JBL Finally Releases Its Android TVpowered Smart Sound Bar

first_img ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Popular on Variety Over a year after first announcing it, Samsung subsidiary Harman is finally releasing its JBL Link Bar, a smart sound bar that comes with Android TV built-in. The new device effectively doubles as a smart speaker, and does away with the need for any additional streaming devices.Google and Harman / JBL first announced the JBL Link Bar back in May of 2018, with plans to release the device later that year. The companies didn’t go into details on what caused the delay, but the Link Bar does come with some added complexity, as it effectively functions as 3 devices in 1.First, the Link Bar is an ordinary sound bar, with the option to attach an external subwoofer for added bass. It also turns any TV into a smart TV, capable of streaming Netflix, YouTube, HBO and more, thanks to the built-in Android TV smarts. And finally, it works even when the TV is turned off, thanks to build-in far-field microphones that effectively turn it into a Google Home-like smart speaker.center_img The Link Bar comes with 3 HDMI input ports to attach game consoles, Blu-ray players and other external devices, adding some level of voice control to these as well. What’s more, video input from these external devices is combined with Google Assistant functionality, making it possible to access your calendar or check the weather without having to leave that Blu-ray movie you’re watching.A Harman news release does mention 2 other features worth pointing out: Just like other Android TV devices, the Link Bar will have Chromecast built-in, making it possible to beam videos to the TV from your phone. Also, the sound bar comes with something JBL calls “PrivacySwitch for far-field microphones,” which apparently is a fancy name for a physical mute button.The Link Bar sells for $399.95, and an optional subwoofer costs another $299.95.last_img read more

Upper atmospheric lightening sprites caught in 3D video

first_img Explore further Image credit: NHK / AGU A sprightly explanation for UFO sightings? 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 Play Video credit: NHK / AGU Scientists still don’t know much about them, though theories regarding their origin abound. One that seems plausible is that when lightening with a positive charge occurs, surrounding clouds are drained of a positive charge, leaving them with a net negative charge, which could lead to an electrical field building up between the clouds and the upper atmosphere; when it reaches a certain point, sprites and elves appear. What’s also unclear is whether sprites and elves have any impact on weather, or if they just exist for moment, then disappear; ghostly bright apparitions one moment, gone the next without a trace. In the language of those studying the phenomenon, sprites are the part of the lightening that resemble jellyfish and travel downwards after starting out as a ball shape. Elves are the halos that create the eerie effects. Both are reddish in color and last for something like 10 milliseconds.The video was captured by a research team funded by the Japanese Broadcasting Corporation. Two jets flying over parts of the south-west United States this past summer, with cameras aboard, were used for filming to create the 3D effect and the results were presented at the American Geophysical Union Conference last week. In some respects, the images produced by the research team look like fireworks, creating jellyfish type patterns far above the thunderstorms below that are thought to spawn them. In others, they appear almost liquid in their fluidity. And even though they are way up there, some fifty miles from the ground, they can still be seen, as they are frequently brighter than Venus in the night sky, though doubtless most who have seen them, didn’t know they did, as they would have existed among regular storm cloud activity. Sort of like sprites and elves of lore.center_img (PhysOrg.com) — Sometimes in science, it’s easy to get caught up in the practical, to focus so heavily on the why’s and how’s of things, that it’s easy to miss the simple beauty that nature offers. That might be the case with a little known type of lightening that occurs between the part of the atmosphere where weather events are seen quite easily, and the far reaches near the beginning of space. Called sprites, these other kinds of lightening strikes are of far shorter duration than we’re accustomed to; it wasn’t until just the past thirty years or so that anyone even knew they existed. So odd were they, that pilots flying at high altitudes who saw them feared for their jobs if they spoke of them. Now however a research team has captured some instances of them using high speed cameras mounted on two jets to create 3D images. Citation: Upper atmospheric lightening sprites caught in 3D video (2011, December 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-12-upper-atmospheric-sprites-caught-3d.html © 2011 PhysOrg.com 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.last_img read more

Atmospheric carbon dioxide causing global greening making some areas warmer and some

first_img Rising CO2 due to climate change may not improve agriculture, model shows Explore further Citation: Atmospheric carbon dioxide causing global greening making some areas warmer and some colder (2017, May 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-05-atmospheric-carbon-dioxide-global-greening.html Credit: Wikipedia. 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. More information: Giovanni Forzieri et al. Satellites reveal contrasting responses of regional climate to the widespread greening of Earth, Science (2017). DOI: 10.1126/science.aal1727AbstractChanges in vegetation cover associated to the observed greening may affect several biophysical processes, whose net effects on climate are unclear. Here, we analyze remotely sensed dynamics in leaf area index (LAI) and energy fluxes to explore the associated variation in local climate. We show that the increasing trend in LAI contributed to the warming of boreal zones through a reduction of surface albedo, and to an evaporation-driven cooling in arid regions. The interplay between LAI and surface biophysics is amplified up to five times under extreme warm-dry and cold-wet years. Altogether, these signals reveal that the recent dynamics in global vegetation have had relevant biophysical impacts on the local climates and should be considered in the design of local mitigation and adaptation plans.center_img In addition to causing the atmosphere to heat up in general, the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide is also causing many parts of the planet that were already green to become greener, the researchers report. That greening, they suggest, causes some regional areas to become slightly warmer and others cooler. But it is not just atmospheric carbon that is contributing to the greening. Nitrogen used in fertilizers makes its way into natural ecosystems, causing changes. The land is also changed by human activities.In an area that is generally warm, an increase in leaf cover can lead to localized cooling due to plant transpiration (water evaporating) which condenses in the air, the researchers report. In cooler places, the impact can be the opposite—in boreal regions (tree covered) and colder places, local temperatures can rise slightly due to less sunlight being reflected back from the surface.To come to these conclusions, the researchers studied satellite data for the period 1982 to 2011, which allowed them to assign a leaf area index (LAI) to various parts of the Earth’s surface. In mapping the entire planet, the group found that for approximately 60 percent of all plant areas, an increase in greening has mitigated global warming by approximately 14 percent. For colder areas, greening has led to a rise in air temperatures of approximately 10 percent. They also found that the impact could be more dramatic during extreme weather conditions—by up to five times, for example, during warm and dry periods or cold and wet periods.The researchers suggest their findings indicate that changes to vegetation clearly have an impact on local climate, and thus should be taken into consideration as mitigation and adaptation strategies are developed to deal with a warming planet. © 2017 Phys.org (Phys.org)—A small team of researchers with the Directorate for Sustainable Resources in Italy and Ghent University in Belgium has found evidence that shows some parts of the planet are becoming cooler and others warmer due to an increase in localized greening. As the team notes in their paper published in the journal Science, much of the increase in greening is due to an increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Journal information: Sciencelast_img read more


first_imgThe festival aims to celebrate womanhood in all its facets and bring city’s strong and independent women together at one platform. 23-year-old young entrepreneur Akshuna Bakshi organised the first edition of the festival in Feb 2013.The festival will also highlight the cause of girl child education, welfare, women safety, and various other causes by organizing entertaining but thoughtful activities. Exciting self defence workshops- An exclusive self-defence workshop teaching the basics of martial arts and key moves to protect one if attacked on the road, bus etc. will be a major highlight of the event. Colourful dance and music performances on women, eclectic art and poetry installations, a special ‘SHE Says’ corner, funky photo booths and makeover tents will be some of the many attractions. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The festival will host over 70 women entrepreneurs and designers (pass outs from prestigious design institutes like NID, NIFT, Pearl) who will showcase  unique collections of apparel, jewellery, accessories, handicrafts, vintage and kitsch products, décor etc. that will be up for sale.Through this edition of the festival, Travelista will also be supporting and displaying the works of one of India’s leading NGO Shiksha Bharati which has been working tirelessly for the past 25 years to provide a better future and education to thousands of underprivileged young girls. Some of these young girls will also be performing a martial arts demo and traditional folk dances during the festival. Head over!last_img read more

Go minimalistic by painting your walls with pastel colours

first_imgWith the subtle and elegant nature of the beautiful pastel hues, you can give your walls a soft and charming look. Pastel colour schemes work beautifully for every possible setting of the interior because of its flexible nature to adapt well, says an expert.Ranjit Singh, President of British Paints, says that pastel coloured walls go best with the sophisticated themes of the interior because of its cool and neutral nature so its important that whenever one plans to paint their walls with pastel shades, they should not forget to add white colour to the interiors as white acts as a neutral color. He suggests few tips on how one can make their wall classy with pastel shades. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf* The exquisite pastel blue: This colour would give you a feel of calmness coupled with subtle boldness. If you are looking for something in pastels, which is elegant and stylish, go for a chic Japanese theme with pastel blue in mind. Or you can go for wooden panels that can be used as a statement wall art right above the bed, painted in pastel sky blue, giving your space a soft and genuine look.  I would like to recommend yellows, whites, dark blues to decorate your room as these would bring an exquisite appeal to your home when applied with pastel blue.  Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive* The charming pastel purple: Go for a colour which displays simplicity, comfort, and harmony. With its sensual and delightful charm, the pastel purple brings a stunning look when combined with white and with grey, so consider these two colours when it comes to decorating your dream home. You can use grey and white throw pillows in your space or maybe a white colour lamp shade. These two colours can never go wrong with pastel purple. This would create a soft ambience and give your home a contemporary appearance.* The alluring pastel orange: The alluring and splendid hue while playing a soothing role in your interiors, eases down the heaviness that comes from furniture pieces and accessories. You could play off the warmth and experiment with some cool grey-blues and it will enable you to create a fresh and vibrant ambiance. Do not hesitate to bump up the volume, bring in some mustard or celadon green.* The cheerful pastel yellow: Pastel yellow works wonders with pastel pink as blend creates an interior, which is truly cheerful. Use some peppy elements in the pastel pink colour and cherish the interior beauty of your house. For instance: You can get a wall hanging with a tint of white and pastel pink, or a table lamp or a dressing table in pastel pink or sheer curtains in white.* The classy pastel grey: This subtle yet classy hue gives a sensual look to the interiors of your home. This colour will perk up the ambience of your place and brighten your mood. The pastel grey stands out superbly along with the fashionable artwork and a rustic coloured bed. You can undoubtedly incorporate a decorative oval mirror with a black metal or a plain black photo frame. For the bed linen, you can pick white colour bed sheets and baby pink coloured pillows. So if you are planning to paint your walls with Pastel grey, remember to keep these three colours in mind and your house feel rejuvenated and joyful.last_img read more

7 Ways to Shop Safely on Your Mobile

first_img Paying utility, credit card, insurance and phone bills through mobile devices is an incredible way to save users a lot of time and effort. The process is simple and efficient. Apart from these payments, you can support charity causes from the comfort of your home or office via online payment services. However, there is a growing concern over cases of cyber-theft, which can include identity theft and financial fraud. This legitimate concern demands practical steps to safeguard online payments, with a view to reducing or eliminating cyber-theft.What can be done to overcome this monster that has cost individuals and corporate organizations billions of dollars? Let’s give consideration to these useful tips:1. Check websites for HTTPS.The first sign of security you should look out for whenever you log in to any website is HTTPS. This secure connection will give you the needed guarantee that whatever transaction takes place between you and the site is exclusively restricted to only you and the system.Related: Security Hacks are leaving a Lasting Impact on RetailersNote that if the HTTPS is missing an “S”, it is a red flag. Don’t log in. The site is definitely not secure for vital transactions.2. Always update your gadgets.Do you have any idea why browser apps are updated regularly? It is an effective method of blocking potential security loopholes in outdated versions. To take advantage of these security features, which can guarantee you adequate protection from malware and other software programs that can put you at risk for cyber-theft, always update your browser app.According to Charles J. Harris, executive vice president of TSYS Merchant Solutions, “You should update your device to the latest version of its operating system to ensure you are as secure as possible. If this is not possible (some older devices cannot update to the latest version of the operating system due to hardware limits), upgrade to a new mobile device to stay current.”The process of updating it is relatively simple. The results are absolutely awesome.3. Keep public WiFi at arm’s length.If you are shopping outdoors, always reject the temptation to use public WiFi. If you use it, you are unwittingly exposing yourself to cyber-theft. Instead of using it, stick to the old-school way of doing things, use 3G/4G for browsing.Related: The Beginner’s Guide to Securely Using Public Wi-FiIf you are shopping from home, ensure that you are browsing on a network that is protected by WPA-2 and enable the encryption settings. This should give you maximum security from potential cyber thieves.4. Look for important security signs.One of the security signs you should look out for is a small padlock on browsers. If you want to make an online purchase and this padlock icon is missing, try another store. The padlock is a sign of security for data and information. If the icon is conspicuously absent, any private data that you transfer may be compromised.Don’t be in a hurry to make that purchase. Look for that seemingly unimportant icon as well as many other signs that assure you of security. It could make the difference between the protection or loss of your money.5. Don’t expose your log-in credentials.Accidental exposure of your log-in details will automatically put you at risk of cyber-theft. There are cyber-criminals who are adept at punishing people who make such mistakes. Before you can even raise an alarm, your money might have developed wings and gone. That will be hard on you.6. Don’t store sensitive data on your mobile device.Some mobile device users have the habit of storing important and sensitive card data on their devices. The rationale behind the habit is to have easy access to their data whenever they need it. That is good. It will make online purchases more convenient.Related: 11 Tips to Secure Mobile Devices and Client DataIf you can have easy access to your credit card data, don’t you think others will have access to the same pieces of information if the device is stolen? If you practice that habit, stop it. If you are contemplating cultivating the habit, don’t. It is the easiest way to expose yourself to theft. If the app you are using for payment has “store and forward” feature, turn it off.7. Use a complex password or security pattern on your device.This tip is very useful for making you invulnerable to cyber-theft if your mobile device accidentally gets into the wrong hands. You could use hard-to-break passwords or patterns gotten from a random password generator. When you do, the chances that others will lay their hands on your transactions history and use the information to hurt you will be immediately reduced.You can also make provision for automatic locking if the device is idle for a pre-determined period of time.Simply put, these suggestions are easy and effective. If you can cultivate the habit of taking these precautions, you will be able to safeguard yourself from people who are ready to prey on you.Happy shopping! 5 min read September 12, 2016 Listen Now Problem Solvers with Jason Feifer Hear from business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side bigger and stronger. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.last_img read more

TalkTalk TV has agreed a deal with Maker Studios t

first_imgTalkTalk TV has agreed a deal with Maker Studios to air a collection of the Disney-owned firm’s content on its platform.TalkTalk TV is the first pay TV platform in the UK to offer both Maker Studios original series and content – all on demand.TalkTalk TV will host more than 250 short-form videos, spanning topics such as gaming, lifestyle, family and entertainment, with new content from the Maker Studios network to be refreshed on a monthly basis.“Maker Studios’ content is compelling, fresh and innovative and resonates strongly with younger audiences,” said Tom Clark, vice president of digital distribution, Disney EMEA.“TalkTalk, as our first UK pay TV client for Maker Studios, will give customers the ability to enjoy world class short form content whenever and wherever they want.”Original series from the multichannel network (MCN) include Jobsworth starring YouTuber Joe Weller, Pugatory staring CutiePieMarzia and Party Fun Times starring Taryn Southern.“We’re delighted that TalkTalk TV homes will be the first in the UK to enjoy Maker Studio content. As many of our customers are families, having access to top online entertainment in a safe environment, free from adverts, is hugely appealing. This partnership with Maker Studios demonstrates TalkTalk TV’s continued commitment to growth and serving our customers.growth from strength to strength. We’re passionate about bringing our customers the widest range of content, on a single platform and on their terms. We can’t wait for TalkTalk homes to start enjoying this service,” said Aleks Habdank, managing director, TalkTalkTV.last_img read more

I note that gold made it all the way to its 50da

first_imgI note that gold made it all the way to it’s 50-day moving average before it got sold down.Both gold and silver blasted off the moment that Comex trading began in New York at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday evening…and JPMorgan Chase et al threw tonnes of paper at these rallies to prevent them from getting out of hand.  Volumes by noon in Hong Kong were enormous in both metals.The gold price peaked in Far East trading at exactly 2:00 p.m. Hong Kong time…and then slid a bit until the London a.m. gold fix was in at 10:30 a.m. BST.The subsequent rally didn’t do much until around 1:00 p.m. in London…twenty minutes before the Comex open…when the rally gained more strength.  From there, the gold price rose to its high of the day…$1,341.10 according to Kitco…which came shortly before the 1:30 p.m. Comex close.  It got sold down to the $1,335 spot price mark from that point…and then traded in a very tight range around that price right into the 5:15 p.m. EDT close of electronic trading in New York.Gold closed at $1,335.20 spot…up $38.50 on the day.  Net volume was around the 140,000 contract mark, with a big chunk of that coming in Far East trading.It was very much the same story in silver, except the high tick…$20.72 spot…came at 12:30 EDT in New York.  Other than that, the price pattern was the same.Silver closed at $20.54 spot…up $1.01 on the day.  Gross volume was a very hefty 53,000 contracts…net of July and August numbers.It was pretty much the same story in platinum, but it’s high came around 11:45 a.m. in New York.  Palladium‘s rally attempt ran into opposition at the Comex open.  Here are the charts… The dollar index closed at 82.62 late Friday afternoon in New York…and it was pretty much all down hill to its low of the day [82.10] which came shortly after 10:30 a.m. in New York.  After that, the index rallied a bit into the close…finishing the Monday trading session at 82.22…off 40 basis points from Friday.The gold stocks gapped up five percent at the open…and hit their zenith when gold did, just before the 1:30 p.m. Comex close…and then sold down a bit along with the metal itself.  At its high, the HUI was up well over 7 percent…but still finished up a respectable 6.08%.The silver stocks did very well for themselves…but considering the metal was up about 5 percent on the day, one would have thought that the stocks would have done better.  As it was, Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed up 5.49%.(Click on image to enlarge)The CME’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 3 gold and 57 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Wednesday.  In silver, 40 of those contracts were issued by JPMorgan out of its client account…and JPMorgan stopped 41 contracts out of its in-house [proprietary] trading account.  The beat goes on…and the link to Monday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.It was another down day for GLD yesterday.  This time it was only 38,646 troy ounces, but a decline nonetheless.   And as of 9:43 a.m. EDT, there were no reported changes in SLV.Joshua Gibbons, the Guru of the SLV Bar List posted an update on this website for SLV activity as of the close of trading on Wednesday, July 17th…and this, in part, is what he had to say… “Analysis of the 17 July bar list, and comparison to the previous week’s list: 5,524,756.4 oz. were added…4.8M oz. to Brinks London…0.8M o.z to Via Mat.  No bars were removed or had a serial number change.”  The link to his website is here.There was sales report from the U.S. Mint yesterday.  They only sold 4,000 ounces of gold eagles…and no one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes.  But they did sell a very decent 925,000 silver eagles.  Month-to-date the mint has sold 3,456,500 silver eagles, so they should break through the 4 million mark with ease, unless they hold back some July sales and stick them in August…just like they did for some silver eagles sales for June…the held them back until the first day of July.  The games children play!It was a very busy day over at the Comex-approved depositories on Friday.  In silver, they reported receiving 599,622 troy ounces…all of it into JPMorgan Chase.  But they also reported shipping out a whopping 2,215,278 troy ounces to parts unknown as well, with half of that coming from the Brink’s, Inc. depository.  Here’s the link to all the action…and it’s worth a peek.There was a decent amount of gold shipped out of these same warehouses on Friday.  All of it…103,484 troy ounces…came out of the HSBC USA depository.  The link to that activity is here.Here are a couple of charts that Nick Laird over at sharelynx.com sent me…and if you have any questions or comments, all of them should be sent to him, not me!  The first is for silver futures spreads going back to 1975.  Nick notes the times that silver has been in backwardation on these charts.(Click on image to enlarge)Here’s the one for gold, but it only goes back to the year 2000…as Nick is still working on these charts.  It shows that gold has never been in backwardation over the last thirteen years…at least not the way he describes it.(Click on image to enlarge)I asked Nick this question after I had looked at the above gold chart… “So the fact that the current cash price in gold is higher that the near futures, doesn’t mean a thing? That’s what you’re saying.”  Nick’s reply…”Yes – that’s not real backwardation.”Let you and him fight!Being a Tuesday, I have a decent number of stories for you today, so I hope you can find the time to wade through them all.But I do acknowledge that with JPMorgan so massively positioned on the long side of gold, anything can happen that JPMorgan wishes or desires. If JPMorgan wants to put it to the shorts, the shorts will have it put to them. If JPMorgan desires for there to be a large demand for delivery difficult to fulfill by those required to make delivery, there will be a large delivery demand. If JPMorgan wishes for gold to jump many hundreds of dollars per ounce, thereby enriching the bank, gold (and silver) will jump as high as that enrichment requires. Conversely, if JPMorgan desires none of these things, then the odds of any occurring, at least in the short term, are much longer. My point is that JPMorgan has…and has had…an unnatural dominance of the gold and silver market; the bank is the sole determinant for gold and silver pricing. In terms of a rational and free financial market, that is absolutely absurd. – Silver analyst Ted Butler…20 July 2013I was happy to see gold and silver prices blast off at the New York open on Sunday night…but wasn’t happy to see the heavy artillery show up and crush the rallies in very short order…and it’s hard to tell whether they were new longs coming into the market, or whether it was short covering.  Volume was way up there, but since it occurred on Monday, all the volume data should be in Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report.After the initial price spikes, things settled down quite a bit and became far more orderly…and I’m sure that JPMorgan’s high-frequency traders had something to do with that, as gold volumes were more ‘normal’ for a summer trading day once London began to trade…although silver volumes were pretty chunky.We’ll have to wait until Friday to find out for sure.I note that gold made it all the way to it’s 50-day moving average before it got sold down just before the Comex close yesterday.  Silver still has a way to go in that department.  Here are their respective 6-month charts.(Click on image to enlarge)(Click on image to enlarge)It will be interesting to see what JPMorgan Chase allows to develop from here.The meetings on commodities…and the bullion banks involvement in them…is the subject de jour in Washington today, so we’ll see what comes out of that, if anything.There was absolutely no follow-through in the Far East or early London trading to yesterday price action in New York,  which certainly surprised me a bit.  As I hit the ‘send’ button on today’s column at 5:15 p.m. EDT, gold is down about five bucks…and silver is down about 30 cents.  Volumes are already pretty heavy in both metals, but I can tell that it’s mostly of the HFT variety…and the dollar index isn’t doing much, not that it matters greatly.I have no idea what might happen during the New York trading session today…and nothing will surprise me when I switch my computer on later this morning.That’s more than enough for today…and I’ll see you here tomorrow.last_img read more

A former tax attorney at Johnson Controls Inc who

first_imgA former tax attorney at Johnson Controls Inc. who worked with a law school classmate to embezzle nearly $4.5 million from the company was sentenced to 32 months in prison on Friday.Scott Hess, of Menomonee Falls, pleaded guilty earlier this year to the scheme, which played out over 15 years. According to court documents, Hess worked with a Craig Hilborn, a personal injury and product liability attorney in Michigan, beginning in 2000 to bill the company for work Hess had done and split the payments.Johnson Controls paid out nearly $4.5 million of the $4.7 million Hilborn billed the company for. Hess received two-thirds of the money. Hilborn, who has also entered a guilty plea and awaits sentencing later this year, received the other third.Hess had a similar scheme in place for a number of years with an ex-girlfriend, although Johnson Controls was not able to differentiate between valid and fraudulent payments in that case. According to court documents, Hess used the money to invest in stocks and purchase tens of thousands of dollars of guns. He also admitted to falsifying expense reports to cover his personal purchase of ammunition, clothing, gift cards and travel to a Major League Baseball All Star game.According to the prosecutor’s sentencing memo, Hess admitted his involvement when JCI discovered the scheme, but claimed it started in 2008 and that he only received half of the money. He did agree to make a voluntary restitution payment of $2.3 million before the criminal case was filed. He’s agreed to pay another $680,000 in restitution.Hess’ cooperation led the government to seek a sentence below federal sentencing guidelines, which called for 51 to 63 months of imprisonment. Prosecutors and Hess’ attorney asked for a 33 month sentence.  Get our email updatesBizTimes DailyManufacturing WeeklyNonprofit WeeklyReal Estate WeeklySaturday Top 10Wisconsin Morning Headlines Subscribelast_img read more

Thousands of disabled students are being forced to

first_imgThousands of disabled students are being forced to choose between having food to eat or having the equipment they need to study, because a new government rule means they must pay £200 towards the cost of computers they need for disability-related reasons.The government introduced the new rule as part of its controversial reform of the disabled students’ allowance (DSA) system, a non-means-tested grant that assists with the extra costs a disabled student faces during higher education study.Universities minister Sam Gyimah admitted in a parliamentary answer that introducing the new rule – with disabled students in England having to pay £200 towards the cost of a computer and assistive software obtained through the DSA system – had seen the number of recipients of DSA equipment funding fall by 4,600.This appears to refer to a drop from 28,000 to 23,400 in the number of students receiving DSA for equipment, comparing those who began their courses in 2014-15 with those who began in 2015-16, when the new rules were introduced.Gyimah said the drop was “expected, because we knew the numbers would fall once students had to pay £200 towards the cost of computer equipment”, but he said that an evaluation of the impact of the change was “under way”.Marsha de Cordova (pictured), the disabled Labour MP and shadow minister for disabled people, who had asked the question, said the number of students receiving DSA for essential equipment had fallen by nearly 30 per cent since the £200 up-front fee was introduced (the latest figures show the number of students receiving DSA for equipment have fallen even further than Gyimah’s figures, to 19,700).She said the charge was “clearly preventing disabled students from accessing the essential equipment they need to further their studies” and she called on Gyimah to scrap the new rule.The minister claimed that the fall in the number of students receiving DSA for equipment did not mean they were “lacking in equipment” because he said “computer ownership is now common among all students, with students spending on average around £250 on computers”.He said: “As DSAs are not intended to cover all student costs, we think it is reasonable to ask students to contribute towards the cost of computer equipment.”De Cordova told Disability News Service (DNS) afterwards: “I thought [the minister’s] response was really weak.“It demonstrates a lack of understanding and awareness of the support needs of disabled students.”She received DSA when she was studying at university, which paid for a support worker and the assistive technology she needed.She said: “It certainly enabled me to carry out my studies effectively.“Without it, I would have been put at a disadvantage, without a shadow of a doubt.”Piers Wilkinson, from the National Union of Students’ Disabled Students’ Campaign, said they had “consistently opposed” the DSA reforms, because the union believed they would “not only put us at a greater disadvantage in accessing education but also force disabled students out of education”.He said: “Disabled students face astronomical costs of attending university, with higher accommodation costs, additional costs for transport, food and support equipment.“A laptop can be a vital piece of equipment; this £200 charge is causing hundreds of vital laptops to be locked away from the student, even after the assistive technology software and hardware has been paid for.“The Equality Act 2010 clearly states that a disabled person cannot be asked to pay for disability adjustments, and yet our government has been charging disabled students £200 for the privilege of accessing the same education opportunities non-disabled students have.“This charge is making disabled students choose between having food to eat or having the equipment essential for them to study for their £9,000-a-year course.“So disabled students are left in a paradoxical limbo, unable to study because they can’t afford the £200 charge and unable to afford the charge because they are a disabled student.”Meanwhile, The Alliance for Inclusive Education has condemned the government’s announcement that it is spending £50 million to expand places in grammar schools in England.Disabled children with education, health and care plans (EHCPs) or statements of special educational needs represent only 0.1 per cent of grammar school pupils, despite making up 1.8 per cent of the secondary school population.And disabled children without statements or EHCPs still make up only 4.2 per cent of grammar school pupils, but 12.4 per cent of all secondary school pupils.Simone Aspis, ALLFIE’s policy and campaigns coordinator, said: “The expansion of grammar school provision is another government attack on comprehensive and inclusive education and disabled pupils’ rights to a good and well-resourced mainstream school placement as set out in Article 24 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.”DNS revealed last year that the government had been forced to admit that it failed to assess the impact on disabled children and young people of its “discriminatory” plans to expand grammar schools.Aspis pointed to last year’s conclusion of the UN committee on the rights of persons with disabilities, which was highly critical of the UK government’s approach to inclusive education and the “persistence of a dual education system” that segregates increasing numbers of disabled children in special schools.Figures last year showed the proportion of pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) who attend a special school in England had risen from 5.6 per cent in 2012 to 8.5 per cent in 2016, with the proportion in independent specialist settings rising from 4.5 to 6.3 per cent.ALLFIE said that the introduction of greater selection by ability in the education system through the expansion of grammar school provision meant “choice for SEND pupils and their parents is in danger of becoming non-existent”.last_img read more

Much more needs to be done to ensure that disabled

first_imgMuch more needs to be done to ensure that disabled people and other groups in fuel poverty can benefit from energy efficiency schemes, according to a new report.The report says that disabled people often have higher energy demands, because of factors such as health-related needs to keep warm and the electricity needed to use equipment such as nebulisers, stair lifts and hoists, and to charge wheelchairs.The report, published by the UK Energy Research Centre, University of York, and ACE Research, says this can lead to both higher energy costs and a greater risk of harm if energy supplies are disconnected.The report says current policy is focused too much on targets and providing work to improve the energy efficiency of homes – such as installing cavity wall insulation and replacing inefficient boilers – at the lowest possible cost.Because disabled people often live in the poorest quality homes and need extra support through the installation process, they are often side-lined by those providing schemes such as the government’s Energy Company Obligation (ECO) energy efficiency programme.They also face other barriers, such as problems caused by the disruption of the energy supply while installation is taking place, the inaccessibility of the application process and the difficulty of carrying out preparatory work, such as clearing a loft space.There are also “high levels of mistrust” of the energy sector.Among its recommendations, the report calls for the government to reinstate a taxpayer-funded scheme in England, where there has been no such programme since the demise of Warm Front in 2013, even though Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all operate such schemes.It calls for investment in energy efficiency support in England to be “brought up to par with the devolved nations with the reintroduction of a tax-payer funded energy efficiency scheme”.It also concludes that “the trustworthiness of energy efficiency programmes needs to be improved, most notably in England”.As well as the report, Policy Pathways to Justice in Energy Efficiency, the two-year research project has also published a guide for those working in the sector on supporting disabled people, Supporting Fuel Poor Disabled People Through Energy Efficiency Measures.Disability Rights UK (DR UK), which helped deliver the project, said the research showed how current policy was “overly focused on targets and low-cost provision to the exclusion of the people living in fuel poor homes”.It said the research also shows how households in need are “difficult to find, that they do not receive adequate information that is accessible and from a trusted source, and how their needs are not always taken into consideration during the installation process”.Sue Bott (pictured), deputy chief executive of DR UK, said that delivery of energy efficiency policy was “variable and patchy”, and there was “a lack of knowledge and awareness of the specific needs of disabled people”.She said that 30 per cent of families living in poverty contain a disabled person and are at particular risk of experiencing fuel poverty.She said: “Too often fuel poverty is thought of as an issue that only impacts older disabled people, but the reality is that fuel poverty blights the lives of disabled people of any age: from children, to adults of working age, to older people.“The effects of fuel poverty can penetrate deep into everyday life and exacerbate existing impairments and health conditions.”Dr Joanne Wade, chief executive of ACE, said: “In short, the needs of older people – important though they undoubtedly are – have been prioritised above those of people with disabilities and long-term health conditions, and those of families with young children.“All these groups are vulnerable to the ill-effects of cold homes, and many people within them also have greater than average needs for energy services.“We have to stop ignoring people who don’t always have the loudest voices; we have to stop avoiding people who are harder to engage, or more expensive and more difficult to help than others.” 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

Warby Parker CoFounder Launching Growth Equity Firm

first_img March 3, 2015 –shares Andy Hunt and Jeremiah Daly have stepped down as partners with Highland Capital Partners, in order to launch their own growth equity firm, Fortune has learned.Hunt is a co-founder and director with eyeglass upstart Warby Parker, and joined HCP back in 2011. He currently serves on the board of Scopely, and has been involved with such HCP portfolio companies as Gemvara, Harry’s and SessionM.Daly joined HCP in early 2012 as a principal, after having spent three years with Accel Partners. He was promoted to partner the following year, and serves on the board of Malwarebytes.News of Hunt and Daly’s pending departure first came earlier today in a letter sent to HCP’s limited partners. It was confirmed by HCP partner Sean Dalton in a phone call with Fortune. Both of their board seats are expected to be filled by other HCP staffers.Neither Hunt nor Daily has yet responded to requests for comment.In other HCP news, longtime chief financial officer Kathy Barry is expected to transition into an advisory role this May, while director of finance Jessica Pelletier will be promoted to senior vice president of finance. Dan Primack Add to Queue Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Next Article 1 min read This story originally appeared on Fortune Magazine Warby Parker Co-Founder Launching Growth Equity Firm Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Register Now » Warby Parkerlast_img read more

FreeWheels Blockgraph Outlines New Path for Building the Future of DataDriven TV

first_imgPresents New Research That Shows Advertisers Eager to Apply Data to TV Advertising; Survey Finds Advertisers Expect 40% of Their TV Advertising Will Be Data-Enabled by 2020Blockgraph, an industry initiative spearheaded to date by FreeWheel, A Comcast Company, in partnership with industry partners, released a new whitepaper entitled Building the Future of Data Driven TV: The Quest to Create a Safe Identity Layer for the Industry.“At Blockgraph, we spend our days helping the TV industry realize its full data-driven potential. Chief among our objectives is making data both easy to use by marketers and safe for data owners and their audiences”The paper offers practical advice for companies moving towards the data-driven future and explores the current approaches for data sharing in the TV industry. The publication also presents the findings from a new research survey of over 150 advertisers and agencies, commissioned from Advertiser Perceptions, on the challenges, opportunities and importance of bringing advanced data to television advertising.According to the survey, the mean percentage of advertisers’ total TV spend that is data-enabled (using data to improve planning, targeting and/or analyze attribution) has grown at a 42% three-year compound annual growth rate. Moreover, it appears that data-enabled TV growth is about to accelerate in 2020, as evidenced by these key findings from the whitepaper below:2018: 20% TV spend data-enabled2019: 29% TV spend data-enabled2020: 40% TV spend expected to be data-enabledMarketing Technology News: Does Gen Z Marketing Hold Key to Brand Loyalty?Yet historically, the TV advertising ecosystem has faced a number of challenges, as substantiated by the survey:Identity Resolution (Low Match Rates) in The New TV Ecosystem: An increase in content options and distribution channels makes it difficult to build a 360-degree view of an advertiser’s targeted audience. Among advertisers, over one-third (36%) said identity resolution was one of the top three barriers preventing them from using data to build audience profiles; only 20% said that they could “easily develop a 360-degree view” of their audience.Industry Dynamics in the Media Supply Chain: Audience relationships and advertising rights are split between a number of distributors and content owners, creating a complex ecosystem of data ownership and sharing. Our survey indicated that 54% of advertisers were concerned about competitive leaks when sharing information with media partners (even via a trusted third-party provider), and only 5% had no concerns about sharing data with media partners.Privacy, Compliance and Data Security: This supply chain complexity places greater demands on companies to ensure consumer privacy and data security. Among advertisers, 79% said protecting consumer privacy was a top concern in 2019, up 10% over 2018.Data Matching and Operational Inefficiencies: As mentioned above, data matching is facilitated by trusted third-party providers outside of the supply chain; however, operational and coordination challenges can make this process inefficient in terms of turnaround time and expenses. In fact, 38% of advertisers cited this as a top-three barrier preventing them from using data to build audience segments for TV.“The findings confirmed that advertisers are eager to bring additional data to TV, similar to their use of data in digital media. Yet, there is also the recognition that TV is different,” said Jason Manningham, General Manager, Blockgraph. “So, while they are bringing more data to TV, the growth, albeit strong, is actually tempered a bit by today’s challenges.”“At Blockgraph, we spend our days helping the TV industry realize its full data-driven potential. Chief among our objectives is making data both easy to use by marketers and safe for data owners and their audiences,” he added. “But it’s always helpful to understand how advertisers are thinking about data holistically, and the challenges that they are facing when it comes to data-driven TV. That was the impetus for our research.”Marketing Technology News: Usabilla Named a Strong Performer in 2019The whitepaper explains how Blockgraph creates industry-wide value in The New TV ecosystem by addressing many of the key challenges of data sharing and identity resolution. By connecting data across the entire TV ecosystem while protecting data ownership and safeguarding consumers’ privacy, Blockgraph will enable TV to pair its exceptional ability to reach and engage mass audiences efficiently, with the breadth and depth of data insights necessary for robust data-driven TV planning, execution, measurement and attribution.“Considering that data is the cornerstone to almost all of the innovation that will make TV a smarter, more efficient, more effective advertising vehicle, we need to solve the sizable challenges that still surround data sharing and activation,” said Dave Clark, General Manager, FreeWheel. “What’s so exciting is that when I talk to clients, and hear their challenges and concerns around data, I know that FreeWheel is uniquely positioned to collaboratively provide solutions on behalf of the entire TV ecosystem. Our Blockgraph initiative offers both an example of our collaborative approach, and a path that can accelerate the growth trajectory of data-driven TV advertising. And it’s here.”Marketing Technology News: AI-Driven Weather Data: New to Some, But It Has Been Driving CustomWeather’s Success for Years BlockgraphData Driven TVFreewheelMarketing Technology NewsNewsSafe Identity Layer Previous ArticleAgari Taps Doug Jones to Drive Corporate Development and StrategyNext ArticleTiVo Names Dave Shull as President and CEO and Provides Improved Business Outlook FreeWheel’s Blockgraph Outlines New Path for Building the Future of Data-Driven TV PRNewswireMay 31, 2019, 7:45 pmMay 31, 2019 last_img read more

PolyU develops multifunction nighttime monitoring system for elderly with dementia

first_img Source:https://www.polyu.edu.hk/web/en/media/media_releases/index_id_6581.html Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Oct 9 2018The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has developed eNightLog, a multi-function nighttime monitoring system for elderly with dementia, to track their respiration and activities in bed for preventing fall or wandering away. The safe and non-restraint system, particularly designed for coping with the typical environment of nursing homes in Hong Kong, will help greatly improve the elderly’s quality of life, while enhancing the efficiency and lessening the workload of healthcare personnel.It is projected that the number of people aged 65 and above in Hong Kong will reach around 2.5 million by 2040, about one-third of the overall population then. Among the elderly at that time, around 332,700, or one out of 10, would suffer from dementia, triple of the figure in 2009. The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer’s Disease, characterized by gradual deterioration in one’s mental capacities including memory, judgment and communication ability, as well as usual symptoms of depression, agitation and sleep disturbances.The eNightLog system, developed by a research team led by Ir Professor Zheng Yongping, Head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) at PolyU and Henry G. Leong Professor in Biomedical Engineering, was awarded Gold Medal at the 46th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva this year. Members of the research team include Dr Eric Tam, Dr James Cheung, Mr Will Lai and Mr Alex Mak.”PolyU has profound history of applying the assistive and rehabilitation health technologies developed by our faculty members to cope with social needs. By helping various nursing homes to set up the eNightLog system we developed, we hope to contribute our expertise for helping create an age-friendly society,” said Professor Zheng.He is glad that the government has pledged support towards constructing “Smart Living” for all citizens especially for the disadvantaged, and planned to roll out a HK$1 billion fund this year for subsidizing elderly service units to make good use of gerontechnology. He hopes that with such support, eNightLog can bring benefits to not only more elderly with dementia, but also other elderly in need and other disabled groups.eNightLog system provides safe and non-restraint monitoring The non-contact and non-invasive eNightLog system is embedded with event sequence tracking and different kinds of remote sensing and imaging technologies, based on innovative algorithm developed by the BME team of PolyU. This innovative technique has already been patented.Related StoriesWhy women who work are less likely to develop dementiaUse of statins linked to reduction of mortality risk in dementia patientsOU Health Sciences Center awarded federal grant to enhance dementia care across OklahomaSeventeen systems have been installed and tested in a nursing home for 2 months this year for nighttime monitoring. During this period, 380 incidences of elderly leaving bed alone were recorded, with all them being successfully detected (100%), and only 2 times of false alarm occurred (0.5%). In addition, the system recorded 525 events of caregivers visiting elderly and accompanying the elderly leaving, and accuracy rate is 100%.The eNightLog system includes following sensors to detect different activities of the elderly in bed:1.Near Infrared 3D sensor tracts the resident’s positions and postures (lying down, sitting on bed or bedside, standing beside the bed, bed-leaving) and caregivers’ visits. It thus helps prevent the resident from falling and wandering, and improve staff response time. The algorithm can also detect caregivers paying night visits to the elderly, thus avoiding false alarm.2.Ultra-Wideband (UWB) Impulse Radar sensor detects small motions even under quilt, including respiration rate, to identify the resident’s health condition and sleep quality.3.Environment sensor provides various ambient measurements and controls, such as room temperature and light control.The activity status and alarm of multiple residents are transmitted in the form of text, icons or processed infrared image, to display on the caregivers’ computer stations or mobile devices. Signals detected beyond the pre-set normality range will trigger alarm for caregivers to take immediate actions.The research team will soon extend the functions of eNightLog system to detecting heart rate and body temperature, and connect the system with different kinds of smart devices such as electronic diaper. In addition, the system can also link with an ultrasound bladder volume detector to facilitate caregivers to take better care of their residents, especially in handling urinary incontinence. The team is exploring big data analysis to provide more preventive information for health care of elderly.”Being a multi-sensing system and platform, eNightLog is greatly scalable in connecting with other devices, including wearable, non-contact or remote-control ones. The further applications and development of eNightLog with advancing rehabilitation health technologies can be very promising,” said Dr Eric Tam.last_img read more

Reducing alcohol use could help quit daily smoking habit

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 28 2018If quitting smoking is one of your New Year’s resolutions, you might want to consider cutting back on your drinking, too.New research has found that heavy drinkers who are trying to stop smoking may find that reducing their alcohol use can also help them quit their daily smoking habit. Heavy drinkers’ nicotine metabolite ratio – a biomarker that indicates how quickly a person’s body metabolizes nicotine – reduced as they cut back on their drinking.Past research has suggested that people with higher nicotine metabolism ratios are likely to smoke more and that people with higher rates have a harder time quitting. Slowing a person’s nicotine metabolism rate through reduced drinking could provide an edge when trying to stop smoking, which is known to be a difficult task, said Sarah Dermody, an assistant professor at Oregon State University and the study’s lead author.”It takes a lot of determination to quit smoking, often several attempts,” Dermody said. “This research suggests that drinking is changing the nicotine metabolism as indexed by the nicotine metabolite ratio, and that daily smoking and heavy drinking may best be treated together.”The study was just published in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research.Dermody, who is based in in the School of Psychological Science in OSU’s College of Liberal Arts, studies risky behaviors such as alcohol and nicotine use with the goal of better understanding factors that contribute to alcohol and nicotine use and how best to intervene with problematic use of these substances.Use of both alcohol and cigarettes is widespread, with nearly 1 in 5 adults using both. Cigarette use is especially prevalent in heavy drinkers. Drinking is a well-established risk factor for smoking, and smoking is well-established risk factor for drinking.Dermody and colleagues at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, Canada, wanted to better understand the links between the two. They studied the nicotine metabolite ratio, an index of nicotine metabolism, in a group of 22 daily smokers who were seeking treatment for alcohol use disorder – the medical term for severe problem drinking – over several weeks.Related StoriesStudy finds increase in cigarette smoking among minority teens after college affirmative action bansSchwann cells capable of generating protective myelin over nerves finds researchEffective stop smoking treatments less likely to be prescribed to people with mental health conditions”What’s really interesting is that the nicotine metabolite ratio is clinically useful,” Dermody said. “People with a higher ratio have a harder time quitting smoking cold turkey. They have are also less likely to successfully quit using nicotine replacement therapy products.”They found that as the men in the study group reduced their drinking – from an average of 29 drinks per week to 7 – their nicotine metabolite rate also dropped.The researchers’ findings for men replicated those of an earlier study that found similar effects and provide further evidence of the value of the nicotine metabolite ratio biomarker to inform treatment for smokers trying to quit, Dermody said.”The nicotine metabolite ratio was thought to be a stable index, but it may not be as stable as we thought,” Dermody said. “From a clinical standpoint, that’s a positive thing, because if someone wants to stop smoking, we may want to encourage them to reduce their drinking to encourage their smoking cessation plan.”The women in the study did not see reductions in their nicotine metabolite ratio, but the researchers also did not find that the women in the study reduced their drinking significantly during the study period.”The rate of drinking for women in the study started low and stayed low,” Dermody said. “I anticipate that in a larger generalized study we would not see the difference between men and women like that.”Dermody is preparing a new study of the links between smoking and drinking. She hopes to recruit heavy drinkers who also smoke to participate in an intervention to reduce their drinking. The study will also examine the effects on smoking to try and replicate the findings in a larger group.”This research is demonstrating the value in addressing both smoking and drinking together,” she said. “The question now is how best to do that.”Source: https://today.oregonstate.edu/news/reducing-drinking-could-help-smoking-cessation-research-findslast_img read more

Molecular profiling of precancerous lung lesions could lead to early detection and

first_img Source:https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jan 21 2019The world’s first genetic sequencing of precancerous lung lesions could pave the way for very early detection and new treatments, reports a new study led by UCL researchers.Before lung cancer develops, precancerous lesions are found in the airway, but only half of these will actually become lung cancer, while others will disappear or remain benign without becoming harmful. Under the microscope, the lesions look the same, making it difficult to know which lesions to treat.In this study, published in Nature Medicine, researchers have for the first time, discovered the differences between the lesions that will become invasive and those that are harmless, and they can accurately predict which lesions will become cancerous.”Our study helps to understand the earliest stages of lung cancer development, by figuring out what’s going on inside these cells even before they become cancerous,” said the study’s lead author, Professor Sam Janes (UCL Division of Medicine and University College London Hospitals, UCLH).”Using this information, we may be able to develop screening tests, and new treatments that could stop cancer in its tracks.”The researchers were studying biopsies of preinvasive lung cancer lesions of patients who were seen at UCLH. They conducted tests including gene expression profiling, methylation profiling, and whole-genome DNA sequencing on 129 biopsy samples from 85 patients.On average, the patients were followed up for over five years post-biopsy, to see which patients developed lung squamous cell carcinoma, one of the two most common subtypes of lung cancer.The research team identified differences in genomic features such as mutations, gene expression and chromosomal instability, finding enough differences that they could predict with near-perfect accuracy which lesions would develop into cancer by checking the lesion’s molecular profile.Related StoriesStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskLiving with advanced breast cancerResearchers use AI to develop early gastric cancer endoscopic diagnosis systemBy identifying which precancerous lesions are harmful, the researchers say clinicians could decide whether or not to offer a patient surgery at a much earlier stage of the disease than is currently possible, while saving others with benign lesions from unnecessary surgeries.Precancerous lesions are detected by bronchoscopy, a minimally invasive test that is often done on people with chronic cough or a history of lung cancer.There is no consensus on treatment for precancerous lung lesions; in some countries, patients with such lesions undergo surgery, while elsewhere, patients are monitored and only treated if clear signs of cancer appear.While bronchoscopy isn’t offered to everyone at risk of lung cancer, the researchers say their findings could help to develop a simpler blood test to pick up the same molecular signals that are linked to early cancer development.”If we can use this new understanding of cancer development to create new diagnostic tests, it may one day be invaluable in picking up cancer early, enabling people to access treatment much earlier in the disease process,” said co-first author Dr Adam Pennycuick (UCL Division of Medicine).The study could also help lead to new treatments. Some of the genes that are expressed differently in lesions that will become cancerous, have previously been identified as potential drivers of lung cancer.”We are now continuing our research to further understand how these genes are driving cancer progression, and to see which ones could be targeted by new drug treatments,” said co-first author Dr Vitor Teixeira (UCL Division of Medicine).last_img read more

Private messaging apps increasingly used for public business

first_img Explore further Private messaging apps increasingly used for public business 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. Another boasts that disappearing messages “keep your message history tidy.” And a popular email service recently launched a “confidential mode” allowing the content of messages to disappear after a set time.The proliferation of digital tools that make text and email messages vanish may be welcome to Americans seeking to guard their privacy. But open government advocates fear they are being misused by public officials to conduct business in secret and evade transparency laws.Whether communications on those platforms should be part of the public record is a growing but unsettled debate in states across the country. Updates to transparency laws lag behind rapid technological advances, and the public and private personas of state officials overlap on private smartphones and social media accounts.”Those kind of technologies literally undermine, through the technology itself, state open government laws and policies,” said Daniel Bevarly, executive director of the National Freedom of Information Coalition. “And they come on top of the misuse of other technologies, like people using their own private email and cellphones to conduct business.”Some government officials have argued that public employees should be free to communicate on private, non-governmental cellphones and social media platforms without triggering open records requirements.Lawmakers in Kentucky and Arizona this year unsuccessfully proposed exempting all communications on personal phones from state open records laws, alarming open government advocates. A Virginia lawmaker introduced a bill to exempt all personal social media records of state lawmakers from disclosure.New Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer went the opposite direction in February with an executive order that requires his staff to use official email accounts for all government business. He also banned private accounts for any communications related to “the functions, activities, programs, or operations” of the office. In neighboring Missouri, Democratic lawmakers introduced a bill that would make clear that personal social media pages and messages sent through digital platforms such as Confide and Signal are public records as long as they relate to official business. The legislation arose because of a controversy involving use of the Confide app by former Gov. Eric Greitens, who resigned in June amid a series of scandals.”We need to clarify the expectations, because we should not be allowed to conduct state business using invisible ink,” said state Rep. Ingrid Burnett, who said she’s disappointed the bill didn’t advance.The proposals were captured by a new Associated Press application called SunshineHub, a digital tool that tracks bills related to government transparency in all 50 states. They point to the mushrooming challenge of defining and maintaining government records in the smartphone era.The issue exploded into public view last year amid reports that several employees in the office of Greitens, then Missouri’s governor, had accounts on Confide. The app makes messages disappear immediately after they are read and doesn’t allow them to be saved, forwarded, printed or captured by screenshot.The news prompted an inquiry from the state attorney general, an ongoing lawsuit alleging the practice violated the state’s sunshine law and the bill that would declare all such communications relating to government business to be public records.Greitens and aides have said they used Confide only to discuss logistics such as scheduling matters that were insignificant, “transitory” and therefore not required to be maintained as public records. An inquiry by Attorney General Josh Hawley found no evidence the practice as described was illegal, but investigators didn’t recover the disappeared messages.Greitens’ explanation for using the app has drawn skepticism from critics, who question why mundane messages would be sent on a platform that promotes “honest, unfiltered confidential conversations” on sensitive topics.”That’s absurd. Nobody switches out to a secret burner app to do that,” said Missouri attorney Mark Pedroli, who is suing Greitens on behalf of an open government group and using the case to investigate whether the former governor used the app to communicate with donors and political aides.”One of the motivating factors of this lawsuit is to find out—what could be the worst-case scenario of a governor or elected official using a secretive app like this?”He said government agencies should move to ban or severely restrict the use of such applications before they become commonplace. He already has obtained during the litigation a training slide that repeatedly instructed members of Greitens’ staff to never send text messages on government cellphones, an apparent suggestion to do such business only on personal phones.In Kentucky, language added to an unrelated bill in March would have exempted all electronic communications related to public business—including calls, text messages and emails—from the state open records law. Those messages would be exempt from disclosure as long as the phone or computer was paid for with private money and used non-governmental accounts.Open government advocates protested the legislation, which would have been the first of its kind in the nation. Lawmakers modified it so it would exempt only “communications of a purely personal nature unrelated to any governmental function.” Media and open government advocates called the language unnecessary, saying personal communications already aren’t subject to disclosure.A similar bill introduced in Arizona to shield all communications created, stored or received on electronic devices paid for with private money died without a hearing.The measures in Kentucky and Arizona were introduced after the states’ attorneys general issued legal opinions concluding that government agencies were not responsible for managing their employees’ personal phones, and because of that such communications are not subject to open records laws.Similar concerns arose after Gmail introduced its confidential mode, which allows senders to control who can access, forward, print or copy sensitive data and to set a time for messages to “expire.”National Freedom of Information Coalition board president Mal Leary recently wrote a letter to Google arguing that those features, which were recently launched as part of a redesign, could promote the illegal destruction of public records. Leary noted that Google’s suite of services is commonly used by state and local governments and urged the company to disable that feature from accounts and emails linked to public agencies.”Technology that allows the self-destruction of official, electronic public communications is not promoting transparency, and under most state open government laws, is illegal,” Leary wrote.Google responded that those features are similar to other tools in the marketplace, and that government administrators will be able to choose to disable them on their networks.The company noted that even after a message in “confidential mode” expires and its content is no longer available, a history of the message remains available in the sent folder and the headers and subject line remain visible in the recipient’s inbox. Citation: Private messaging apps increasingly used for public business (2018, July 22) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-07-private-messaging-apps-increasingly-business.html © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. In this Jan. 31, 2018 file photo, Republican Jeff Colyer is sworn in as the 47th governor of Kansas during a ceremony at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. In February, Colyer announced an executive order that requires his staff to use official email accounts for all government business. He also banned private accounts for any communications related to “the functions, activities, programs, or operations” of the office. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner, File) One app promotes itself as a way to discuss sensitive negotiations and human resources problems without leaving a digital record.last_img read more

Whats best for Malaysia Airlines and can it be saved

first_img Airlines , MAS Tags / Keywords: Related News One of the billion dollar questions facing the Malaysian government today is to figure out which party to pick as the partner to revive the national airline. It is a billion dollar question because going by one analyst’s view on the matter, the incoming white knight for Malaysia Airlines will have to fork out a lot of money to fix the airline. Khair Mirza, a one time well quoted equity analyst covering the airline industry and now associate director of Modalis Infrastructure Partners, a transport infrastructure consultancy, tells StarBizWeek this: “Based on reported Malaysian Airlines financials, we expect a RM3bil price tag for the 49% stake sale with board and management control. Besides that we expect that around RM500mil per year would be needed to be pumped in for working capital needs. This is on the assumption that they do not take on new planes and there is no asset disposal,’’ Khair adds.Pricing aside, another crucial aspect in the turnaround of Malaysia Airlines would be the willingness of the government to cease control over the asset to the new party coming in. AdChoices广告Notably, not many national carriers around the world are sold to private parties. One exception would Philippines, which sold a 49% stake in the national airline to San Miguel Corp initially, and later to Lucio Tan’s group. The airline swings between a loss and breaking even today.Malaysia’s Prime Minister said this week that four parties have made offers for Malaysia Airlines. While some of these parties are keen to buy over the airline, other parties are keen to only come in to manage operations. Brendan Sobie chief analyst at CAPA Centre for Aviation, a global airlines research and consultancy firm, reckons that a strategic investor seems to be the preferred option for the Malaysian government at this point. “But it is not necessarily the only option as Malaysia Airlines embarks on yet another restructuring.“The challenge will be to find an investor (strategic or otherwise) with the right qualifications and experience,’’ Sobie says.What is more interesting is Sobie’s view on how the government should have to come to a decision on control over Malaysia Airlines. “The government needs to decide if it is willing to fully relinquish control and not interfere once an investor is selected and initiates a new turnaround attempt. It will not be easy for the new investor to succeed at turning around the airline and a successful turnaround becomes virtually impossible if there is again any government interference. The chances of success also depends on whether the selected investor has the necessary capabilities and credentials,’’ Sobie says.Meanwhile, Khair questions if selling the airline to private owners is the best option.“Let the new board and management at Khazanah do the job. Why sell the family silver when no other government has sold their flag carrier except for the failed experience of Philippines Airlines.“Let independent Mavcom do their job and set a level playing field that the Barisan government was not able to prioritise,’’ Khair says, adding that “there should be a clean break from the past.’’ Sobie adds that “there is no point in selling a controlling stake in the airline unless the government has full confidence in the new investors, their level of funding and their turnaround plan. The last thing the government would want is to have to reassume control and/or again bail out the airline in a few years’ time.’’The Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed is the chairman of Khazanah Nasional Bhd, the government’s investment agency which owns Malaysia Airlines.The PM has said they need “someone who is experienced” to come into Malaysia Airlines.“We have changed the management of the airline many times. Everyone promises they will turn around the airline but in the end, they all fail. This time, we don’t want to give without really studying the capability of the people who may want to takeover the airline,’’ the premier said. Sobie says managing the airline is a hard task regardless of whether it is a local or foreign party managing it. The key factor is that there is “no more government interference and having a person with the right qualifications and support”.The four parties keen to come into Malaysia Airlines are Tan Sri Syed Azman Syed Ibrahim of Weststar Group, Datuk Pahamin Ab Rajab of Najah Air Sdn Bhd, Feriz Omar of Jentayu Danaraksa Sdn Bhd and Shahril Lamin together with some former employees of MAS.Industry sources say there are also interested foreign parties however they are not keen to buy up to 49% of Malaysia Airlines, preferring a smaller strategic stake. When contacted, Syed Azman says “we have written to the government to register our interest more than a week ago,” but declines to elaborate. Syed Azman is no newcomer to the world of aviation, having successfully built an empire in the form of his Weststar Aviation Services Sdn Bhd which is today South-East Asia’s largest offshore helicopter service provider.Global investment firm, KKR & Co bought a 40% stake in Weststar Aviation five years ago at RM640mil. Since then, the valuation of Weststar is said to have gone up, raising significantly the value of KKR’s stake. The other interested party for Malaysia Airlines is Datuk Pahamin Ab Rajab, of Najah Air Sdn Bhd and his five partners who met PM more than a week ago. They want permission to conduct a due diligence to prepare a comprehensive proposal to turn the airline around. He was once the chairman of AirAsia Group but in this deal, he claims there is no connection with AirAsia. Pahamin says he comes equipped with an experienced team and has investors with him, with funding in place.Feriz Omar, the managing director of Jentayu, when contacted said “yes, we have submitted our proposal but we cannot share any details”. This is not the first time Jentayu wanted to buy into Malaysia Airlines. It was reported that five years ago, Jentayu submitted a RM8.75bil offer for Malaysia Airline, but the offer was not accepted.“This is a suitor that has persisted in wanting to get involved in Malaysia Airlines for some time now. Their proposal is a comprehensive one, that involves funding and strategic foreign partners who are involved in airline operations and running maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services,” says an industry expert.Yet another interested group is led by corporate lawyer Shahril Lamin and comprises several former employees of the airline. This group is said to be have years of expertise and experience in aviation and are very familiar with Malaysia Airlines. Sobie points out that there are a number of challenges to overcome in the turning around of an airline. He says multiple prior restructuring attempts have failed and that this highlights how difficult it is to successfully turn Malaysia Airlines.This needs to be coupled with current challenging market conditions and the lingering legacy issues at the airline.Tie-ups with other airlinesExperts are saying that partnerships with airlines such as Japan Airlines (JAL) and Singapore Airlines (SIA) would be good for Malaysia Airlines. “We know that the Qataris are keen and they may be seen as strategic investors with 10-15% stake in the airline. That in itself will be good for Malaysia Airlines,’’ says a source. Nation 09 Jul 2019 Dr M: No one to lead Malaysia Airlines yet Travel 17h ago Travel With The Best For Class And Comfort: Philippine Airlines | Star2 Related News Airlines 28 Jun 2019 Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines to explore wide-ranging partnership {{category}} {{time}} {{title}}last_img read more

Rajya Sabha passes Aadhaar amendment Bill allows to file complaint in case

first_img Siraj Qureshi AgraJuly 13, 2019UPDATED: July 13, 2019 18:25 IST Aadhaar, a 12-digit unique identification number issued to Indian citizens by Narendra Modi-led government has been the centre of major controversies in the past. (File Photo)HIGHLIGHTSThe Rajya Sabha on Monday passed the Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019The people are now allowed to file complaints in cases of impersonation or disclosure of their identityAadhaar is a 12-digit unique identification number issued to Indian citizens by Narendra Modi-led governmentThe Rajya Sabha on Monday passed the Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019 that will allow the voluntary use of the 12-digit identification number as identity proof for Indians to open bank accounts and also get a mobile phone connection.Aadhaar, a 12-digit unique identification number issued to Indian citizens by Narendra Modi-led government has been the centre of major controversies in the past due to privacy concerns or logistical issues in getting a new card.With the passage of the Bill, the people are now allowed to file complaints in cases of impersonation or disclosure of their identity.However, sources said modifications in the cards made earlier are proving to be very difficult in the absence of an adequate number of Aadhaar Kendras.Although the banks and the post offices have been asked to fill in as Aadhaar centres, it is a fact that most of these banks and post offices do not have the facility of making a new card or rectifying an old one.Commenting on the passing of the Aadhaar Bill, social activist Deep Sharma said that it will be a major relief if simple tasks like opening a bank account or getting a new phone number could be accomplished without showing an Aadhaar card.Deep Sharma also said that the UPA government had introduced Aadhaar as a way to transfer subsidies and other government benefits directly to the people, but the BJP government made it a universal identity document and there were many cases of security breach.Jan Suvidha Kendras, opened to make Aadhaar cards, were closed without any announcement and the task was given to banks and post offices where the government employees were already overburdened with work that they showed no interest in making or modifying Aadhaar cards.Only 10 per cent of the people who went to the post office or the bank for a modification in their Aadhaar card or for a new card, actually got it done, the social activist further said.ALSO READ | Aadhaar Bill seeking its use as ID to open bank accounts passes in Lok SabhaALSO WATCH | All you need to know about the recent Aadhaar updateFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byPrakriti Sharma Rajya Sabha passes Aadhaar amendment Bill, allows to file complaint in case of security breachWith the passage of the Bill, the people are now allowed to file complaints in cases of impersonation or disclosure of their identity.advertisement Nextlast_img read more

Pakistan violates ceasefire along LoC in Poonch Rajouri

first_img Press Trust of India JammuJuly 12, 2019UPDATED: July 12, 2019 12:30 IST The Indian Army is retaliating beffitingly, the officer said, adding that there was no casualty or injury to anyone in the firing and shelling. (File Photo)The Pakistan Army on Friday violated ceasefire by firing and mortar shelling on forward posts and civilian areas along the LoC in three sectors of Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri and Poonch districts, drawing befitting retaliation from Indian troops, a defence PRO said.”At about 0800 hours today, Pak army initiated unprovoked ceasefire violation with firing of small arms & later shelling with mortars along LoC in Mankote, Krishna Ghati sectors of Poonch district and Nowshera sector of Rajouri district,” Defence Public Relations Officer (PRO) told PTI.The Indian Army is retaliating beffitingly, he said, adding that there was no casualty or injury to anyone in the firing and shelling.Pakistan troops also targeted civilian areas in Mankote area triggering fear psychosis among them, the officials said.It may be recalled that Pakistan army resorted to firing and shelling of mortars along LoC in Nowshera Sector in Rajouri district last Friday.The Indian Army reported 1,248 cases of ceasefire violations (CFVs) and four casualties along the Line of Control this year, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Tuesday.In a written response to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Singh said that January saw 203 cases of CFVs, followed by 215 in February.There were 267 cases of CFVs in March and the army reported three casualties, he said. April and May reported 234 and 221 cases of CFVs, respectively. June recorded 108 cases of CFVs with one battle casualty.Appropriate retaliation to the ceasefire violations, as required, has been carried out by the Indian Army, Singh said.ALSO READ | Villager injured in Pakistan firing along LoC in J&K’s RajouriALSO WATCH | Pakistan violates ceasefire along LoC in J&K’s PoonchFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted bySnigdha Choudhury Next Pakistan violates ceasefire along LoC in Poonch, RajouriPakistan army initiated unprovoked ceasefire violation with firing  of small arms & later shelling with mortars along LoC in Mankote,  Krishna Ghati sectors of Poonch district and Nowshera sector of Rajouri district, Defence Public Relations Officer said. Pakistan troops also targeted civilian areas in Mankote area.advertisementlast_img read more