Tag: 上海后花园


Swan Lake Fire Special Travel Advisory


first_imgThe Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) over the fire area has been expanded to include the Sterling Highway corridor for the safety of firefighting aircraft and personnel. In a release from DOF, hot and dry weather coupled with persistent winds from the northwest are pushing both smoke and the east flank of the fire towards the highway corridor and transmission line. Smoke impacts will reduce visibility and will cause delays for all traffic between milepost 58 and 75.5. All motorists are encouraged to drive slowly and cautiously with headlights on. Pilots need to be aware that large water scooping aircraft will be using Skilak and Hidden lakes. Recreationists in these areas need to remain alert and vigilant about staying away from the center of the lakes while these aircraft assist the fire crews working along the fire’s edge. The Alaska Department of Transportation is dedicated to keeping weekend traffic moving with the use of flaggers and pilot cars. Travelers are advised to be prepared for long delays and should consider bringing extra water and food, as well as extra ice and coolers to keep fish cold. Homer Electric has been in communication with railbelt utilities so that they will be prepared. This action will not affect consumer power on the Kenai Peninsula or points north.center_img Motorists are advised to allow plenty of extra time to reach destinations and to be on alert to give the right of way to emergency response vehicles. Skilak Lake Road is a narrow gravel road and should not be considered as an option for recreation vehicles, fifth-wheel trailers and semi tractors with trailers. Continued updates will be posted as they are made available. In consideration of firefighter and public safety the Homer Electric Association, working in coordination with fire managers, is prepared to de-energize the 115,000-volt Transmission Tie Line that connects Bradley Lake Hydroelectic facility to the rest of the railbelt utilities. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Last updated on June 26th, 2019 at 09:25 amThe Alaska Interagency Incident Management Team has been working closely with officials from the Kenai Peninsula Office of Emergency Management, Alaska Department of Transportation, Alaska State Troopers, the Homer Electric Association, Granite Construction and other cooperating agencies, to be prepared should the smoke and activity of the Swan Lake Fire affect the Sterling Highway corridor and Homer Electric transmission lines.last_img read more


People on the Move 052710


first_imgOK! magazine has named Stephen Gregory Barr as publisher, replacing Lori Burgess, who left the magazine last month to serve as publisher at The Hollywood Reporter. Previously, Barr served as associate publisher of sales and marketing at VIV Magazine.Playboy Enterprises elected global investor Kai-Shing Tao to its board of directors. The company says Tao’s experiences and investments in Asia and emerging markets will be “great assets” for Playboy.Keith Sedlak was elected chairman of the Custom Content Council. Sedlakserves as chief marketing officer of Meredith Integrated Marketing. F+W Media named Nancy Soriano publisher and community leader for its Crafts business. Previously, Soriano served as editor-in-chief of Country Living magazine. Her appointment is effective May 27.Cara Deoul Perl was appointed vice president and creative director of corporate sales and marketing at Time Inc. Most recently, Perl served as vice president of creative marketing at the Condé Nast Media Group.Tuscaloosa, Alabama-based Randall-Reilly promoted Michael Newman to the newly-created position of director of interactive marketing, construction. Previously, Newman served as electronic media manager for Equipment World magazine.last_img read more


Google Duplex arriving on iPhones more Android devices


first_img Now playing: Watch this: 1:06 Mobile Tags Get more from your appliances with a smart plug 0center_img Google Share your voice Google Duplex can make appointments for you.  Getty Images Google Duplex, the voice assistant that sounds remarkably human, is making its way to more devices. The new Google Assistant feature for booking restaurant reservations is rolling out for more Android and iOS devices in the US, a Google spokesperson confirmed Wednesday.The support page for Duplex, spotted earlier by 9to5Google, says Android devices running version 5.0 or later and iPhones with Google Assistant installed can use Duplex, but not everywhere. XDA Developers reported Wednesday  it was able to use Duplex on a Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus.Previously, Duplex was available only on Google’s Pixel phones. In March, Google said Duplex was expanding to Pixel owners in 43 states.Google Duplex was announced last May and boasted the ability to make calls on the user’s behalf. Instead of a robotic voice, Duplex has a voice that sounds human and uses “complex sentences, fast speech and long remarks.” The assistant can schedule appointments, make reservations and get information from businesses.To use Duplex, you need only ask Google Assistant to perform a task like booking a table or scheduling an appointment.Originally published April 3, 10:08 a.m. PT.Update, 10:32 a.m.: Adds confirmation from Google. Post a commentlast_img read more


Office Depot Alibaba partnership a boon for small medium businesses


first_imgOffice Depot and Alibaba Group Holding together launched an e-commerce website in the United States, offering hundreds and thousands of US-based small and medium businesses an opportunity to go global. The partnership was announced on Monday, as a result of which both companies will capitalise on the opportunities to do business with small and medium businesses directly.Office Depot is already reaping the benefits of this partnership as its shares shot up 10 percent to $3.9 in premarket trading on Monday. According to MarketWatch, this puts the shares of the company to open at the highest price seen during regular-session hours since October 2017. Alibaba shares were also up by 1.3 percent at $186.35 in premarket trading.Office Depot and Alibaba partnership would give the Chinese e-commerce giant access to Florida-based office supplies provider’s 10 million business customers and 1,800 sales agents. On the other hand, Office Depot will be able to gain access to Alibaba’s global network of 150,000 suppliers and get a major boost in its struggle to compete against Amazon.com. Alibaba and Office Depot partnershipReuters FileTogether, both companies will be able to tap into a $23.9 trillion global B2B e-commerce market opportunity. This is also a boon for small and medium businesses in the U.S. that will be able to sell their products globally and search for verified manufacturers, negotiate deals and make payments seamlessly from a single platform.Office Depot can provide next-day delivery to 99 percent of U.S. businesses and discounts will be provided on select purchases through Alibaba marketplace.”Leveraging Office Depot’s trusted brand, local presence, and national supply chain distribution network with Alibaba’s global supplier network and well-known capabilities in serving SMBs, U.S. businesses can now access a wide array of products and services through Office Depot and Alibaba.com’s collaboration, which will empower them to compete and thrive. Through this initial phase of work together with Alibaba.com, we intend to grow our collaboration in ways that will drive even greater value and choice for our current and future customers,” Gerry Smith, CEO of Office Depot, said in a statement.last_img read more


Sweden arrests man for terrorist crime after truck attack


first_imgDamage to a store is revealed after the stolen truck, which was driven through a crowd outside a department in Stockholm. Photo: AFPSweden early Saturday arrested a man for a “terrorist crime” hours after a beer truck ploughed into a crowd outside a busy department store in central Stockholm, killing four and injuring 15.The man was arrested “on suspicion of a terrorist crime through murder,” Karin Rosander, a communications director at the Swedish Prosecution Authority, told AFP.Police said earlier on Friday after the attack that they had detained the man who “matched the description” of a photo released of a suspect wearing a dark hoodie and military green jacket.But they did not confirm if he drove the truck.According to the Aftonbladet newspaper, the same man is a 39-year-old of Uzbek origin and a supporter of the Islamic State (IS) group.If confirmed as a terror attack, it would be Sweden’s first such deadly assault. The 15 injured included children and nine people were “seriously” wounded, health authorities said.Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said he had strengthened the country’s border controls.“Terrorists want us to be afraid, want us to change our behaviour, want us to not live our lives normally, but that is what we’re going to do. So terrorists can never defeat Sweden, never,” he said.The attack occurred just before 3:00 pm (1300 GMT) when the stolen truck slammed into the corner of the bustling Ahlens store and the popular pedestrian street Drottninggatan, above ground from Stockholm’s central subway station.Pictures taken at the scene showed a large blue beer truck with a mangled undercarriage smashed into the Ahlens department store.Witnesses described scenes of terror and panic.“A massive truck starts driving … and mangles everything and just drives over exactly everything,” eyewitness Rikard Gauffin told AFP.“It was so terrible and there were bodies lying everywhere… it was really terrifying,” he added.The truck was towed away in the early hours of Saturday.TrappedPolice cars and ambulances rapidly flooded the scene after the attack, as central streets and squares were blocked off amid fears that another attack could be imminent.Helicopters hovered overhead across the city, sirens wailed, and police vans criss-crossed the streets using loudspeakers to urge people to head straight home and avoid crowded places.But with the metro system and commuter trains shut down for several hours after the attack, other streets heading out of the city were packed with thousands of pedestrians trying to find a way home.Haval, a 30-year-old sales clerk who didn’t want to reveal his last name, was in the metro at the time of the attack.His train stopped immediately and he had to get out, along with all the other passengers.They walked along the street before being ushered inside a nearby hotel for safety.“We were suddenly trapped inside a hotel and there was the worst kind of horror in there,” he told AFP.“We were scared, we were scared something else would happen, he added.‘Bleeding to death’Marko was in coffee shop near the scene with his girlfriend when he saw the truck ram into the store.“He hit a woman first, then he drove over a bunch of other people … We took care of everyone lying on the ground,” he told Swedish daily newspaper Aftonbladet.Hasan Sidi, another passerby, told Aftonbladet he saw two elderly women lying on the ground.He said people at the scene urged him to help one of the women who was “bleeding to death”.“One of them died… I don’t know if the other one made it,” Sidi said.“The police were shocked. Everyone was shocked.”‘You can’t break us’In an editorial, Sweden’s biggest broadsheet Dagens Nyheter wrote: “What we feared for a long time finally happened.”“The fear and panic right after the incident was inevitable. The images from the attack were terrible,” the paper said.But Stockholm managed to stay “cool-headed” even though the attacker struck “Sweden and Stockholm’s heart”, it added.Friday’s attack was the latest in a string of similar assaults with vehicles in Europe, including in London, Berlin and the southern French city of Nice.The deadliest came last year in France on the July 14 Bastille Day national holiday, when a man rammed a truck into a crowd in the Mediterranean resort of Nice, killing 86 people.Last month, Khalid Masood, a 52-year-old convert to Islam known to British security services, killed five people when he drove a car at high speed into pedestrians on London’s Westminster Bridge before launching a frenzied knife attack on a policeman guarding the parliament building.And in December, a man hijacked a truck and slammed into shoppers at a Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 people.In 2014, IS called for attacks on citizens of Western countries and gave instructions on how they could be carried out without military equipment, using rocks or knives, or by running people over in vehicles.last_img read more


At least 16 killed in Afghan twin blasts


first_imgMap locating a suicide bombing in a wrestling club in Kabul Wednesday which was followed by a second blast. Photo: AFPAt least 16 people have been killed after twin blasts at a Kabul wrestling club on Wednesday that left another 60 wounded, including four journalists, officials said, in the latest assault on the Afghan capital.An hour after a suicide bomber blew himself up inside the sports hall in a heavily Shiite neighbourhood, a car packed with explosives detonated as journalists and security forces gathered at the scene, police spokesman Hashmat Stanikzai said.At least four journalists were wounded in the second explosion, media support group NAI told AFP.Tolo News confirmed two of their journalists were killed.There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the twin explosions, but the Islamic State group often targets Afghanistan’s minority Shiite community.”There were security forces, people, and reporters (nearby),” Stanikzai said.Health ministry spokesman Wahid Majroh said at least 16 people had been killed and another 60 wounded. A spokesman at the interior ministry gave a higher toll of 20 killed and another 70 wounded.”I was outside when the first explosion happened, which has killed over 30 people, many of them wrestlers,” Pahlawan Shir, director of the Maiwand wrestling club, told AFP.”I was searching for my coach, I have finally found him in the… hospital. He is in a critical condition.”Social media users who purportedly witnessed the attack said the bomber killed the guards at the club before blowing himself up inside.He “detonated inside where a large number of athletes had gathered. There are a lot of dead and wounded”, Mohammad Hanif said on Facebook.A photo posted on Twitter purportedly showed several victims being loaded into the back of a police pick-up.The last major attack on Shiites in Kabul was on August 15 when a suicide bomber blew himself up in an education centre, killing dozens of students.IS said it was behind that attack, which drew international condemnation and came amid a wave of deadly violence across the country.Most of the victims were studying for college entrance exams when the blast happened.That was followed a day later by an attack on an intelligence training centre in Kabul.Civilians have long borne the brunt of the violence in Afghanistan — especially in Kabul, a target of both the Taliban and IS.Journalists also have paid a heavy price covering the conflict. On 30 April, twin explosions in Kabul killed nine journalists and 16 other people.Among the dead was AFP chief photographer Shah Marai.AFP driver Mohammad Akhtar was killed less than three months later in a suicide attack in Kabul that also claimed the lives of 23 others.Wednesday’s attack comes a day after the Taliban announced the death of Jalaluddin Haqqani, who founded the eponymous militant group which is widely suspected of being behind some of the attacks in Kabul claimed by IS.Afghan special forces arrested 11 Haqqani militants in Kabul and nearby districts, the country’s intelligence agency said Wednesday.The Taliban has been conducting blistering attacks on security forces across Afghanistan, including the massive, days-long onslaught on the eastern city of Ghazni last month.last_img read more


Sexual harassment case against Sirajuddoula shifted to tribunal


first_imgSM SirajuddoulaThe case filed against SM Sirajuddoula, principal of Sonagazi Islamia Senior Fazil Madrasa for sexually harassing his student Nusrat Jahan Rafi before burning her to death, was shifted to Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal on Thursday.Feni senior judicial magistrate Zakir Hossain shifted the case fixing 9 July for the next hearing.On Wednesday, the court took cognisance of charges brought against SM Sirajuddoula after Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) submitted the charge-sheet.The PBI submitted the 271-page charge-sheet 98 days into the sexual harassment of the madrasa girl. A total of 29 people were made witnesses in the case.Meanwhile, night guard M Mostafa of the madrasa testified before the Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal on Thursday in murder case filed over the killing of Nusrat.Tribunal judge Mamunur Rashid fixed 7 July for the next hearing.On 27 March, Sirajuddoula sexually harassed Nusrat in his office. Her mother filed the case against the principal the following day.On 6 April, Nusrat was set afire at an examination centre allegedly by people loyal to the principal after he was arrested and subsequently suspended following the filing of the case.She lost her battle for life on 10 April at Dhaka Medical College Hospital in the capital.last_img read more


Texas ACT Scores Drop as More Students Take the College Admissions Exam


first_img To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Listen 00:00 /01:16 X Thousands of Texas high school seniors are officially moving onto college this month. But this year’s freshmen might struggle more than last year’s freshmen class.That prediction comes from the latest test scores from the most popular college entrance exam, the ACT.In Texas, 26 percent of graduating seniors met the so-called “benchmark score” across all four subjects: English, math, reading and science. That means they have a good chance of getting a B or C in that subject in college.ACT officials blamed the drop in scores to a record number of students taking the exam.“This year’s ACT-tested class is more representative of the student population than any we’ve ever had,” said ACT Chief Executive Officer Marten Roorda in a statement.“We have likely added many more underrepresented students who may not have been preparing to go to college. In a situation such as this, it’s not at all surprising that overall achievement levels went down. Research clearly shows that scores initially decrease when states adopt the ACT for all students, but access and opportunities increase.”Bob Schaeffer with the advocacy group FairTest said that it’s more evidence that there’s too much focus on testing.“Kids who are not even on the college track are taking the test as well. And that both adds to the number of test-takers and lowers the average score,” Schaeffer said.What’s more, the gap grew between students from low-income homes and those from more affluent families making $80,000 or more a year. Schaeffer said that reflects the difference in opportunity for those kids, not their ability.“Kids whose parents have the means buy them test prep, get them special summer programs, send them to the best schools, and all of those show up in test scores, furthering the advantages that those children already have — since before they were born,” he said.Schaeffer contends that high school grades and rankings better predict how students will do in college. His group tracks how many colleges don’t require admissions exams or have flexible policies on tests. More than 75 colleges have joined that tally in the last three years.center_img Pexels Sharelast_img read more


Florek Records 13 Saves in 98 Loss to Delaware


first_imgBlalock scored once more for Louisville with one minute remaining, but the Cardinals could not complete the comeback. Photo Gallery Florek earned 13 saves in 60 minutes of play. Maddie Birch tallied a team-top five ground balls, while McNicholas won five of the Cardinals’ six draw controls. “Today definitely wasn’t our ‘A’ game,” said head coach Scott Teeter. “We need to value the ball and protect our sticks. If it wasn’t for Rachel’s work in the cage, it definitely could have been worse.” The Cardinals jumped to a 2-0 lead on goals by Alex McNicholas and Ally Hall in the first eight minutes of the game. In the second half, the Cardinals forced the Blue Hens into 14 turnovers while committing only nine of their own. Louisville also out-shot the Delaware in the second half, 13-8. The Cardinals fall to 4-9 on the season, while the Blue Hens improve to 6-5. The Blue Hens proceeded to go on a five-goal scoring run, taking a 5-3 lead into the break and extending their lead to three to open the second half.center_img Ally Hall completed her fourth hat trick of the year, finding the back of the net off a pass from Paige Richbourg to pull the Cardinals within one, 8-7, with three minutes remaining in the game. The Cardinals responded with a three-goal scoring run to tie the game at six on goals from Caroline Blalock and two from Tessa Chad. LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Despite a 13-save performance from Rachel Florek, the University of Louisville lacrosse team fell to Delaware 9-8 on Sunday afternoon at UofL Lacrosse Stadium. Story Links Delaware got on the board with 19 minutes remaining in the first half, but Ally Hall found the back of the net for the second time to keep Louisville’s lead at two shortly after. Louisville returns to action next weekend as they host ACC rival North Carolina for Senior Day at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more


Midge swarms show mechanical properties behave as a viscoelastic material


first_imgMean swarm response to an oscillating swarm marker. (A) Trajectories (>40 s long) of individual midges (each color corresponding to a different midge) are individually convoluted but remain localized over the ground-based swarm marker (black square). (B) Sketch of our experimental setup. Swarms form inside a plexiglass cube measuring 122 cm on a side and are imaged using three cameras mounted outside the enclosure. The swarm marker (in dark gray) is mounted on a linear stage (in red) that can be oscillated over a range of controlled frequencies and amplitudes along the direction indicated by the white arrows, which we label as the x direction. z increases vertically from the swarm marker (antiparallel to gravity), with the marker itself at z = 0. Midge development tanks (light blue) and four infrared light-emitting diode arrays (yellow; additional arrays on top of the enclosure are not shown) are also shown. (C) Phase-averaged position of the center of the swarm marker XM and the center of mass of the swarm XS. The swarm center of mass tracks the sinusoidal motion of the marker, although with a reduced amplitude and a phase lag. (D) The amplitude of the swarm center-of-mass motion AS as a function of the amplitude of the marker motion AM for two different oscillation frequencies, showing a linear relationship between the two. The shaded area shows the SEM. Microrobots that can form into multiple types of swarming shapes A team of researchers from Stanford University and Rothamsted Research, has found that midge swarms have some types of mechanical properties and also respond to a stimulus at times as a viscoelastic. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the group describes their study of swarm behavior in a species of midges and what they found. PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen Citation: Midge swarms show mechanical properties, behave as a viscoelastic material (2019, July 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-07-midge-swarms-mechanical-properties-viscoelastic.html More information: Kasper van der Vaart et al. Mechanical spectroscopy of insect swarms, Science Advances (2019). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw9305 © 2019 Science X Networkcenter_img Play Reconstructed positions of individual midges (black dots) in a swarm viewed from the side. A swarm marker (red line), which is a black square plate, oscillates back and forth below the swarm resulting in a travelling wave that travels upward through the swarm away from the marker. Credit: Kasper van der Vaart Explore further Journal information: Science Advances 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. Midges are an unofficial classification of two-winged fly. There are many species, most of which are associated with swarms that live near water or marshy areas. In this new effort, the researchers wanted to learn more about the physical properties of swarming behavior from the perspective of an entire swarm, rather than the individuals in it. To that end, they obtained a mass of male Chironomus riparius, which are known to swarm over a given object such as a tree stump as part of their mating ritual—the swarm allows the females to find them from a distance. In their lab, the researchers placed a square of black felt on the bottom of a tank for the midges to use as their orienting object. When the piece of felt was moved, the swarm responded to it. To test swarm responses to it, the felt square was attached to a small oscillating device.The researchers report that they focused specifically on how the swarm responded as an entire unit to the moving object below them. They report that it behaved in a layered manner, with those closest to the moving object responding faster than those in more distant layers. The researchers suggest this was likely due to propagation delays in messaging between individuals. They also observed mechanical properties—and sometimes the swarm behaved elastically, while at other times it behaved more like a viscous liquid—which, in physics terms, meant it was behaving like a viscoelastic material. They also found that sometimes, the viscosity properties were overcome by the elastic properties, which led to an observed dampening effect of the swarm’s overall movement. The researchers suggest this made the swarm more stable, making it easier for the females to find it. They also suggest their findings might have some relevance to swarming robotics efforts.last_img read more


Strengthening IndoThai cultural bond


first_imgNamaste Thailand Festival, organised by Royal Thai Embassy, New Delhi, is coming back with loads of fun-filled activities and workshops from March 15 – 17, 2019 at Select City Walk, New Delhi. The cultural fiesta is being organised to commemorate 72 years of Indo-Thai diplomatic relations.The formation of bilateral relations between Thailand and India has witnessed immense growth since 1947. The religious, cultural, mythological and commercial exchanges between the two countries have existed since centuries. Therefore a festival of Thai food, products, music, performances, and culture is all set to further strengthen the cultural bond and enthrall the Delhiites. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe three-day event will offer a range of wonderful activities and workshops where one can enjoy with Mulberry paper mini umbrella, body painting, button badge activities, posing with Thai costumes and a lot more. The festival will bring a diverse range of stalls which include women’s fashion, paper flowers, accessories, jewellery, home decorations, relaxation aromas and souvenirs to add extra Thai cultural flavor to the festival. Three quiz competitions about Thailand and its culture are going to be the highlight of the festival. Also, visitors can also experience the exquisite Thai cuisines from the much-popular ‘Nueng Roi’ by Radisson Blu. Renowned Thai artists like Asia-7 and a Thai Jazz-fusion band will culminate the festival on a musical note.last_img read more


Does Your Company Need a Custom Tech Platform


first_img 4 min read June 19, 2015 Enroll Now for Free Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. If you want your business to provide your team members and customers with a technology platform that simplifies and streamlines key tasks, you have two options: pre-existing software or custom-built software.Related: Before You Purchase Software for Your Business, Consider These Do’s and Don’tsSome off-the-shelf platforms are partially customizable, are updated frequently and are economical; but many companies are realizing the benefits of the second option, custom-built software. In fact, 66 percent of companies say they will invest in those solutions over the next five years. Should you follow suit?Depending on the nature of your business, a custom technology platform may be your best or only option. For instance, you may have a unique set of needs that no existing product can meet, or perhaps the current options are simply too slow. Those obstacles are more common than you might think — more than 70 percent of companies say they’re unable to find the perfect system.Ultimately, however, the decision to build a custom technology platform should hinge on whether existing software is aiding or hindering your company’s growth.Weigh your decision carefully.Initially, our company used pre-existing software because it was affordable, easy to implement and convenient to obtain. Eventually, though, we realized that the lack of customization was hindering our business’ growth rate. We decided to invest in the creation of a technology platform that would suit our exact needs, and we’ve never looked back.In some instances, a great custom platform can provide your company with an entirely new revenue stream. Basecamp, for example, developed an internal online project-management app that was so good other businesses wanted to use it.Despite Basecamp’s success, you should devote a long period to brainstorming and careful consideration before you too move forward with creating custom software. Ask yourself, “Will an expensive custom platform add true value to my company?” A local coffee shop, for instance, may not benefit from spending tens of thousands of dollars on exclusive accounting software when QuickBooks will suffice.Related: With Open-Source Software, You Don’t Have to Start From ScratchOnce you do decide that custom software will add value to your business, consider your time line and budget. Software development can be a long, expensive process, and you rarely create the perfect product on your first try. There will likely be several iterations.If you’re short on time or funds, you might be better off living with what you can develop in a limited amount of time, even if it addresses only 80 percent of your needs. There will always be more time to upgrade your system. One of the benefits of developing custom software is the luxury to do just that: Revise and test the new functionality of the system.You might also consider how steep the learning curve will be. A custom technology platform is only as effective as the team members using it, so ample training is key.Ease the transition.Once you opt for a custom technology platform, there are three things you can do to make the process easier:1. Invest your resources strategically.You may spend a great deal of time and money on your platform before you ever see a minimally functional product. Be sure to budget your resources and plan accordingly. If you’re looking for a quick-fix solution, an off-the-shelf option may be better in the short term while you have your long-term goals set on a custom platform.2. Determine your mission-critical features. You likely don’t need a platform with 1,000 features. Do preliminary research to determine which ones will truly enhance your business and give you a competitive edge. You can always supplement your new technology platform with existing software. In the early stages of development, your priority should be creating a functioning product, not building out bells and whistles.3. Build a great development team.Ideally, you have an all-star in-house development team. If you can’t currently afford this asset, it’s relatively easy to find great developers who will work on a freelance basis, allowing you to gradually build an in-house team.Developing a custom technology platform ultimately involves an investment of time, money and patience. While it’s neither quick nor easy, a custom platform can ultimately mean the difference between stagnation and growth. Related: How to Know When to Bring Software Development In Houselast_img read more


Liberty Globalowned cable operator UPC Austria ha


first_imgLiberty Global-owned cable operator UPC Austria has added five HD channels from RTL Group to its offering. The operator has made HD versions of RTL, RTL II, Super RTL, RTL Nitro and Vox avaialble as parrt of its HD Extra Plus package.The package, which already includes the HD channels of ProSiebenSat.1’s Austrian subsidiary ProSiebenSat.1 Puls 4, will now comprise nine HD services. The package is available to subscdribers with a MediaBox HD or MediaBox HD DVR for €4.99 a month. A bundle of HD Extra and HD Extra Plus is available for €4.99 until the start of May.The RTL channels are not available in the Tyrol and Vorarlberg regions for technical reasons.last_img


BT Sport is making three Aviva Premiership Rugby g


first_imgBT Sport is making three Aviva Premiership Rugby games available for everyone to watch in the first weeks of the new season on its Freeview BT Sport Showcase channel. The three games will include clashes between all four teams who finished in the playoff positions last season, according to BT.The first game of the season will kick-off on October 16 at 19:45, and will see newly promoted Worcester Warriors starting at home against Northampton Saints, followed by a match with Northampton Saints against Saracens at Franklin’s Gardens.The final game on BT Sport Showcase in the opening six weeks will feature Leicester Tigers versus Bath on November 29.“This is a big day for English club rugby,” said Premiership Rugby’s Commercial Director Dominic Hayes.  “To see a selection of live Aviva Premiership Rugby matches on a free to air channel provides a fantastic shop window for the most compelling league in the world.”last_img read more


Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council


first_imgMayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor John Boyle, will lead the parade in St Patrick’s Day and he encouraged local people to get involved in the celebrations.“I am delighted to launch another action packed Spring Carnival programme and I am particularly looking forward to sampling the sights and sounds around our city centre over the weekend and the climactic parade,” he said.“There is a strong focus on celebrating the diverse multitude of cultures that exist in our Council area and I feel the celebration that everyone in our City and District can get involved in.“Congratulations to the Festival and Events team at Council and their community partners for developing another varied and packed programme of events and I would encourage the public to familiarise themselves with the programme on Council’s website and plan a weekend to remember.” DERRY’S 2019 Spring Carnival celebrations are set to be a vibrant and colourful celebration of children and young people as Derry City and Strabane District Council announced plans for a host of entertainment for all the family over St Patrick’s weekend.The festivities will include music, dance, food and culture and will climax with the Spring Carnival Parade on Sunday March 17th at 2pm when over 600 street performers and dancers will weave their way through the historic city centre.The theme of the parade will be Tír na nÓg (The Land of Youth) in celebration of Council’s Youth 19 programme – a year dedicated to young people aged 12 – 24 where Council will work with young people and partners to promote their voices, needs, priorities and rights. ShareTweet The parade, delivered by the North West Carnival Initiative, will look back at the story of Tír na nÓg and feature depictions of youth in myth and legend both in the Celtic tradition and in the many diverse cultures across the world.The programme will also feature the Ubuntu Global festival, a celebration of diversity and inclusion through traditional music, song and dance from around the world.Ubuntu is supported by the Good Relations Team in Derry City and Strabane District Council which is funded by The Executive Office (TEO) District Council’s Good Relations Programme.Other highlights include street theatre, Try Your Luck Arts and Crafts in the Guildhall and On Street Trad in The Diamond and Waterloo Place.Spring Sounds in Guildhall Square will feature live music and dance from 12pm – 5pm while, for the first time, the Forever Young stage inside the Guildhall will host a traditional Irish céilí.The music for both stages has been programmed by Greater Shantallow Community Arts in preparation for our city hosting Fleadh Cheoil Dhoire in May.For those seeking a more relaxed environment, the Peace Garden will feature an enchanting performance of ‘Away with the Fairies’ by the In Your Space Circus troop.Other activities taking place over the weekend are a 5k Road Race in aid of Foyle Hospice, the Apprentice Boy’s St Patrick’s Celebration and themed activities in An Cultúrlann and the Waterside Shared Village.Full details of the Spring Carnival are available at www.derrystrabane.com/springcarnivalDerry’s St Patrick’s Spring Carnival will be celebration of youth was last modified: March 5th, 2019 by John2John2 Tags: Derry and Strabane CouncilDerry’s St Patrick’s Spring Carnival will be celebration of youthMarch 17Mayor John BoyleSt Patrick’s Daysundaylast_img read more


In This Issue   Dollar kicks butt and takes na


first_imgIn This Issue. *  Dollar kicks butt and takes names later after GDP. *  Eurozone flash inflation drops to .4%. *  Canada to print May GDP. *  Urbanization to happen in China! And Now. Today’s A Pfennig For Your Thoughts. Safe Haven Buying Fades. Good Day! .  And a Tub Thumpin’ Thursday to you! I’m not feeling too much like Tub Thumping right now, but maybe later, if that’s OK? HA! Well, the Dollar Bugs were doing some Tub Thumping yesterday after the 2nd QTR GDP first reading printed.  Cardinals get taken to the woodshed by the Padres, and have you seen the video that’s gone viral of the little girl that breaks down crying when told that her baby brother is going to grow up someday? I think back to my two older sisters, and how they babied me (until the rest of our siblings came along) and see them going through the same emotions. Front and Center this morning, 2nd QTR GDP in the U.S. surprised most observers by printing at a 4% clip! This sent the dollar soaring, against the currencies and metals. It was NOT a case of traders looking under the hood as I was led to believe it would be, and the 4% print immediately brought about visions of sugar plums dancing in the heads of the rate hike campers. It got really ugly for a while, and then things seemed to calm down. This morning, the dollar is still in charge, but the moves are small at this point. So, I missed the GDP number yesterday. Silly me, for I was using the fact that real capital expenditures (capex) has averaged only .8% annually, or hardly one-third of its prior historical rate, and the net investment in real plant and equipment after capital consumption allowances, has actually decline by 20% since 1999-2000, thus ruling out the true measure of future productivity growth, as reasons to believe that GDP would be disappointing.   As my friend Bill Bonner said the other day: “Capital Investment is what lies behind productivity and prosperity. Without it, the economy staggers.”   I guess I wasn’t the only person to miss on the GDP number yesterday. But I might be the only one that you read, so therefore you think I’m a dummy!  And rightly so! But I come by my dumbness honestly. I use logic. So, logically looking at 2nd QTR GDP, could you really get 4% growth out of an economy that saw Retail Sales drudge along. manufacturing slip.  household income decline. Durable Goods remain nascent. and as I state above capex is still non-existent? I didn’t think so, but apparently the Gov’t can. And I have more thoughts on the GDP print, so I won’t beat around the bush here. Well, I guess I was wrong. Recall Yesterday, I told you that I was told that the 2nd QTR GDP report would be a report that traders looked into and didn’t have that knee-jerk reaction to the headline number.  They would be looking for Consumer Spending.  Well, that didn’t happen.  The 2nd QTR GDP first reading printed at +4%, and there was no “looking inside the report”.  Now, before I go on here, let me also remind you that the very first reading of 1st QTR GDP was positive, and we all know where that ended up!  So, don’t take this neon flashing light of a print to heart, for it will change, I’m sure of that, and probably not to the better! So, with no looking inside, the dollar took some mighty swings at the currencies right out of the starting gate on Wednesday, but as the day went along, things seemed to calm down.  but still negative on the day.  One of the things HAD the markets looked into the components of GDP they would have found is that the difference between 2.8% -3.0% that I was looking for, and the 4% that printed was stronger inventory accumulation, which I learned back in economics classes should be viewed as transitory, and therefore this report should NOT be viewed as a signal that the economy is out of the woods just yet. But just because that’s how things should be viewed, doesn’t mean the markets’ traders will see it that way, and if yesterday and the overnight markets are any clue to how they see it, they certainly don’t see it Chuck’s way. (or the “right way”, as I proclaim it to be!) In other news yesterday, the Fed’s FOMC meeting was a non-event, with $10 Billion of bond buying each month slashed moving the total each month to $25 Billion. small potatoes given the size we began with, and the total that has been bought since March 2009, when the first tranche of bond buying (QE) was implemented. The Fed’s balance sheet is now over $4 Trillion, folks. nothing for them to be proud of, and something that given all that I’ve learned about economics through the years, holds true, will end up in tears.  But. I’m beginning to question all that I’ve learned. I know, I shouldn’t question my education in economics, especially the stuff I’ve picked up from the Austrian school of economics, but what IF none of this ends up mattering at all?  Geez Louise, I’ll do the old two-handed economist thing. on one hand I’ll be glad that the economy doesn’t crumble and the dollar doesn’t lose its reserve status, and on the other hand, I’ll have to go back to the drawing board, and learn about why this happened like it did! The Big Boss, and my good friend, Frank Trotter, and Chuck were discussing this idea that we’ll be proven wrong in the end. I guess if I’m going to down on the good ship lollipop, it will be good to take Frank along with me! HA! So. Today. the Eurozone flash inflation reports show that inflation slipped lower to .4% VS the consensus thought of .5%… Do you remember when I used to sing the song about Turning Japanese, yes, I really think so, about the U.S.?  Well, look who’s about to push the U.S. out of the way, and take over the pole position as the country / union that’s most like Japan?  Again, I’m going to go out on a limb, no worries, I’ll pick a big fat one to hold me, and say that deflation is not a bad thing! I have no idea why the Fed and the European Central Bank (ECB) have monster problems with it! The euro fell below the 1.34 figure yesterday, and remains there this morning, as the weaker flash inflation report has the calls for more stimulation by the ECB being yelled from the rooftops this morning. Speaking of Japan. The Japanese yen has begun to spiral downward again. As the “safe haven” buying has faded. Which is something that I just don’t get folks. Well, one thing is that I don’t get that yen is still considered a “safe haven” currency. But two. I just don’t get the safe haven buying fading. That’s also seen in Gold, and Treasuries. Let’s see. We have a commercial airliner shot down, we have the conflict between Ukraine and Russia heating up, not cooling down, we have the fighting in the Middle East ramping up and not slowing down, and we have China continuing to extend its tentacles across the South Seas, not giving two hoots about who they tick off, and the safe haven buying is fading? Give me a Break! Canada will print their May GDP report this morning,  I’m expected better things from the Canadian economy, and hopefully it will start with today’s GDP print! The Canadian dollar / loonie has slipped below 92-cents and doesn’t really look like it wants to rally, but a stronger than expected GDP print could reverse the loonie’s path right now. And as I said earlier this week, about the markets counting their eggs before they’re hatched, the dollar bugs are treating the dollar VS the high yielders of Aussie, New Zealand, Brazil, Russia, and S. Africa, as if the U.S. Fed has already aggressively hiked rates, and those countries did not!  The rate hikes haven’t come, and if you listen to Janet Yellen you should get the feeling that she’s singing the blues about labor, (which she should, for the numbers that have printed are a sham). and interest rates here in the U.S. aren’t going anywhere right now.  And I guess that’s why they call it the blues.  The U.S. Data Cupboard got a workout yesterday, with the ADP Employment Change report for July showing that 218,000 jobs were added in the month. Personal Consumption printed greater than the expectation of 1.9% printing instead at 2.5%, and then the FOMC meeting. Today’s Data Cupboard is confined to printing minor reports. Which is good for it allows everyone to get all geared up for tomorrow’s Jobs Jamboree!   Right now, the experts have the forecast at 231,000 jobs created in July.  Well, let’s see, there is an election coming this fall that will decide whether the President has the backing of Congress for the remainder of his term, nor not. So, given that info. what do you think we’ll be seeing in the form of Jobs reports from here until the end of the year?  Not that I’m accusing the Gov’t of anything, it’ll all be a co-in-qui-dink. I’m just saying. So, as I told you above, Gold was treated as persona non gratis again by investors yesterday. I like to think about these downward moves in the face of all the geopolitical stuff I just talked about above, and think, “that’s OK, they are allowing me to buy a cheaper prices all the time”. But that gets old, quickly in my eye. I’ve got something for you on another metal, Platinum in the next section, so make sure you don’t miss that! Before I head to the Big Finish today, I have to point out something that I heard last week in Vancouver, and have now applied it to something I read yesterday.  First things first. last week, Chris came out from one of the presentations raving about the presenter, who in this case was Robert Friedland, President of Ivanhoe Mining. He talked about urbanization, where people not currently living in cities will be moving into the cities, and with all this urbanization going on in the world, mainly in China and India, the pollution levels will rise, thus putting more pressure on carmakers to come up with more efficient catalytic converters.  And that’s why he was now buying Platinum. OK, that was all fine and dandy, but then a report came across my desk that talked about China’s plans to add 100 million new city residents by 2020, which is about 2% annual growth in urban population.  So, there it was, proof of Friedland’s urbanization!  The report went on to talk about how China will adopt differentiated approaches to push forward what’s being called “hokou” reform.  Another thing came to mind while writing this and it’s different conversations I’ve had with people over the years that kept sending me emails telling me that I was wrong about China, for what were the Chinese going to do with the ghost cities they’ve built?  I would respond by saying, China has a Huge population of people and the Gov’t only needs to make the buildings available to everyone, and there goes the empty house problem!  And now this new reform is going to do just that! WOW!   I Love It When A Plan Comes Together!  But in the end think of this all as good for Platinum and to a lesser degree Palladium! For What It’s Worth. Geez Louise! About 3 weeks ago, I did an interview (first one in a month of Sundays I must say) with Ducascopy TV out of Switzerland. They asked me my thoughts on if the peg to the dollar in Hong Kong was in trouble. I explained that I didn’t think so, as the Hong Kong Gov’t had an agreement that was to last 5 more years on the peg, and in addition, they also had sufficient policy freedom and financial resources to defend the peg. That was my story and I was sticking to it! But then yesterday, my good friend, and fellow newsletter writer, Dennis Miller, sent me a couple of links to stories on how the peg to the dollar in Hong Kong is in trouble. The link is to a story on zerohedge.com where the writer thinks that a $715 Million purchase of dollars to defend the peg by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), which acts as Hong Kong’s Central Bank. Chuck again. Well, you all know me, I have Conspiracy blood flowing through me, but even this one needs more to it for me to think that the honker peg to the dollar is about to end. But let me remind you long time readers, and enlighten the new readers that long ago, I told you how I saw the Chinese dealing with the honker.  I still believe that the peg is going to be dissolved before 5 years is up. I’ve long maintained that China would like to see the peg dropped in the honker, so they can see how the currency reacts to floating, and how a Central Bank works with a floating currency.  After a successful run with a floating honker, China could then allow the renminbi to float, and then within a couple of years, they would fold the honker into the renminbi, and there would be just one currency for China & Hong Kong. I don’t believe that China will be ready for prime time in allowing their currency to float until their capital account opens up even more than it is now. China has gone a long way toward opening their capital account, but still have a ways to go to reach an openness that will allow for them to float the renminbi. To recap. 2nd QTR GDP printed stronger than most expectations at 4%, and the rate hike campers in the U.S. began to buy dollars thinking that this is going to get the Fed to move quicker toward rate hikes. The currencies and metals all got whacked yesterday after the GDP report. Chuck points out a problem in the report, but don’t let that get in the way of a “Happy Story for the U.S. economy”. Eurozone flash inflation drops to .4% from .5%, yes, they’re turning Japanese, I really think so! The high yielders got whacked on the U.S. rate hike thoughts, and Canada will print their May GDP report today, Chuck is looking for a better report. And the safe haven buying is fading. I guess there are no problems in the world going on right now, so that makes sense, right? NOT! Currencies today 7/31/14. American Style: A$ .9295, kiwi .8495, C$ .9165, euro 1.3385, sterling 1.6885, Swiss $1.1000, . European Style: rand 10.6940, krone 6.2780, SEK 6.8890, forint 232.85, zloty 3.1085, koruna 20.5835, RUB 35.54, yen 102.85, sing 1.2475, HKD 7.7500, INR 60.52, China 6.1675, pesos 13.19, BRL 2.2450, Dollar Index 81.47, Oil $99.33, 10-year 2.54%, Silver $20.68, Platinum $1,478.25, Palladium $880.95, and Gold. $1,295.20 That’s it for today. Man, my fat fingers were flying around the keyboard this morning. So, if the letter is too long for your taste, no worries, it won’t be like that every day! Can you believe that today is the last day of July? It seems like just a week or so ago, I was singing Uriah Heep’s song July morning to start the month! WOW! Tomorrow we begin the dog days of August. The weather temperatures here in St. Louis, sure aren’t the normal ones we experience in the dog days of August. A strange year for sure. Spring took forever to get here, and the Hot weather of Summer has never taken hold for more than a couple of days. Strange days indeed. I’m so disappointed with my beloved Cardinals. They’ve only scored 3 runs in the last 3 games, and they go out and trade a coveted minor league hitter for a troubled pitcher. What, What?  That’s crazy folks! There’s a day game today in San Diego, so at least I’ll be able to watch some of the game. But if it starts out looking like last night when they lost 12-1 (how embarrassing!) I won’t worry about it! Well, it’s about time for me get off this buss today, and get this out the door! I hope you have a Tub Thumpin’ Thursday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Marketslast_img read more


What most people dont know about the Snowden reve


first_imgWhat most people don’t know about the Snowden revelations is that they were mostly old hacker tricks. They were souped up with lots of money, of course, and enjoyed the help of insiders at tech companies, but they were nonetheless hacker tricks. If you noticed the dates on his slides, they were mainly from several years ago: 2007, 2008, and so on. It’s no secret that the NSA has been trying to hire hackers for a long time. (You can read its pitch to hackers, and a story from a hacker convention.) So the Snowden revelations, welcome as they were, concerned mostly old techniques. And the NSA, the British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), and the rest (including their allies in the tech business) have not been sitting still in the meantime. I know this because I manage one of the leading companies in the data privacy business. We deal with these issues on a daily basis. Before Snowden, I spent a lot of time traveling around the world, making speeches, telling people what the NSA, FBI, CIA, Google, Facebook, and the rest of the gang were doing. Most of the people I spoke to believed I was sincere, but a lot of them thought I was going a bit overboard, trying to sell my product. After Snowden, that changed of course, but now we face a new issue: it’s still a lot worse than people understand. The Secret Facebook Experiment In January of 2012—approaching three years ago—Facebook ran a secret experiment on 689,000 of its users. The purpose of that experiment was to see if the company could change those peoples’ moods by altering their news feeds. And it worked. The results of the experiment concluded that “emotional states can be transferred to others via emotional contagion, leading people to experience the same emotions without their awareness.” By the way, the US Army was one of the groups which funded the experiment. Interesting bedfellows, no? That government agents are influencing people online has been known for some time (see here and here), though most people have never been informed of those facts. Most, in fact, have never even heard about the publicly stated wishes of Cass Sunstein. These things are not really secrets… they’re just never included in the big news feeds. The Facebook experiment—while only one of what are certainly many such events—is important because it shows the direction in which things are moving… leading straight to individualized manipulation. Mass surveillance is only the first step in a larger process. Once you have all of that information, what are you going to do with it? Leaving it sit really isn’t an attractive option for either the tech companies or the military-intelligence complex. The most obvious use of that information is to manipulate people. Please don’t allow yourself to think that spies and advertisers would hold back from manipulating people; we all know better than that. Why They’re Manipulating Us There are compelling reasons why the data thieves must manipulate us: The tech companies: Internet users worldwide are addicted to the free service model. Say “free” and they’ll line up; ask for pay and they’ll walk away. So how are tech companies supposed to pay their employees, if their customers won’t pay? Well, they found a slick answer to that problem: monetize the users’ lives… turn their private information into money. When you use a free service, you’re giving the company no choice but to steal your data (and the more intimate, the more valuable), then to sell it. When you use a free service, you are the product. (If you don’t pay, you’re certainly not the customer!) The spies: The various spy agencies will always grab and use your information for one overriding reason: they’re afraid that if they don’t, someone else will. The NSA is hardly the only data-theft gang around. They may be the biggest and best funded, but the others follow behind, learn their tricks, and play the same games. So if the US Intel boys want to keep their edge, they have to use everything they can. How They Manipulate You’ve been seeing primitive manipulations for some time. For example, when you do an online search on “skis,” you’ll instantly get ads for discount travel to ski resorts that are near you or that you’ve previously expressed an interest in. That was kindergarten level. What comes next is proactive rather than reactive, and it’s much, much worse. The data thieves are now creating custom environments for each user. Right now, what you see on Facebook/Google/YouTube/etc. is not the same screen your neighbor sees. And the really scary thing about this is not that Google, Facebook, the government, and others are manipulating you, but that the entire process is automated—that computers are learning to manipulate you by interacting with you! The tech companies, of course, are cashing in on this by selling the right to manipulate you to the highest bidder. Their new “big data” systems are even supercharging the process. The more experience Facebook has with you, the more it learns what will or will not affect you—just like it learned about the 689,000 people it tested in 2012. So if Google, Facebook, and the rest are to continue providing free services, and if they want to make more money, they have to manipulate you better. And, of course, they will… they’re working on it every day. “You’re Exaggerating” I’m sorry if this seems too wild to be real, but please remember that most people couldn’t accept the truth of mass surveillance until they saw Snowden’s slides. What heroes like William Binney and Mark Klein were telling people in 2004 was true, but most people didn’t want to believe it. That only changed when they saw the NSA’s slides in 2013. The same thing is happening now. Mass manipulation is here and is growing. We need to do better now than we did between 2004 and 2013. Where This Is Going This is going precisely where it’s already headed: Facebook, Google, and the others will do what they’ve always done—find better ways to make money with your personal information. Running a free service doesn’t give them many options, does it? The spooks will do what spooks always do: get secrets and manipulate them to their advantage. Morality has almost no place at all in espionage. If they can manipulate, they will manipulate. So, as troubling as it may seem, there is little question that we’re moving into a situation where many people will be living large parts of their lives in a virtual world… a world built specifically for their personalities. The right to manipulate that world will be sold to the highest bidder or turned over to government agencies, just like Google and the rest deliver your personal information to them now. And as I say, this is happening already. It’s not yet mature, but it’s getting there quickly. Think of it this way: if I know what motivates you, I can change your environment based on that knowledge, and I can induce you to act in ways that I prefer. And computers make it easy. Facebook, almost three years ago, found that it could change people’s moods. You can be very sure that it’s been refining those techniques ever since. As for the Intel gangs, here are two tactics that GCHQ is already using in its Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group program: (1) to inject all sorts of false material onto the Internet in order to destroy the reputation of its targets; and (2) to use social sciences and other techniques to manipulate online discourse and activism to generate outcomes it considers desirable. These are GCHQ’s own words, by the way, taken directly from its training slides. Are We Doomed? We’re only doomed if we sit passively and do nothing… precisely what these groups expect us to do. And if we do sit idly by, the results will be the same as they usually are: Passivity + Time = Destruction If you want to retain your own mind and your own moods in the new world of 24/7 Internet manipulation, you can still do it, but only if you act. If you merely sit, you’ll be played; the only variables are how much and when. To protect yourself, you’ll have to make your information unavailable to the manipulators. To put it simply, you’ll have to throw sand in the abusers’ eyes. You must prevent them from knowing what websites you visit, who you communicate with, and what you say. There are two ways to do this: Get (and use) encryption and privacy programs. Pay professionals to do it for you. If you want to do it yourself, here’s a PDF that will show you how. If you want to pay professionals do it for you, make sure that they have their own “private key infrastructure” and “multiple hops.” What We’ve Seen We all saw Snowden’s slides. What we have not seen is any positive changes following them. The NSA crew is still doing the same thing every day. Google, Facebook, and the rest are doing the same things every day. At most, we’ve seen tech companies trying to maintain their public images and spymasters trying to convince Joe American that he should be very, very afraid, and should endorse them to spy even more. And if there have been no reforms, why should we expect the data thieves to get anything but worse? A Free-Man’s Take is written by adventure capitalist, author, and freedom advocate Paul Rosenberg. You can get much more from Paul in his unique monthly newsletter, Free-Man’s Perspective.last_img read more


In the article Pope Francis Bad Economist Jame


first_img In the article “Pope Francis, Bad Economist,” James Harrigan and Anthony Davies wrote (link in original): Over the past two generations, while the number of people on Earth doubled, the number of people living in extreme poverty declined by 80 percent, largely as a result of increased economic freedom globally. Today, almost all people in economically free countries can afford cures for diseases that killed the richest people only a century ago. The average person with a cell phone today has better and quicker access to more complete information than the President of the United States enjoyed just a generation ago. A plot of land that a century ago could feed one family today can feed hundreds of families. But the leaders of the Catholic and Monetary Churches don’t care about lifting people out of poverty—it’s envy they’re engaged in. And as Helmut Schoeck showed in his book Envy: A Theory of Social Behavior: [W]e are least capable of acting sensibly in economic and social matters when we face, or believe we face, an envious beneficiary of our decision. This is true especially when we mistakenly tell ourselves that his envy is a direct consequence of our being better off, and will necessarily wane when we pander even to unrealistic demands. The allocation of scarce resources, in any society, is rarely optimal when our decision rests on fear of other men’s envy. The Chairwoman continued to stoke the fires of envy with more statistics. “After adjusting for inflation, the average income of the top 5% of households grew by 38% from 1989 to 2013. By comparison, the average real income of the other 95% of households grew less than 10%.” There is no need for Yellen’s preaching. Envy has been institutionalized in this country with the progressive income tax and inheritance taxes. As Schoeck points out, “Envy can become more easily institutionalized than, say desire or joy.” And it has. Despite these headwinds, the serially successful and productive continue to earn and accumulate the vast share of wealth. That’s why resource investing legends Rick Rule and Doug Casey urge speculators to back entrepreneurs who have proven track records. Rule wrote on Casey Research: A substantial body of evidence exists that it is roughly true across a variety of disciplines. In a large enough sample, this remains true within that top 20%—meaning 20% of the top 20%, or 4% of the population, contributes in excess of 60% of the utility. The key as investors is to judge management teams by their past success. I believe this is usually much more relevant than their current exploration project. Despite some of the highest tax rates in the world and libraries full of regulations to contend with on the national, state, and local levels, the entrepreneurial spirit overcomes, while—as expected—nonproducers hold very little wealth. “The lower half of households by wealth held just 3% of wealth in 1989 and only 1% in 2013,” Yellen told her audience. But in America, the lower half doesn’t have to stay that way and rarely does. Pareto’s insight is that wealth will never be equal, whether under capitalism, fascism, communism, or whatever-ism. What freedom offers is the possibility to ascend from poverty to wealth with brains, hard work, and good decision making. Pareto’s principle should not only be accepted but celebrated, and envy ridiculed, not institutionalized. Schoeck explained: Envy’s culture-inhibiting irrationality in a society is not to be overcome by fine sentiments or altruism, but almost always by a higher level of rationality, by the recognition, for instance that more (or something different) for the few does not necessarily mean less for the others: this requires a certain capacity for calculation, a grasp of larger contexts, a longer memory; the ability, not just to compare one thing with another, but also to compare very dissimilar values in one man with those in another. Ironically, Ms. Yellen’s zero-interest policy puts more separation between the middle class and the rich than Pareto could ever imagine. But then again, a “higher level of rationality” is severely lacking at the central bank. “The extent and continuing increase in inequality in the United States greatly concern me,” Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen said last week at a conference on economic opportunity and inequality sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Vilfredo Pareto would tell Dr. Yellen to relax—inequality is and always has been a constant. Pareto is known for discovering the Pareto principle, or what most people know as the 80-20 rule. Pareto observed in 1906 that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population and developed the principle by observing pea pods in his garden; 20% of the pods contained 80% of the peas. The longer you live, the more you observe Pareto’s principle play out over and over in many different contexts. 80% of revenue is provided by 20% of customers. The ratio also applies to customer complaints. I dined with the owner of a Vietnamese restaurant the other night who said that 80% of his revenue came from his noodle soups, which at most comprise 20% of his menu. My experience in the nonprofit world was that 80% of donations came from 20% of those on the mailing list. Pareto observed that the 80/20 pattern “repeated consistently whenever he looked at data referring to different time periods or different countries,” writes Richard Koch in his book The 80/20 Principle. So while inequality has been the norm throughout history, the new Fed chair claims that, “By some estimates, income and wealth inequality are near their highest levels in the past hundred years, much higher than the average during that time span and probably higher than for much of American history before then.” She went on to say, “The distribution of wealth is even more unequal than that of income. … The wealthiest 5% of American households held 54% of all wealth reported in the 1989 survey. Their share rose to 61% in 2010 and reached 63% in 2013. By contrast, the rest of those in the top half of the wealth distribution families that in 2013 had a net worth between $81,000 and $1.9 million held 43% of wealth in 1989 and only 36% in 2013.” So what? As Mr. Koch explains in his book (emphasis his), if 20% own 80%, “then you can reliably predict that 10 percent would have, say, 65 percent of the wealth, and 5 percent would have 50 percent. The key point is not the percentages, but the fact that the distribution of wealth across population was predictably unbalanced.” But Yellen has fallen in with Pope Francis, who told the United Nations assembly, “As long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world’s problems.” While it doesn’t seem like it here in America, the world is becoming freer and because of that, poverty is falling.last_img read more


Nearly 5000 adult social care services – nearly o


first_imgNearly 5,000 adult social care services – nearly one in five – have not had an inspection by the care regulator in the last two years, figures released under the Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) have revealed.The CareQuality Commission (CQC) figures have raised fresh doubts as to whether theregulator is fit for purpose, while Labour’s shadow social care minister hassaid they are “highly concerning”.The figures werereleased to Disability News Service days after the latest revelationsconcerning a care home run by the National Autistic Society, where autisticpeople were taunted, abused and ill-treated by staff.MendipHouse, in Somerset, had itself not been inspected by CQC for more than twoyears when whistleblowers came forward and exposed the abusive regime in 2016 (see separate story).The new FoIAfigures show that 4,859 adult social care services have not been inspected byCQC in more than two years, out of 25,590 services in total (19 per cent).Many of the25,590 are new services that are still awaiting a first CQC rating, so theproportion of services that have been open for at least two years and have notbeen inspected for at least two years will be even higher than 19 per cent.But thefigures also reveal other concerns about the commission and its work.They show strikingfalls in the number of inspections carried out by the watchdog over the lastcouple of years; a significant increase in the number of inspections cancelledor rescheduled; and a sizeable drop over the last three years in the number ofadult social care inspectors working for CQC.A CQCspokesperson said that some of this was due to a new method of regulation,adopted in 2014, which was based on “ratings and risk”.She claimed thecommission was now “even better at identifying risk, meaning that we canprioritise our activity to where the need is greatest”.The FoIAresponse showed the number of CQC’s “full-time equivalent” adult social careinspectors fell from 881 in December 2015 to 812 in December 2018.The numberof adult social care inspections that were cancelled or rescheduled rose from 6,498in 2017 to 8,296 in 2018.And thenumber of adult social care inspections carried out by CQC fell from 15,271 in2016 to 13,106 in 2017, and again to 11,618 in 2018.Statisticsprovided by the regulator to its latest public board meeting (PDF) in February raise further concerns.They showthat only three-fifths of planned inspections of adult social care servicesthat had been branded “inadequate” or “requiring improvement” were carried outon time.Barbara Keeley (pictured), Labour’s shadow minister for social care, said: “It is highly concerning that nearly one in five social care establishments have not been inspected for over two years.“We saw inthe recent Mendip House case how quickly a care home can deteriorate – often ina matter of months. “As governmentcuts to social care budgets force providers to cut corners, infrequentinspections are putting disabled and older people at risk.“We cannotallow providers to provide poor quality care due to a lack of oversight: thatis why Labour’s plans for ethical commissioning would require local authoritiesand the CQC to better monitor care providers.”CQC saidthat its decision to inspect services seen as good or outstanding only every 30months helped explain a “significant” number of re-scheduled inspections, and manyof the services that had not been inspected in more than two years.By February2017, it said, it had finished inspecting all adult social care servicesregistered with CQC in October 2014 and had then moved to the next phase of itsnew ratings- and risk-based model of regulation, with “increased focus on usinginformation and intelligence to form a better picture of what is happening inthe delivery of people’s care to assess and prioritise risk”.It also said it had introduced new roles to “complement the inspection workforce”,such as assistant inspectors.CQC has sofar failed to say if it believes the figures show it is a failing organisation;whether it needs an injection of funding; and whether it is putting the safetyof disabled and older people at risk and is therefore likely to be exposingthem to serious breaches of their human rights.It has alsofailed to say whether the Mendip House abuse scandal showed that its risk-basedsystem was putting the safety of disabled people at risk, and that it thereforeneeded to introduce annual, unannounced inspections of all adult social careservices.But it didsay: “CQC has a healthy budget, a strong and hardworking workforce and wecontinually review all of the resources at our disposal in order to be asefficient as possible in ensuring care providers are living up to their legalresponsibilities.”Debbie Westhead, CQC’s interim chief inspector for adult social care,said in a statement: “In2014 we completely overhauled the way we regulate adult social care, moving toa ratings and risk based model. “We are noweven better at identifying risk, meaning that we can prioritise our activity towhere the need is greatest. “We knowfrom our latest State of Care report that most people are getting good care;over four-fifths of adult social care services are rated as good oroutstanding, a testimony to the hard work of thousands of frontline staff. “In 2018 wemoved the frequency of inspections for good and outstanding services to 30months. “However, ifduring this time we get any information of concern we will prioritise ouractivity to ensure that we are protecting people from risk. “We are now taking more enforcement actionthan ever before because we are using the information and analysis at ourdisposal more effectively in order to target our inspection activities to thoseservices where there is the greatest risk to the quality and safety of people’scare. “Since April 2017 to January 2019 we’ve taken around 2,000 enforcement actions against all adult social care providers and we will continue to take action wherever necessary to make sure that all people are getting the good, quality care they need.”A note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS…last_img read more


LinkedIn Profile With AIGenerated Pic Tried to Schmooze With DC Insiders


first_img Spies may be using AI-generated photos to create harder-to-detect fake profiles on LinkedIn.Bogus accounts on social networking services are nothing new. But on Thursday, the Associated Press reported on the curious case of “Katie Jones,” a redheaded woman on LinkedIn who claimed to work at a top think tank in Washington D.C.According to the AP, the profile is not just a fake. The headshot of the woman may have been created by an AI-powered program. The evidence can be found in small, but noticeable inconsistences in the image.Last month I my attention was drawn to something suspicious: A fake LinkedIn profile connecting to Washington think tank types and senior US officials.Even weirder: Her face itself appeared to be fake. https://t.co/yvZbK8RoQt pic.twitter.com/CY85RRznk8— Raphael Satter @ RightsCon (@razhael) June 13, 2019Several tech experts told the AP they were convinced the profile photo was created by AI based on the flaws, which are common among photos fabricated by generated adversarial networks, or GANs. Researchers have been using the technology to show how it can pump out realistic, but ultimately fake photos of people who don’t exist.To create the photos, the GANs will model the fake faces from existing pictures of real people. Essentially, the AI algorithms will pluck different traits, such as hair styles, eye shapes and mouths, from various photos and merge them together to create an entirely new person.But the process isn’t perfect. The AI processes can sometimes have trouble rendering artifacts around the synthetic face. In the case of the Katie Jones profile, the photo shows a woman with a strange left earring that appears to be “blurry or “melted,” the AP noted.Still, the photo itself looks pretty real. The AP confirmed the Katie Jones account was a sham based not on the headshot, but on the credentials the LinkedIn profile had listed, all of which turned out to be phony.The account is now gone, and it isn’t clear if actual government spies created the Katie Jones profile or if it was just fraudsters. But the LinkedIn profile was attempting to network with former U.S. government officials and policy experts. Using an AI-generated photo would’ve made the profile resistant to reverse-image searches, which can often reveal whether a fake account lifted a picture from a real person’s account. Add to Queue 3 min read Artificial Intelligence –shares Image credit: @IntelMercenary via PCMag Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Register Now » Next Article This story originally appeared on PCMag The profile attempted to network with former government officials. LinkedIn Profile With AI-Generated Pic Tried to Schmooze With DC Insiders Reporter June 14, 2019 Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Michael Kan Guest Writerlast_img read more