Care Needed During Snow Removal

first_imgIn the interest of road safety, Nova Scotians are asked not to push snow from their property onto, or across, public highways. In addition to creating a hazard to highway traffic, hard-packed snow can cause the blade of a snow plow to flip up and damage the truck or even force the plow into oncoming traffic. “We’ve had a lot of snow this year and I know finding a place to put it can be a problem,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Bill Estabrooks. “For everyone’s sake we’re asking homeowners and private plowing contractors to take a few extra moments to make sure they keep snow off the highway right of way. “Department supervisors are keeping an eye on problem areas,” said Mr. Estabrooks, “but we’re hoping the public, once they’re aware of the problem, will do their best to help us in keeping our roads safe.” The department has more than 500 plows on the road during the winter season and drivers are on call 24 hours a day. “Keeping our highways clear of snow is a tough job, demanding the full attention of our operators,” said Mr. Estabrooks. “I’m sure Nova Scotians will do everything they can to help them do this important work safely.”last_img read more

Province is Making Life Better for Seniors OpEd

first_imgNova Scotia seniors contribute greatly to their communities and to the economy of this province. That’s why the province is doing everything it can to make life better for seniors, their families and their communities. This government continues to introduce and improve a wide range of programs and services to help seniors live healthier lives. Through Age Friendly Communities we have consulted with more than 800 seniors, caregivers and service providers. We have also formed partnerships with 13 municipalities committed to building communities that help seniors age in their neighbourhoods. We heard from seniors struggling to make ends meet because their spouses are in long-term care, and we’re taking action. I am proud to say that, starting this month, this government is making changes to enable partners living at home to keep 60 per cent of their shared income. Up to 1,000 couples will benefit from this change. More Nova Scotians will also have help to care for a loved one at home because we are increasing support for caregivers. This government is making the caregiver benefit available to about 100 more Nova Scotians, in more areas of the province. This helps family members, friends and neighbours care for their loved ones by providing personal care, help around the house and drives to health appointments or running errands. Through Fair Drug Pricing, Nova Scotians are paying less for generic drugs than they did one year ago. The province is also helping seniors who suffer from vision loss by paying for Lucentis treatment, and ambulance fees are now lower or have been waived completely. Ultimately, Nova Scotia seniors have told us they want more options to stay in their homes longer, and we agree. That’s why we are reducing waiting lists and improving access to services. Our investments mean 7,000 more hours of home care support. We also understand the unique housing issues that seniors face, and we want to come up with the best possible plan. Currently, Nova Scotia families, municipal governments, community groups and others are being asked to help craft the province’s first long-term affordable housing strategy. Consultations are being held in communities across the province this month and seniors will play an important role. This government has a strategic plan that’s working. We are is improving access to home support services, reducing taxes, enhancing access to health care services and we have the right energy plan for seniors. These are some of the many initiatives the province is pursuing, living up to our commitment to make life better and more affordable for seniors and their families. -30-last_img read more

Stars Join ONE Campaign For Ebola Video

first_imgIn a new multi-media campaign launched today by The ONE Campaign, more than a dozen international artists are teaming up with healthcare workers from Liberia to demand world leaders do more – and quickly – to fight the Ebola epidemic in West Africa and strengthen health systems so that future outbreaks can be quickly contained.ONE is releasing the video alongside an interactive Ebola Response Tracker, which shows how much money countries have pledged, how much has actually been disbursed, and how many health workers and other contributions have been sent to affected countries.The video features an international array of artists, including: African musicians Fally Ipupa, Angélique Kidjo, Femi Kuti, and Ice Prince; Irish rocker and ONE co-founder Bono; American and British stars Akon, Ben Affleck, Connie Britton, Matt Damon, Will Ferrell, Morgan Freeman, Ellie Goulding, Danai Gurira, and Thandie Newton; German soccer star Per Mertesacker; French actor Vincent Cassel. Also appearing in the video are Liberian healthcare workers Dr. J Soka Moses and Louise Gaye.The world’s initial response to the Ebola outbreak was a failure — global leaders waited too long to act, and thousands have paid with their lives. The video, which is completely silent, highlights how the world waited for action to stamp out Ebola in West Africa, and how we cannot wait to invest in the health sector to prevent similar tragedies in the future.The video ends with a call to action for citizens to sign ONE’s petition demanding global leaders do what’s necessary to end the outbreak and strengthen basic health care systems in developing countries. Ebola is a global crisis and defeating it will take the combined efforts of government, business, relief groups and health care workers to bring it under control. ONE’s campaign is focused on ensuring governments do their part.Michael Elliott, President and CEO of ONE, said: “The initial response to the Ebola outbreak was too slow and too uncoordinated. Some countries have now stepped up to lead in a big way –with traditional donors like the US, UK, France and Germany all making meaningful contributions– but this is a global crisis and it demands a global response. While our first priority needs to be containing this outbreak, it is equally important that the world take steps now to invest in strengthening health systems so that future tragedies of this kind will be stopped in their tracks.”Angélique Kidjo, Grammy Award–winning singer-songwriter and activist from Benin, said: “When you don’t have enough doctors, nurses or hospital beds, it’s tough to stop a crisis like this Ebola outbreak. We need our friends around the world to come forward with all the help they can right now, so patients can be treated in a dignified way, and we can end this nightmare. Then we need to work together to rebuild and strengthen West Africa’s heath care systems to stop another crisis like this from happening again.”ONE’s “Ebola Response Tracker” has four main findings: 1. There is a significant discrepancy between money pledged and money disbursed on the ground. 2. No major donors have attached timelines to their contributions. Many are also unclear whether cash for the Ebola response is new money or simply funds repurposed from other foreign aid programs. 3. Accurate data on health care workers – the most critical part of the response – is very difficult to obtain. It’s also challenging to determine what kinds of personnel (i.e. epidemiologists, first responders, nurses) are required, pledged, or deployed in the field. 4. We can’t assess countries’ contributions based only on money or personnel. Countries such as the US are also contributing to the Ebola response with significant in-kind contributions such as military field hospitals, personnel, and equipment.The devastation caused by Ebola has begun to erase much of the recent progress Liberia Sierra Leone, and Guinea have made in lifting people out of extreme poverty. Nobody wants to see the clock turned back. We need every government to deliver the funding, resources and expertise needed to bring Ebola under control.You can watch the video here.Source:One.orglast_img read more

Stars Issue a Call to Amnesty International in Open Letter

first_imgMore than 400 national and international women’s rights groups, including the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW), human rights advocates, medical doctors, actors and directors, fashion designers, faith-based organizations and concerned individuals from over 30 countries signed an open letter to Amnesty International expressing their dismay at its policy proposal calling for the decriminalization of the sex industry.If passed at Amnesty’s International Council Meeting in Dublin from Aug. 7–11, this policy would in effect advocate the legalization of pimping, brothel owning and sex buying — the pillars of a $99 billion global sex industry.Within 24 hours of learning about Amnesty’s proposed policy, scores of Hollywood stars and prominent individuals began to join an international grassroots campaign urging Amnesty to stand with those exploited in the sex trade, who are mostly women, rather than with their exploiters. Among the signatories are Oscar-winning actress, Meryl Streep, chef and activist, Alice Waters, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Anna Quindlen, author, Hannah Pakula, poet and human rights activist, Rose Styron and 2008 Amnesty International Human Rights Award winner, Lydia Cacho. Others include: Angela Bassett, Emily Blunt, Jonathan Demme, Grace Hightower De Niro, Lena Dunham, Anne Hathaway, Sarah Jones, Kevin Kline, Lisa Kudrow, Kyra Sedgwick, Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Eve Ensler, Marcia Gay Harden, Carey Mulligan, Ali Wentworth and many more.The response to the open letter issued by CATW was so exceedingly positive that it is now a campaign on and is open for more signatures.As the letter states, campaigners firmly agree with Amnesty that those who are prostituted must not be criminalized or brutalized by law enforcement and governments. However, full decriminalization of the sex trade renders pimps “businesspeople” who sell vulnerable individuals, overwhelmingly with histories of poverty, discrimination, homelessness and sexual abuse, to buyers of sex with impunity.“I hope and believe that Amnesty will understand the parallels with other forms of economically compelled body invasion — for instance, the sale of organs,” added Gloria Steinem. “The millions who are prostituted experience trauma and shortened lives. Legalization keeps pimps, brothel keepers, and sex-slavers in freedom and riches. Criminalization puts the prostituted in prison. What works is the ‘third way,’ the Nordic model, which offers services and alternatives to prostituted people, and fines buyers and educates them to the realities of the global sex trade.”Extensive evidence shows the catastrophic effects of legalizing or decriminalizing pimping and brothels, demonstrated in Germany and the Netherlands, for example. With impunity for the commercial sexual exploitation of marginalized populations comes an increase in sex trafficking to satisfy the demand for prostitution. Studies and survivors’ testimonies demonstrate that the sex industry is predicated on dehumanization, degradation and gender violence that can cause life-long physical and psychological harm.“A vote calling for legalizing pimping would in effect support gender apartheid, in which some women in society can demand protection from rape, discrimination and sexual harassment, while others, the most vulnerable among us, are instead set aside for consumption by men and for the profit of their pimps,” said Taina Bien-Aimé, CATW’s executive director. “This is far from what Eleanor Roosevelt envisioned for the world when she penned the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”Source:CATWInternational.orglast_img read more

Heavy rains result in floods in Malawi damaging homes and crops UN

The great majority of those affected are extremely poor women who are predominantly engaged in crop production, OCHA said, noting that such crops as maize, tobacco and rice that have been wiped out are the main source of livelihood for most Malawians.The Government, along with several UN relief agencies, have been providing assistance and assessing the damage in each of the districts to determine the number of households affected by the floods.The rains, which began in late December, have occurred during a time when Malawi is experiencing a food crisis. Under the UN’s emergency appeal for southern Africa, the country needs $144 million in aid for the period from July 2002 to June 2003.

YWCA to move sells downtown plot of land

The YWCA has sold its prized piece of land.In one of the largest downtown land deals in recent history, the organization sold its entire city block of space to the real estate developer, Great Gulf Group of Companies.The YWCA says the money in the transaction will be used to build a future hub site expected to be finished in 2016, while services at the downtown location will continue thanks to a free two year lease offered to the YWCA by the purchaser.Great Gulf has not said what its plans are for the site, but a representative says long term development plans are in place.The price of the transaction was not released. YWCA to move, sells downtown plot of land AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Mike Tarasko Posted Nov 27, 2015 7:30 am MDT read more

Save peace while it lasts says General Assembly President ahead of UN

UNIC BogotáPresident of the General Assembly, Miroslav Lajčák, in Totoró, Colombia, 16 March 2018.He also said indigenous communities in western Colombia are working with the UN to build peace through strengthening social bonds. “I was inspired to see villagers, some of whom had suffered through more than 50 years of war, excited about their futures. One woman told me about her people’s determination not to slide back into conflict.” It is expected to be the largest gathering of Heads of State and Government and Ministers at UN Headquarters since the General Debate in September 2017, and a “key legacy” event for Mr.  Lajčák’s presidency, as his spokesman put it.The meeting will be held in line with “twin” resolutions in 2016 of the General Assembly and the Security Council on the review of the United Nations peacebuilding architecture. These resolutions renew the UN’s commitment to conflict prevention as embodied in the UN Charter.On Friday, Amena Yassine, Senior Adviser to the Assembly President, briefed reporters in New York. She said the meeting is expected to produce two key outcome documents – a summary of discussions as well as a resolution aimed at reviewing implementation of the 2016 resolution and recommending ways to improve the work of UN on peacebuilding.     In a recent opinion piece, entitled A New Approach to Peace, Mr.  Lajčák cited some examples of “sustaining peace.”“Some might say that true lasting peace is impossible in certain parts of the world. But it is not. I have seen this firsthand,” he wrote.When Montenegro split from Serbia, peace was not a given, he wrote, adding: “In fact, some people were predicting serious violence. But through intense diplomatic efforts, and real political will, peace persevered. And it has lasted – with no signs that it will waver in the future.” “By preventing conflict, we save human lives and we also save billions of dollars,” said Assembly President Miroslav Lajčák, in a recent interview with UN News. “Therefore, we have to focus on prevention of conflicts rather than consequences of conflicts. We have to save peace while it lasts, not to deal with the situation once peace is lost.”“There is no development, there is no protection of human rights, if there is no peace,” Mr.  Lajčák stressed, recalling the UN was created to achieve peace and the first sentence of the UN Charter is about saving succeeding generations from the scourge of war.The High-Level Meeting on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace will take place at UN Headquarters in New York on 24 and 25 April, bringing together leaders of countries, UN entities and civil society. read more

Giant mine planning software tool Surpac gets a makeover

first_imgGemcom Software International has released Gemcom SurpacTM 6.2, the latest version of what it says is “the world’s most popular geology and mine planning software. Surpac addresses all of the requirements of geologists, surveyors, and mining engineers, delivering efficiency and accuracy through ease-of-use, powerful 3D graphics, and workflow automation that can be aligned to company-specific processes and data flows.”Considerable time-savings can be achieved in Surpac 6.2 thanks to a new, powerful algorithm for digital terrain model (DTM) creation, saving users hours per day when working with complex calculations. Further release features include improvements to the drill hole database, greater block modelling functionality, and enhancements made to the interoperability of data between systems used in conjunction with Surpac.“The enhancements made in Surpac 6.2 are the direct result of our discussions with users and the industry. With professional skills in ever shorter supply, and with geologists and engineers tasked to do more in shorter periods of time, software ease-of-use and functionality that saves time is more important than ever,” said Eli Alston, Gemcom’s Product Line Manager. “Surpac is the most widely used geology and mine planning software in the world today in part because it is well known for offering powerful capabilities that are easy to use, allowing new users to become proficient quickly. This is particularly important when staff are new to an operation or the industry.” Surpac 6.2 highlights:Rapid DTM creation – up to ten times fasterNew 2D transform DTM function enables users to transform DTM surfaces and 3D solids from one coordinate system to anotherEnhanced data interoperability between systems often used with Surpac, including Gemcom WhittleTM and AutoCAD® 2010Enriched drill hole database with added capabilities for specifying minimum and maximum values for drill hole labelsExpanded block modelling functionality.last_img read more

Ore sorting listen to it

first_imgAn ore sorting sensor that uses landmark radio frequency research could be a cost-effective innovation. CSIRO radio frequency researchers have used a magnetic resonance technique to develop a sorting sensor that works by ‘listening in’ to bulk ore as it passes along a conveyor belt.The sensor, believed to be the first of its type in the world, can rapidly measure and distinguish the quality or grade of minerals by detecting their crystalline structure. The resonance technique is reported to provide accurate and clear mineral discrimination and measures it directly. The online, real-time measurement capability enables low grade batches of ore to be discarded, making mining operations significantly more efficient and sustainable.The sensor encircles an appropriate feed conveyor. Importantly, it can work at very high throughputs.The sensor measures consecutive short sections or ‘batches’ of ore on a primary conveyor, each with a mass of about 0.5 t. Low grade batches can be diverted using simple traditional technologies such as conveyor flop gates and splitters.By discarding the lower-grade ore at the front of the process, CSIRO estimates efficiency could be improved by at least 20%. Deposits previously considered uneconomic could become viable through this increased productivity. The sensing occurs deep inside the bulk ore, which avoids the laborious job of separating individual rocks before measurement.The sensor can be retrofitted to existing primary conveyors, significantly reducing the capital cost of installing the sorting infrastructure.CSIRO radiophysicist Dr David Miljak and his team at Lucas Heights (Sydney) have built a laboratory prototype of the sensor. Newcrest Mining funded the construction and deployment of the first field test prototype, which is scheduled for installation at an Australian mine by the end of 2012.The prototype has a large aperture, suited to measure ore depth of up to 400 mm. It is configured to detect chalcopyrite, a dominant copper ore mineral in its own right that can also be used as a ‘tracer mineral’ for gold.The sensor exploits the natural magnetic properties of chalcopyrite. The nuclei of copper atoms in the mineral act like tiny magnets, which tend to line up. The sensor blasts half-tonne batches of the ore with short pulses of radio waves, momentarily exceeding the power output of a typical radio station. These blasts push the nuclei out of alignment. When the nuclei relax to their original condition, they emit radio waves. The strength of the signal reveals how much chalcopyrite is in the ore.The mineral response, which is 15 orders of magnitude weaker in power, is detected after a short time by an advanced radio receiver.In trials last year, signals were obtained from small samples in the laboratory prototype, validating the fundamental measurement concept.Miljak says the technology is related to medical MRI – the non-invasive ‘magnetic resonance imaging’ technology used to image the body. “We use radio waves at specific frequencies that penetrate deep into rock,” he says. “Advanced radio receivers listen for faint electronic ‘blips’ that allow us to obtain accurate information about the mineral mix.”“A lot of effort involving sampling and detailed block models goes into understanding ore deposits, but no information has been rapidly available at the scale of a few tonnes,” he says.The sensor could help develop a management system that makes decisions online – and quickly.Miljak leads the CSIRO team that developed the technology and that took out the minerals and energy category of the inaugural Innovation Challenge awards last year. The awards are run by The Australian newspaper in association with Shell and supported by the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science, Research and Tertiary Education.He says the breadth of experience and knowledge of his four-strong team – including physics, electronics, electrical engineering, minerals and mining practice – together with close industry ties, drove the technology development.The challenges of developing the prototype to operate at mines are formidable. The method must be accurate enough to use in unforgiving mining environments and large engineering scale-up is needed. Most ‘zero field’ magnetic resonance experiments are performed in solid state physics research with sample sizes of a few cubic centimetres.The prototype has a sensing volume 100,000 times that size. Miljak and his team have been working on the technology for about six years, but it has been only recently that they have begun to “think big.”The Innovation Challenge win convinced them to start considering new ways of developing the technology and the sensor. Other potential uses have been identified in iron ore mining.last_img read more

La troisième génération de Xbox sera 6 fois plus puissante

first_imgLa troisième génération de Xbox sera 6 fois plus puissanteAlors que la présentation de la prochaine console de salon de Microsoft devrait avoir lieu à l’E3, en juin prochain, des rumeurs circulent sur les caractéristiques de la machine.C’est le site américain IGN qui affirme que la prochaine Xbox (appelez là comme vous le souhaitez, entre Xbox 720, Xbox 3, Xbox Loop…) sera 6 fois plus puissante que la 360 actuelle.Difficile de préciser ses sources, mais selon le site, la machine sera dotée d’une carte graphique proche de la Radeon HD 6670, supportant alors la 3D, DirectX11, l’affichage multi-écrans et la HD 1080p. On parle d’un rendu graphique 20% plus rapide que ce qu’il y aura dans la prochaine Nintendo Wii U, d’une rétrocompatibilité des jeux Xbox 360, du Kinect 2 et d’une version simplifiée de Windows 8 pour le système d’exploitation de la console…Microsoft aurait déjà fourni des versions prototypes de kits de développements mais la version finale devrait être distribuée pendant l’été, pour une sortie de la console dans le dernier trimestre 2013…Tout cela est donc très alléchant mais rappelons qu’il ne s’agit évidemment que de rumeurs, dont les sources restent pour le moins floues.Le 26 janvier 2012 à 12:35 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Dan Ogden political and civic leader dies at 95

first_imgDan Ogden Jr., whose lengthy political résumé included campaigning for John F. Kennedy as well as for his late wife, Val Ogden, has died.The retired agency administrator died Thursday in Vancouver; he was 95.Ogden also was a former political science professor who eventually took part in hands-on party politics. Dan and Val Ogden moved in 1985 to Clark County, where Dan became a Democratic activist while Val, who died in 2014, served 12 years in the state Legislature.Mike Gaston, who was on the other side of the political fence, said Friday morning that he’s lost a friend.“Dan was a dear friend,” Gaston said. “Dan and I both believed that the opposing parties still had much in common.“Although we were political opposites at the time — he was county Democratic chair and I was the Republican chair — Dan and I went into high school classes and spoke about politics,” Gaston said.last_img read more

Latin Alternative Music Conferences 20th Anniversary Edition Set For July

first_imgMore details are at the LAMC website. The conference has truly shaped the meaning of the phrase “Latin alternative.”Colombia’s Bomba Estéreo Brings Electro-Cumbia To U.S. On Biggest Tour YetRead more 20th Alt. Latino Conference To Honor 20 Heroes latin-alternative-music-conferences-20th-anniversary-edition-set-july News Latin Alternative Music Conference’s 20th Anniversary Edition Set For July Email Throughout the years, the “Latin alternative” conference has celebrated the genre’s vibrant scene with concerts, panels and showcases Philip MerrillGRAMMYs Jan 4, 2019 – 6:07 pm Every year since 1999, the Latin Alternative Music Conference has brought together a range of voices that make up the Alt. Latino scene and for its 20th anniversary in July it will honor 20 people that have helped it shine throughout the years.The conference, which hosts panels, concerts, exhibits and showcases, will take place July 7–13 in New York City. The 20 conference honorees are “people or companies that have helped these last 20 years be filled with ongoing music.””The LAMC year after year has tried to be a meeting of the minds — a platform to show that there is an amazing, vibrant and complex market within Latin music,” Nacional Records president and LAMC producer Tomas Cookman told Billboard. “Be it having Pitbull, Bomba Estereo or Natalia Lafourcade on early career showcases, or Calle 13 or Cafe Tacvba filling up a public park to capacity, the range and types of artists we have highlighted over these 20 years runs the gamut of the ever-changing face of Latin music.”Music performances will take place at the Central Park Summerstage, Celebrate Brooklyn at Prospect Park and Queensbridge Park. Panels will cover women in music, music education and the U.S. Latin market, among other topics. The LAMC will also have regional spotlights on Argentina, Colombia and Spain.GRAMMY winners Natalia Lafourcade, Residente, La Santa Cecilia, and Carlos Vives  are LAMC alumni. GRAMMY nominee and Latin GRAMMY winner Jorge Drexler is another notable alum.GRAMMY nominees Carla Morrison, Los Rakas and Kinky are former winners of the conference’s Discovery Award. Facebook Twitter last_img read more

What happens to humans after death NDE victim says people live after

first_imgPixabayA near-death experience (NDE) is one of the most perplexing conditions that have been perplexing medical experts and spiritualists for years. While many people consider NDE as proof of life after death, medical experts claim that the survival technique of the human brain to combat life-threatening conditions is causing visual hallucinations.The latest news from the corner is regarding a mysterious NDE testimonial shared by a woman named Adriana on the NDERF (Near-Death Experience Research Foundation) website.In the testimonial shared, Adriana revealed that she experienced something heavenly following a life-threatening event due to complications of lupus. As per Adriana, during the NDE, she saw herself as light and floated in a universe filled with colours. Adriana also revealed that she saw a female figure whom she later identified as her aunt who was deceased a few months back.”I had left my body and began to return home. I suddenly saw myself as a light, floating in a universe full of colours and forms that opened and closed, and I entered them and went through them full of joy, of happiness, of peace—a joy which there are no words to explain–until I came to another portal, so to speak, in which there was a female figure. She was only a light, but when she spoke, she identified herself as an aunt who had died four months before,” wrote Adriana on the NDERF website.Later, her deceased aunt who appeared in the form of light informed her that she will not be able to return to the physical world if she passed through there.”She told me, “Adriana, if you pass through here, you will not be able to return.” I understood that she was giving me a choice. I was still me, Adriana. I was not my body, but I was my essence, and I began to ask myself what there was to return to?” added the NDE victim.The testimonial shared by Adriana has now gone viral on the internet, and it has made many people believe that life after death is real, and people used to continue their journey in the form of souls. Spiritualists also claim that life is just the beginning of the human journey, and the real eternal trip starts once we take our last breath.last_img read more

Baisakhi celebrations begin in Pakistan

first_imgAround 1,500 Indian Sikhs with over 500 from European countries and more than 2,000 Pakistani Hindus and Sikhs are participating in the Baisakhi celebrations that began in Punjab province, the media reported.Baisakhi is widely celebrated by Sikhs in the province, with festivities centred on Panja Sahib Complex in Hasan Abdal town, Attock district that started on Thursday, Dawn online reported.This year’s festival marks the 319th anniversary of the Khalsa (the Sikh brotherhood). In 1699, Guru Gobind Singh (the last Sikh Gurum) asked his followers to sacrifice their lives for him.Baisakhi also marks the beginning of a new solar year and harvest season.At Punja Sahib, most of the pilgrims appeared excited about visiting Pakistan and said they enjoyed their visit to the country more than what they were expecting before reaching here and appreciated the arrangements to make their visit comfortable and for the maintenance of their holy sites, reports Dawn online.Sikh Yatrees group leader Sardar Balvinder Singh thanked the Pakistan government, Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) and the locals for the wonderful welcome and laudable arrangements.He urged the governments of Pakistan and India to remove visa restrictions on senior citizens and relax some immigration laws to facilitate ordinary citizens of both the countries.”Pakistan is like a second home to the Sikh community where they used to live,” Singh added.last_img read more

Lincoln Board Chair Hosts Garden Party To Benefit 10 Million Scholarship Campaign

first_imgThe Lincoln University Board of Trustees Chair Kimberly Lloyd ‘94 is hosting The Chairlady’s Garden Party to benefit the university’s first-ever $10 million Students First Campaign for student scholarships, June 21, on the lawn of its historic Alumni House. The Students First Campaign, which is an endowment campaign for merit and need-based scholarship support, is chaired by Hollywood legend and philanthropist Dr. William “Bill” Cosby Jr., who has been encouraging support from corporations, foundations, churches, the general public as well as alumni, faculty and staff of The Lincoln University. The campaign ends June 30. “The concept of the Chairlady’s Garden Party is two-fold, first the opportunity to raise scholarship funds for our students at The Lincoln University and to secondly display the southern charm of our main campus,” said Lloyd, who is asking ladies in attendance to adorn themselves with hats, gloves and pearls while the gentlemen to don seersucker and linen suits or cool breeze shirts and slacks. Currently, Lincoln lacks the funds of wealthier institutions to compete for the best and brightest students, who typically chose the university. In addition, more than 96 percent of Lincoln’s students depend on financial assistance. Over the past several months, the university has enlisted the support of alumni, faculty & staff as well as corporate, foundation and faith-based community leadership to also encourage support while numerous solicitations on Dr. Cosby’s behalf have been made to support the campaign. “The Students First Campaign is an important effort and we look forward to our guests’ support as well as hope they take the opportunity to tour the campus and visit the newly-established Danjuma African Art Center, the Langston Hughes Memorial Library, our International Cultural Center and the many other historical or significant sites on campus,” said Lloyd. Guest reservations for The Chairlady’s Garden Party are $20 per person. To make reservations, email: or call: 1–800-726-3014.last_img read more

Microsoft posts Watch Dogs PS4 footage on official Xbox YouTube channel

first_imgIt is now clear that the launch games on PS4 will run at a higher resolution than the equivalent games on Xbox One. This has been confirmed for games including Call of Duty: Ghosts and Battlefield 4. Where as the Xbox One will run Ghosts and BF4 at 720p upscaled to 1080p, the PS4 versions run at 900p upscaled.This difference has meant developers producing multiplatform games posting game footage from the PS4 build in a bid to show their titles off in the best way, and this has led to Microsoft and Ubisoft making an embarrassing mistake yesterday. Footage taken from the PS4 version of Watch Dogs ended up being posted on the official Xbox YouTube channel.The mistake was noticed and posted on Reddit. The telling detail you can see in the image above is when representations of the PS4 DualShock 4 buttons appeared on screen. Apparently it didn’t take long for news of this to get back to Microsoft, who then tried to edit the buttons out before deciding to remove the video from its YouTube channel.This isn’t something Microsoft would choose to do on purpose, and it’s more likely a mistake made by Ubisoft. I’m guessing Ubisoft sent the video to Microsoft, who then uploaded it to the channel with only the briefest of checks.I’m sure whoever uploaded the video to YouTube has received a few angry emails from Microsoft’s upper management, and Ubisoft has surely had some correspondence too about asset supply. You can also guarantee Microsoft has implemented a more robust video review process today.last_img read more

DowDuPont Signs a Deal to Surveil Farms With Satellites

first_imgLike SpaceX, which wants to launch thousands of satellites to build its own internet network. Planet“When I think about this deal, I think a lot about the writing of Wendell Berry,” says Chris Seifert, Granular’s vice president of data science. Berry, a writer and environmentalist, liked to talk about a thing called the “eyes-to-acres ratio”: how many stewards a given square-yard area has. He meant human eyes, of course. But when Seifert talks about “eyes,” he means satellites. “This deal means that we’re going to have eyes on every acre on every cloud-free day,” says Seifert. There are possible solutions, though: Like the self-destruct modules this company is building for small sats. Greenbelts and agricultural fields hug the shores of the Itaipu Reservoir—a natural border between Brazil and Paraguay. The area’s warm, tropical climate makes it an ideal place to grow sugar cane, coffee, tea, and cotton.PlanetSatellite imagery, though, works differently from data that comes from farmers, like irrigation schedules or soil stats—because satellite imagery comes, of course, from satellites. The orbital images of a field, and the interpretations, technically don’t ask anything of its farmer. Planet’s images are out there, whether Granular buys them or not. “This is something that exists and is taken every day,” says Seifert. Farmers, he says, are used to the idea. “Earth has a monitoring system looking at how things are changing,” he continues, “and part of ‘things’ is their fields.” It might not be apparent unless you’re driving through the mid-longitudes of Interstate 70, but around 40 percent of the land in the United States is farmland. Understanding what happens on that acreage is complicated—for individual farmers and agricultural conglomerates. Understanding how to improve what’s going on is even harder.That’s why Granular—a farm software business under the agriculture division of DowDuPont—penned a deal with Planet. Planet is an aptly named company, with some 200 satellites around Earth, watching it and its goings-on all the time. As part of this multimillion-dollar, three-year gig announced Tuesday, Granular will get access to daily images of the globe, and some of Planet’s six-year archive of snapshots. Granular can feed the pictures into its agricultural analytics tools, which can, in turn, relay wisdom to farmers.These days, hoeing productive rows is different from how it used to be. Seasons are shifting. It’s dry out there. Partly because of that, Granular’s industry is set to grow by around 17 percent, to $4.22 billion, by 2025. With Granular, farmers can craft crop and field plans, delegate duties to employees, track inventory, and predict revenue and yield. And through the new deal with Planet, Granular will daily slurp images into its software, gathering perhaps more data than has ever been available about crops.center_img When it comes to from-above observation of outdoor crops, says Griffin, “there is no reasonable expectation of privacy”—which farmers likely understand. Imagery from planes and satellites like Landsat has existed for decades. “We can drive down dirt roads in the country and see what’s going on from the side of the road,” he continues. “With satellite imagery, it’s kind of the same.”Perhaps the bigger issue, for the digital-farming industry in general, is whether the users benefit as much as the ag-data companies. “When it comes to digital agriculture, the benefits to the farmer at the farm level are going to be very minor,” says Griffin. “The majority of that value would go to the groups that control the flow of data and the analytical service providers.”Griffin thinks some of the digital-farming companies are mostly smoke and mirrors, in terms of that benefit. “I do think Granular is more legitimate than many of the other companies out there,” he says.And perhaps, with the addition of more Planet imagery, that’ll be even more true. Visual imagery, even the kind from space, has been around for a long time, and farmers didn’t really buy it. But the quality, frequency, and ability to analyze that volume of images—and to use the wisdom from that aggregate to inform individuals—weren’t where they are today. “The science is catching up to the point where we hope it becomes useful for farmers at the farm level,” says Griffin. In granular detail.The not-so-friendly sky Granular can recognize big-scale patterns in agricultural images. Its employees have assaulted corn with jet engines to find out how it blows down. They know what a patch of field looks like when its attendant irrigation nozzle is clogged. They are learning about what the brown and droop of pestilence and pests look like. And through an R&D run with Planet last year, they refined their vision of what those problems look like from far above. As Planet provides more imagery, the software can enhance and expand its conclusions. A farmer can also say, “Field 45 looks fine. Your software is wrong,” and the goal is for the software to use the criticism to become smarter.Farmers have been interested in incorporating new data into their diet. Granular’s products help manage 2 million acres of farmland in 36 states and four Canadian provinces. “A lot of people assume that farmers are tech-averse,” says Sid Gorham, Granular’s co-founder and CEO. “I would say they are tech-impatient. They don’t have much patience for piddly things that don’t have value.”Gorham, of course, thinks Granular’s insights are not piddly. “You can pull over to the side of the road in your pickup and get the answer you’re looking for,” he says, on your smartphone. Not piddly, agrees DuPont, the biotech-agriculture-materials science conglomerate that acquired Granular in August 2017—just a month before it merged with Dow.Some farmers, sensibly, have been unsure about giving too much about their crops away to Big Ag. “I have huge concern when it comes to privacy and sensors on the ground,” says Terry Griffin, a professor of agricultural economics at Kansas State. The agri-data market could, say, use that information to market products to farmers or sell seeds at differential rates.To that end, the American Farm Bureau Federation created Privacy and Security Principles for Farm Data, a kind of best-practice, do-little-harm set of promises, which Granular, Dow, and DuPont all signed onto before they joined forces. Granular has public stipulations on how farmers’ unaggregated, personal data is used: Yes to letting it ensmarten the software. No to selling it to third parties. No to selling even aggregated financial data to third parties. No to letting DowDuPont use it to determine seed prices. Yes to using it “to inform you of potential products or services of interest”—but you can opt out. Planet’s 200 satellites are just one part of the massive space junk problem that’s intensifying in Earth’s orbit.last_img read more

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first_imgNews | December 29, 2014 IBA Announces First Completed Treatment with Proton Therapy Specific Cone Beam CT Penn Medicine becomes the first to implement the technology Proteus ONE image courtesy of IBA December 29, 2014 — IBA (Ion Beam Applications SA) and Université Catholique de Louvain announced that the first patient treatment with IBA’s Proton Therapy Specific Cone Beam CT (CBCT) was successfully completed at Penn Medicine’s Roberts Proton Therapy Center.As a component of IBA’s image guided proton therapy (IGPT) solution, CBCT provides 3-D imaging for increased accuracy in patient treatment. It is fully integrated with IBA’s imaging platform adaPTinsight, developed in partnership with the Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), to offer fast 6-D corrections of patient positioning for IBA’s Proteus PLUS and Proteus ONE proton therapy solutions.For more information: FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 News | Radiation Therapy | August 15, 2019 First Patient Enrolled in World’s Largest Brain Cancer Clinical Trial Henry Ford Cancer Institute is first-in-the-world to enroll a glioblastoma patient in the GBM AGILE Trial (Adaptive… read more News | Radiation Therapy | August 02, 2019 Varian Showcases Cancer Care Systems and Software at AAPM 2019 Varian showcased systems and software from its cancer care portfolio, including the Identify Guidance System, at the… read more News | Patient Positioning Radiation Therapy | August 15, 2019 Mevion and C-RAD Release Integration for Improved Proton Therapy Treatment Quality Mevion Medical Systems and C-RAD announced the integration between the C-RAD Catalyst PT and the Mevion S250i proton… read more Catalyst PT image courtesy of C-RAD News | Patient Positioning Radiation Therapy | August 07, 2019 Qfix kVue One Proton Couch Top Validated by Mevion Medical Systems Qfix and Mevion Medical Systems announced that a special version of the kVue One Proton couch top is now both validated… read more Related Content News | Brachytherapy Systems | August 14, 2019 Efficacy of Isoray’s Cesium Blu Showcased in Recent Studies August 14, 2019 — Isoray announced a trio of studies recently reported at scientific meetings and published in medica read more The top piece of content in July was a video interview explaining how Princess Margaret Cancer Center is using machine learning to create automated treatment plans. This was a hot topic at the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) 2019 meeting in July.  Feature | August 05, 2019 | Dave Fornell, Editor Most Popular Radiology and Radiotherapy Topics in July 2019 August 5, 2019 — Here is the list of the most popular content on the Imaging Technology New (ITN) magazine website fr read more The MD Anderson Proton Therapy Center expansion is expected to be completed in 2023. Rendering courtesy of Stantec. News | Proton Therapy | August 06, 2019 IBA Signs Contract to Install Proton Therapy Center in Kansas IBA (Ion Beam Applications S.A.) recently signed a contract and received the first payment for a Proteus One solution… read more News | Proton Therapy | August 08, 2019 MD Anderson to Expand Proton Therapy Center The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center unveiled plans to expand its Proton Therapy Center during a… read more Following radiation, the bone marrow shows nearly complete loss of blood cells in mice (left). Mice treated with the PTP-sigma inhibitor displayed rapid recovery of blood cells (purple, right). Credit: UCLA Broad Stem Cell Research Center/Nature Communications News | Radiation Therapy | August 16, 2019 Drug Accelerates Blood System’s Recovery After Radiation, Chemotherapy A drug developed by UCLA physician-scientists and chemists speeds up the regeneration of mouse and human blood stem… read more News | Radiation Oncology | July 31, 2019 Laura Dawson, M.D., FASTRO, Chosen as ASTRO President-elect The members of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) elected four new officers to ASTRO’s Board of… read morelast_img read more

7 AI tools mobile developers need to know

first_imgAdvancements in artificial intelligence ( AI) and machine learning has enabled the evolution of mobile applications that we see today. With AI, apps are now capable of recognizing speech, images, and gestures, and translate voices with extraordinary success rates. With a number of apps hitting the app stores, it is crucial that they stand apart from competitors by meeting the rising standards of consumers. To stay relevant it is important that mobile developers keep up with these advancements in artificial intelligence. As AI and machine learning become increasingly popular, there is a growing selection of tools and software available for developers to build their apps with. These cloud-based and device-based artificial intelligence tools provide developers a way to power their apps with unique features. In this article, we will look at some of these tools and how app developers are using them in their apps. Caffe2 – A flexible deep learning framework Source: Qualcomm Caffe2 is a lightweight, modular, scalable deep learning framework developed by Facebook. It is a successor of Caffe, a project started at the University of California, Berkeley. It is primarily built for production use cases and mobile development and offers developers greater flexibility for building high-performance products. Caffe2 aims to provide an easy way to experiment with deep learning and leverage community contributions of new models and algorithms. It is cross-platform and integrates with Visual Studio, Android Studio, and Xcode for mobile development. Its core C++ libraries provide speed and portability, while its Python and C++ APIs make it easy for you to prototype, train, and deploy your models. It utilizes GPUs when they are available. It is fine-tuned to take full advantage of the NVIDIA GPU deep learning platform. To deliver high performance, Caffe2 uses some of the deep learning SDK libraries by NVIDIA such as cuDNN, cuBLAS, and NCCL. Functionalities Enable automation Image processing Perform object detection Statistical and mathematical operations Supports distributed training enabling quick scaling up or down Applications Facebook is using Caffe2 to help their developers and researchers train large machine learning models and deliver AI on mobile devices. Using Caffe2, they significantly improved the efficiency and quality of machine translation systems. As a result, all machine translation models at Facebook have been transitioned from phrase-based systems to neural models for all languages. OpenCV – Give the power of vision to your apps Source: AndroidPub OpenCV short for Open Source Computer Vision Library is a collection of programming functions for real-time computer vision and machine learning. It has C++, Python, and Java interfaces and supports Windows, Linux, Mac OS, iOS and Android. It also supports the deep learning frameworks TensorFlow and PyTorch. Written natively in C/C++, the library can take advantage of multi-core processing. OpenCV aims to provide a common infrastructure for computer vision applications and to accelerate the use of machine perception in the commercial products. The library consists of more than 2500 optimized algorithms including both classic and state-of-the-art computer vision algorithms. Functionalities These algorithms can be used for the following: To detect and recognize faces Identify objects Classify human actions in videos Track camera movements and moving objects Extract 3D models of objects Produce 3D point clouds from stereo cameras Stitch images together to produce a high-resolution image of an entire scene Find similar images from an image database Applications Plickers is an assessment tool, that lets you poll your class for free, without the need for student devices. It uses OpenCV as its graphics and video SDK. You just have to give each student a card called a paper clicker, and use your iPhone/iPad to scan them to do instant checks-for-understanding, exit tickets, and impromptu polls. Also check out FastCV BoofCV TensorFlow Lite and Mobile – An Open Source Machine Learning Framework for Everyone Source: YouTube TensorFlow is an open source software library for building machine learning models. Its flexible architecture allows easy model deployment across a variety of platforms ranging from desktops to mobile and edge devices. Currently, TensorFlow provides two solutions for deploying machine learning models on mobile devices: TensorFlow Mobile and TensorFlow Lite. TensorFlow Lite is an improved version of TensorFlow Mobile, offering better performance and smaller app size. Additionally, it has very few dependencies as compared to TensorFlow Mobile, so it can be built and hosted on simpler, more constrained device scenarios. TensorFlow Lite also supports hardware acceleration with the Android Neural Networks API. But the catch here is that TensorFlow Lite is currently in developer preview and only has coverage to a limited set of operators. So, to develop production-ready mobile TensorFlow apps, it is recommended to use TensorFlow Mobile. Also, TensorFlow Mobile supports customization to add new operators not supported by TensorFlow Mobile by default, which is a requirement for most of the models of different AI apps. Although TensorFlow Lite is in developer preview, its future releases “will greatly simplify the developer experience of targeting a model for small devices”. It is also likely to replace TensorFlow Mobile, or at least overcome its current limitations. Functionalities Speech recognition Image recognition Object localization Gesture recognition Optical character recognition Translation Text classification Voice synthesis Applications The Alibaba tech team is using TensorFlow Lite to implement and optimize speaker recognition on the client side. This addresses many of the common issues of the server-side model, such as poor network connectivity, extended latency, and poor user experience. Google uses TensorFlow for advanced machine learning models including Google Translate and RankBrain. Core ML – Integrate machine learning in your iOS apps Source: AppleToolBox Core ML is a machine learning framework which can be used to integrate machine learning model in your iOS apps. It supports Vision for image analysis, Natural Language for natural language processing, and GameplayKit for evaluating learned decision trees. Core ML is built on top of the following low-level APIs, providing a simple higher level abstraction to these: Accelerate optimizes large-scale mathematical computations and image calculations for high performance. Basic neural network subroutines (BNNS) provides a collection of functions using which you can implement and run neural networks trained with previously obtained data. Metal Performance Shaders is a collection of highly optimized compute and graphic shaders that are designed to integrate easily and efficiently into your Metal app. To train and deploy custom models you can also use the Create ML framework. It is a machine learning framework in Swift, which can be used to train models using native Apple technologies like Swift, Xcode, and Other Apple frameworks. Functionalities Face and face landmark detection Text detection Barcode recognition Image registration Language and script identification Design games with functional and reusable architecture Applications Lumina is a camera designed in Swift for easily integrating Core ML models – as well as image streaming, QR/Barcode detection, and many other features. ML Kit by Google – Seamlessly build machine learning into your apps Source: Google ML Kit is a cross-platform suite of machine learning tools for its Firebase mobile development platform. It comprises of Google’s ML technologies, such as the Google Cloud Vision API, TensorFlow Lite, and the Android Neural Networks API together in a single SDK enabling you to apply ML techniques to your apps easily. You can leverage its ready-to-use APIs for common mobile use cases such as recognizing text, detecting faces, identifying landmarks, scanning barcodes, and labeling images. If these APIs don’t cover your machine learning problem, you can use your own existing TensorFlow Lite models. You just have to upload your model on Firebase and ML Kit will take care of the hosting and serving. These APIs can run on-device or in the cloud. Its on-device APIs process your data quickly and work even when there’s no network connection. Its cloud-based APIs leverage the power of Google Cloud Platform’s machine learning technology to give you an even higher level of accuracy. Functionalities Automate tedious data entry for credit cards, receipts, and business cards, or help organize photos. Extract text from documents, which you can use to increase accessibility or translate documents. Real-time face detection can be used in applications like video chat or games that respond to the player’s expressions. Using image labeling you can add capabilities such as content moderation and automatic metadata generation. Applications A popular calorie counter app, Lose It! uses Google ML Kit Text Recognition API to quickly capture nutrition information to ensure it’s easy to record and extremely accurate. PicsArt uses ML Kit custom model APIs to provide TensorFlow–powered 1000+ effects to enable millions of users to create amazing images with their mobile phones. Dialogflow – Give users new ways to interact with your product Source: Medium Dialogflow is a Natural Language Understanding (NLU) platform that makes it easy for developers to design and integrate conversational user interfaces into mobile apps, web applications, devices, and bots. You can integrate it on Alexa, Cortana, Facebook Messenger, and other platforms your users are on. With Dialogflow you can build interfaces, such as chatbots and conversational IVR that enable natural and rich interactions between your users and your business. It provides this human-like interaction with the help of agents. Agents can understand the vast and varied nuances of human language and translate that to standard and structured meaning that your apps and services can understand. It comes in two types: Dialogflow Standard Edition and Dialogflow Enterprise Edition. Dialogflow Enterprise Edition users have access to Google Cloud Support and a service level agreement (SLA) for production deployments. Functionalities Provide customer support One-click integration on 14+ platforms Supports multilingual responses Improve NLU quality by training with negative examples Debug using more insights and diagnostics Applications Domino’s simplified the process of ordering pizza using Dialogflow’s conversational technology. Domino’s leveraged large customer service knowledge and Dialogflow’s NLU capabilities to build both simple customer interactions and increasingly complex ordering scenarios. Also check out Rasa NLU Microsoft Cognitive Services – Make your apps see, hear, speak, understand and interpret your user needs Source: Neel Bhatt Cognitive Services is a collection of APIs, SDKs, and services to enable developers easily add cognitive features to their applications such as emotion and video detection, facial, speech, and vision recognition, among others. You need not be an expert in data science to make your systems more intelligent and engaging. The pre-built services come with high-quality RESTful intelligent APIs for the following: Vision: Make your apps identify and analyze content within images and videos. Provides capabilities such as image classification, optical character recognition in images, face detection, person identification, and emotion identification. Speech: Integrate speech processing capabilities into your app or services such as text-to-speech, speech-to-text, speaker recognition, and speech translation. Language: Your application or service will understand the meaning of the unstructured text or the intent behind a speaker’s utterances. It comes with capabilities such as text sentiment analysis, key phrase extraction, automated and customizable text translation. Knowledge: Create knowledge-rich resources that can be integrated into apps and services. It provides features such as QnA extraction from unstructured text, knowledge base creation from collections of Q&As, and semantic matching for knowledge bases. Search: Using Search API you can find exactly what you are looking for across billions of web pages. It provides features like ad-free, safe, location-aware web search, Bing visual search, custom search engine creation, and many more. Applications To safeguard against fraud, Uber uses the Face API, part of Microsoft Cognitive Services, to help ensure the driver using the app matches the account on file. Cardinal Blue developed an app called PicCollage, a popular mobile app that allows users to combine photos, videos, captions, stickers, and special effects to create unique collages. Also check out AWS machine learning services IBM Watson These were some of the tools that will help you integrate intelligence into your apps. These libraries make it easier to add capabilities like speech recognition, natural language processing, computer vision, and many others, giving users the wow moment of accomplishing something that wasn’t quite possible before. Along with choosing the right AI tool, you must also consider other factors that can affect your app performance. These factors include the accuracy of your machine learning model, which can be affected by bias and variance, using correct datasets for training, seamless user interaction, and resource-optimization, among others. While building any intelligent app it is also important to keep in mind that the AI in your app is solving a problem and it doesn’t exist because it is cool. Thinking from the user’s perspective will allow you to assess the importance of a particular problem. A great AI app will not just help users do something faster, but enable them to do something they couldn’t do before. With the growing popularity and the need to speed up the development of intelligent apps, many companies ranging from huge tech giants to startups are providing AI solutions. In the future we will definitely see more developer tools coming into the market, making AI in apps a norm. Read Next 6 most commonly used Java Machine learning libraries 5 ways artificial intelligence is upgrading software engineering Machine Learning as a Service (MLaaS): How Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, and AWS are democratizing Artificial Intelligencelast_img read more