot contain “more than 13 grams of total fat per 50 grams”.)”Failure to promptly correct these violations may result in regulatory action without further notice, such as seizure and/or injunction,” the FDA warns.While the agency’s meddling has the potential to cause a series headache for Hampton Creek, it could also be a great marketing opportunity. Just as with the Unilever lawsuit, Hampton Creek is not only able to play the scrappy underdog in a fight with a larger foe (in this case, federal regulators), but it gets the opportunity to spotlight its product and educate consumers about the health and environmental benefits of eggless mayo.Or, eggless…sandwich spread? This is where things get tricky for the company — if the FDA is successful, and Hampton Creek must change its product’s name, are there really any good alternatives?Tetrick isn’t betting on it. “We’re solid on keeping our name,” he said.Related: FDA Grants 23andMe Approval to Sell Test for Rare Genetic Condition Guest Writer Add to Queue Laura Entis No Eggs, No Mayo: FDA Goes After Hampton Creek for Naming Its Vegan Spread ‘Just Mayo’ Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 4 min read Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. –shares August 26, 2015 Regulations Next Article Enroll Now for $5last_img read more

Apple Considering Expansion Into Wearable Glasses

first_img This story originally appeared on Reuters Register Now » Apple Next Article Apple Inc. is considering expanding into wearable glass headsets and has talked about the project with potential suppliers, Bloomberg reported citing people familiar with the matter.The wearable headset would show images, along with other information and may use augmented reality, according to the report.Chief Executive Tim Cook, who has been struggling with a slowdown in iPhone sales in recent quarters, said earlier this year that the company would continue to invest a lot into augmented reality.  Apple, the world’s largest technology company, has ordered a small number of near-eye displays for testing but has not obtained enough for production on a larger scale, the report added.Apple declined to comment.The move would make Apple the latest tech company to venture into wearable glasses.Alphabet Inc.’s discontinued its own wearable glass headset, Google Glass, and closed the social media account linked to the device earlier this year, ending its attempt to popularize the expensive devices with consumers.The device received plenty of attention when it was launched in 2012, but quickly ran into problems with its awkward appearance and privacy concerns over video recording.Snap, an $18 billion company which makes the popular messaging app Snapchat, also launched its own video-camera sunglasses last week.(Reporting by Narottam Medhora in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr) Add to Queue Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business The wearable headset would show images, along with other information, and may use augmented reality. November 15, 2016 2 min read Apple Considering Expansion Into Wearable Glasses Reuters Image credit: Pres Panayotov / Shutterstock Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. –shareslast_img read more

Atif Rafiq of MGM Resorts International Named US Chief Digital Officer of

first_imgAtif Rafiq of MGM Resorts International Named US Chief Digital Officer of the Year 2019 by CDO Club MTS Staff WriterMay 8, 2019, 9:02 pmMay 8, 2019 Atif Rafiq, newly appointed President of Commercial and Growth at MGM Resorts International and former Chief Digital Officer at Volvo Cars, was recognized as the US Chief Digital Officer of the Year 2019 by the CDO Club, the world’s largest community of C-suite digital and data leaders.Mr. Rafiq received the award after his keynote on “Five Lessons Learned on the Path to Digital Disruption” from David Mathison, CEO of the CDO Club and CDO Summit, at the 7th annual NYC CDO Summit on Wednesday, May 8 in the Roone Arledge auditorium at Columbia University.“There’s a great rewiring of every large company underway at the moment. In the role of CDO, you’re often in the middle of it – culture change, organizing a company around customers, recruitment of new tech-savvy talent, and business model evolution. I’ve been privileged to play the CDO role for companies with great brands, huge scale and global presence.  And this recognition from CDO Club is the cherry on top.”“A true ‘digital native’ and prototypical CDO, Atif has been at the center of digital disruption for over 20 years where he worked in leadership roles at some of the world’s most prestigious organizations, including Goldman Sachs, AOL, Audible [acquired by Amazon], Covigna, Yahoo!, and Amazon. In 2013 he became SVP and Global CDO at McDonald’s, and in 2017 he took on an expanded role as CDO and Global CIO at Volvo Cars. In May 2019, he will start at President, Commercial & Growth for MGM Resorts, a move that earned him inclusion into the CDO Club Hall of Fame, which recognizes those CDOs who have become CEO or President. I am delighted to recognize Atif as the U.S. Chief Digital Officer of the Year for 2019,” noted David Mathison, CEO of the CDO Club.Marketing Technology News: Lattice Engines Announces Spring 2019 Release of Its Atlas Customer Data Platform to Lead Industry into ABM 2.0 EraA recent Wall Street Journal article noted that Atif’s move to MGM as President “reflects a shift of the role of CDO from change catalyst to revenue producer, which can also lead to higher offices” and MGM Chief Executive Jim Murren praised Atif’s “proven ability to translate emerging consumer behavior into strategy and revenue growth.”Mr. Rafiq has both disrupted as a new technology entrant, and helped reposition large incumbent companies. Atif was one of the first chief digital officers in the Fortune 100, and has helped shape the profile of this role as global corporations have embraced it. He provides strong vision for new consumer experiences and products with relentless customer focus, and high business discipline around execution. He is a talent magnet who excels at creating high performance teams aimed at missionary work and has mentored several executives to the C-level.Atif earned his MBA in Finance and Marketing from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in 2000, and his BA in Mathematics-Economics from Wesleyan University in 1994.Previous U.S. Chief Digital Officer of the Year award winners include Fred Santarpia, Chief Digital Officer at Condé Nast (2018); Thomas Hjelm, Chief Digital Officer at NPR (2017); Linda Boff, Chief Marketing Officer at GE (2016); Adam Brotman, former Chief Digital Officer at Starbucks Coffee Company (2015); Rachael S. Haot, former Chief Digital Officer of New York City and New York State (2014); and Teddy Goff, former Digital Director at Obama for America (2013).Marketing Technology News: Cheetah Digital Strengthens EMEA Team With Three Executive AdditionsU.K. CDO of the Year award winners include Bertrand Bodson, Chief Digital and Marketing Officer at Sainsbury’s Argos (2016); Tanya Cordrey, former Chief Digital Officer at Guardian News and Media (2015); and Mike Bracken, former Chief Digital Officer at U.K.’s Government Digital Service (2014).The EU CDO of the Year award winner was Patrick Hoffstetter, former Chief Digital Officer at Renault (2016). Australian CDO of the Year award winners include Clive Dickens, former Chief Digital Officer at Seven West Media (2017); and Rebekah Horne, former Chief Digital Officer at Network Ten (2016).Marketing Technology News: Amazon Tops Q1 2019 Industry Report Ranking Digital Media Partner Performance C-suite digitalCDO ClubDavid MathisonMarketing TechnologyMGM Resorts InternationalNews Previous ArticleAdstream Launches New Project to Help Solve $80 Billion of Global Ad and Marketing InefficienciesNext ArticleZappar Launches ZapWorks Studio 6last_img read more

Riskbased optimization scheme boosts confidence and profitability for future mixedtechnology power plants

Provided by KAUST A scheme to balance risks may help realize the benefits of being able to combine complementary power technologies, such as thermal generation, wind power and energy storage. Such benefits include lower capital costs and more responsive and reliable energy delivery while leveraging renewable energy technologies Optimizing the operation of a mixed-technology power plant is vital to make such power generation profitable and reliable. However, this is far more complex than for single-technology units due to the simultaneous fluctuations in generation caused by inconsistent wind, for example, as well as fluctuations in energy storage levels and market electricity prices. While optimization schemes have been proposed for such virtual power plants (VPPs), the existing approaches take a rigidly risk-neutral approach to dealing with uncertainty in future conditions. Now, by integrating risk parameters into an efficient optimization program for VPP operation, Ricardo Lima and colleagues Omar Knio and Ibrahim Hoteit from KAUST have developed a platform that allows the system to be tweaked for better reliability and profitability. “Renewable energy resources are inherently uncertain,” explains Lima. “The operation and interaction of these resources with the electricity market brings uncertainty about how to best maximize profit.” Furthermore, “this methodology enables us to capitalize on wind ensembles from weather forecast models, accounting for the uncertainties inherent in future projections,” says HoteitThe problem considered by Knio’s team is the optimization of operations and electricity market participation for a VPP comprising a thermal unit, such as a conventional gas-fired power plant, a wind farm and a pumped storage hydro unit for energy storage. The goal of the calculation is to predict the optimal energy output of the thermal unit and input/output from the hydro unit, with consideration for fluctuating wind conditions and electricity price in the market, which will optimize profit over the next few hours. “The key issue for optimization is always the balance between level of detail of the model and the capacity for obtaining optimal solutions from it,” says Lima. “In this work, we propose efficient approaches to solve large problems and push the limits of the problem sizes we can solve in reasonable computational times.”This is a large-scale calculation problem with many variables even before the inclusion of risk, which presents significant challenges for finding the most accurate solution. To be able to consider the additional complexity of risk, the team had to develop an efficient calculation scheme, which they achieved by calculating the two parts in parallel. The result is a framework that can accommodate both conservative risk-avoidance and aggressive risk-seeking approaches to maximize VPP profits.”Our optimization model supports the calculation of risk-averse decisions that hedge against low profits due to the uncertainty in future wind-power generation and electricity prices,” says Lima. Explore further Using an algorithm to reduce energy bills—rain or shine The challenge is the optimization of operations and electricity market participation for a VPP comprising a thermal unit, such as a conventional gas-fired power plant, a wind farm and a pumped storage hydro unit for energy storage. Credit: Xavier Pita Citation: Risk-based optimization scheme boosts confidence and profitability for future mixed-technology power plants (2018, April 13) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-risk-based-optimization-scheme-boosts-confidence.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. read more

Why restricting social media is not a solution to dangerous behaviours in

first_imgEarlier this month, in the Indian state of Rajasthan, bystanders took selfies while three men lay dying after a road accident. The week before, two men were beaten to death by a mob in the state of Assam after false rumours of their involvement in a kidnapping were spread on WhatsApp. And a study recently found that India is the world leader when it comes to selfie-related accidents. Selfie culture turns dangerousSuch is the explosion of selfie culture that young Indians have gone to great lengths in pursuit of the perfect shot. Sadly, an 18-year-old woman drowned after she and her friends fell into the sea while taking selfies in a Mumbai suburb. A young man died while taking a selfie on top of a train in Delhi.To curb this occasionally fatal quest for online “likes”, authorities are starting to take action. The Ministry of Railways issued a warning to young people taking selfies near train tracks, while the Mumbai police identified and publicised 16 selfie danger zones and the Karnataka government in southwestern India announced plans for a safe selfie campaign.Among other recent measures, the Hindu Kumbh Mela festival was declared a “no selfie zone” to avoid stampedes, and selfie sticks were banned at 46 museums across the country to protect archaeological artefacts.The backlash has also extended to college campuses. At many university colleges, selfies and mobile phones have been banned for reasons ranging from destruction of the academic culture to facilitating kidnapping and rape.Mob violence fuelled by WhatsAppAuthorities have also targeted WhatsApp, the largest online communication platform in India with over 200 million users. In recent months, some two dozen innocent people have been killed by angry mobs in India after false rumours of child kidnappings were spread on WhatsApp.To try to curb incidents of mob violence, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) recently mandated that WhatsApp “ensure that their platform is not used for such malafide activities”. In response, WhatsApp announced it would test a feature that would prevent Indian users from forwarding messages to more than five people or groups at once. In the highly militarised state of Jammu and Kashmir, a district magistrate has gone so far as to order all WhatsApp group administrators to register with the police.This idea that new media fans the flames of communal tension is also making internet shutdowns an increasingly common strategy in times of unrest. But feminists were not impressed, taking issue with the failure of the initiative to adequately address the issue, the invisibility of mothers in the campaign, and the hypocrisy of some supporters who had otherwise misogynist Twitter feeds. Actress Shruti Seth tweeted, “A selfie is not a device to bring about change Mr. PM. Try reform,” with the hashtag #selfieobsessedPM. Provided by The Conversation An edited video that sparked fears of child abduction on WhatsApp. New media, old issuesAre social media platforms really to blame for social ills, though? In a recent article, Divij Joshi, a research fellow at the Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy, argues that authorities in India should be focusing on the social issues contributing to mob violence, rather than the platforms used to inflame tensions and spread rumours.A similar point is made by a team of researchers from a global social media research project called Why We Post. Digital platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook make new forms of interaction between people possible. But, these researchers argue: “The platform is surprisingly irrelevant to finding explanations for why and how people use social media. It provides the place, but not the cause nor the explanation.”For example, in the South Indian field site for the project, researcher Shriram Venkatraman found that people connected mostly with others of similar social status online and some families restricted women’s access to the internet to prevent relationships with men. Social media does not create these class and gender inequalities. It is simply a new space where these old problems persist. Social media restrictions are not just ineffective solutions, they may also undermine India’s democracy. There is evidence that such restrictions are being used to silence voices critical of the government. As researchers from India’s Internet Democracy Project point out, the government and courts already have very broad powers to limit and censor online communication. Expanding these powers poses a serious threat to freedom of expression in the digital space. Social media for positive social changeRestricting access to social media also overlooks its potential for positive social change. New media is being used in India to enable young people and marginalised groups to tell their stories, for example, and to provide information on sensitive issues like mental health and sexual and reproductive health rights.Social justice organisations have also begun adapting their social media use to reach greater numbers of people. Japleen Pasricha, founder and director of Feminism in India, told me her organisation added WhatsApp to their social media repertoire at the end of last year, hoping to make their content go viral to “counter the sexist memes and jokes we all receive in various family and friends’ WhatsApp groups”.Some of this social justice work is aimed directly at transforming the way information technology is used in India. This includes tackling the gender gap in access to technology (71% of internet users in India are men) and educating young people about staying safe online.Social media may often be a tool for exacerbating the conflicts and reinforcing the inequalities of the offline world, but people across India are working to change this. Citation: Why restricting social media is not a solution to dangerous behaviours in India (2018, July 26) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-07-restricting-social-media-solution-dangerous.html WhatsApp curbs India service after lynchings Only around 30% of Indians have access to the internet and under 15% use social media, but social media and selfies have captured the public imagination. Some fear that the social media sensation has gone too far, encouraging dangerous behaviours and exacerbating tensions between groups. Others are using social media to bring about positive social change.Selfies: from pop culture to politicsSelfies have certainly become a much more prominent part of Indian society in recent years.Part of this has to do with Bollywood actors and other entertainers spreading the popularity of selfie culture through films, music and television. The chorus of the song “Selfie Pulla” from the Tamil movie Kaththi, for instance, is a catchy repetition of “Let’s take a selfie, pulla (girl)”. It also includes the lines, “Let’s live in Instagram, let’s shoot and snap every moment of our life”, and “Let’s share on Facebook to get unlimited likes and shares”.India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, is also a skilled social media user who has the second-highest Twitter following of any world leader (after a certain @realDonaldTrump) and is the most “liked” leader in the world on Facebook.But with this enthusiasm for social media has come criticism. In 2015, Modi encouraged fathers to send him photos of themselves with their daughters via Twitter, using the hashtag #SelfieWithDaughter. The initiative was part of efforts to reduce the preference for male children. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Explore furtherlast_img read more

New program picks out targets in a crowd quickly and efficiently

first_imgIt can be harder for computers to find Waldo, an elusive character that hides within crowds in a popular children’s book series, than it is for humans. Credit: CC0 Public Domain Tweaking tools to track tweets over time Provided by Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore Citation: New program picks out targets in a crowd quickly and efficiently (2019, February 22) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-02-crowd-quickly-efficiently.html Journal information: Nature Communicationscenter_img Now, an A*STAR researcher and her colleagues have developed a biologically-inspired program that could enable computers to identify real-life Waldos and other targets more efficiently.Computer image analysis is routinely used in medicine, security, and rescue. Speed is often critical in these efforts, says Mengmi Zhang, a computer scientist at A*STAR’s Institute for Infocomm Research, who led the study. She cites the use of computers to help find victims of natural disasters, such as earthquakes.But these efforts are often hampered because computers lack human intuition. A person can quickly spot a dog in a crowded space, for instance, even if they have never seen that particular dog before. A computer, by contrast, needs to be trained using thousands of images of different dogs, and even then, they can falter when looking for a new dog whose image they have not encountered previously.This weakness could be particularly problematic when scanning for weapons, says Zhang. A computer trained to look for knives and guns, might overlook another sharp object. “If there is one sharp metal stick which has not been seen in the training set, it doesn’t mean the passenger should be able to take it on board the airplane,” says Zhang.Current computer searches also tend to be slow because the computer must scan every part of an image in sequence, paying equal attention to each part. Humans, however, rapidly shift their attention between several different locations in an image to find their target. Zhang and her colleagues’ wanted to understand how humans do this so efficiently. They presented 45 people with crowded images and asked them to hunt for a target, say, a sheep. They monitored how the subjects’ eyes darted around the scene, fixating briefly on different locations in the image. They found that, on average, people could locate the sheep in around 640 milliseconds. This corresponded to switching the location of their gaze, on average, just over two and a half times.The team then developed a computer model to implement this more human-like search strategy in the hunt for a dog. Rather than looking for a target that was identical to an image of a dog given beforehand, the model was trained to look for something that had similar features to the example image. This enabled the model to generalize from a single dog image, to the “general concept of a dog,” and quickly pick out other dogs it had not seen before, explains Zhang.The researchers tested how effective the new computer visual search model was by measuring the number of times the computer had to fixate on different locations in a scene before finding its target. “What surprises us is that by using our method, computers can search images as fast as humans, even when searching for objects they’ve never seen before,” says Zhang. The computer was even as good as humans at finding Waldo.The team is now programming their model with a better understanding of context. For example, humans naturally understand that a cup is more likely to be sitting on a table than floating in the air. Once implemented, this should improve the model’s efficiency even further, says Zhang, adding, “Waldo cannot hide anymore.” More information: Mengmi Zhang et al. Finding any Waldo with zero-shot invariant and efficient visual search, Nature Communications (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-06217-x This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore furtherlast_img read more