Zuckerberg Pays Virtual Visit to HurricaneRavaged Puerto Rico

first_imgFacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Monday usedvirtual reality tech to “teleport” to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico and soon was dubbed a “heartless billionaire” by critics who felt he had exploited the dire situation in the U.S. territory.That likely isn’t what Zuckerberg intended when he provided the Facebook Spaces video demonstration, showing how an Oculus Rift VR headset can be used to get a close-up view of some of the devastation Hurricane Maria caused last month. Facebook’s platform is well positioned to spread personal news and information much more quickly than via email or phone calls.”Facebook is playing a key role in helping keep people informed, and it has allowed people to connect following a tragedy,” noted Simon Solotko, senior analyst and head of the AR/VR service at Tirias Research.”It has already become the primary means of communications followingthese types of incidents,” he told TechNewsWorld.One potential danger of utilizing VR to transport users to events — whether celebrations or disaster zones — is the possibility of triggering the eery, sometimes repugnant emotional reaction people can have to realistic computer-generated humanoid images, known as the “uncanny valley.””Some users could find this slightly disturbing for those reasons,” suggested Solotko.”This isn’t to say that it is a miscarriage of the use of this technology,” he said, “but it is a part of the evolution of this technology in general.” Heading Into an Uncanny Valley The Good With the Bad Virtual reality and augmented reality have been utilized primarily for entertainment and marketing up to now, but Facebook’s Puerto Rico presentation suggests this technology could be useful to share critical information and deliver news in a timely way.The demonstrated use of VR is interesting, “but not particularly helpful in its current incarnation,” said Roger Kay, principal analyst at Endpoint Technologies Associates.”It’s still early days for VR, but obviously Facebook has a lot at stake, having paid a couple of billion for Oculus,” he told TechNewsWorld.”If I were cynical, I would say this is a matter of Facebook riding a publicity wave for its own purposes, to draw attention to its capabilities,” said Kay. “If I were less cynical, I would say it’s an interesting attempt to find a useful role for VR, which is stillmostly about entertainment.” The demo shows how Oculus-equipped Facebook Spaces users can tour parts of the island and communicate with one another via their respective avatars.Zuckerberg made his virtual visit to Puerto Rico with RachelFranklin, head of the company’s social VR unit. During their demonstration, they highlighted such features as Safety Check, which is intended as a way for Facebook users to alert friends and relatives that they’re safe following a natural disaster or other traumatic event.Facebook has been using its artificialintelligence technology to map Puerto Rico, to help the RedCross and other organizations identify areas where people are most in need, Zuckerberg said.Facebook has donated more than US$1.5 million to relief efforts, he added. Yet there has been a chorus of criticism online, suggesting that Facebook capitalized on the natural disaster for its own gains. Almost Like Being There Bridging the Gap Despite the criticism it drew, Facebook’s VR presentation may have succeeded in conveying the devastation of Puerto Rico in a way that traditional broadcast media outlets have been unable to do, which could be helpful in relief and rebuilding efforts.”The real value here is the ability to assist in the rescue response and the recovery by allowing others to assist remotely,” said Jim McGregor, principal analyst at Tirias Research.”Think about the ability to send in vehicular or aerial drones into disaster areas, especially those that are hazardous to humans,” he told TechNewsWorld.”VR can assist rescuers much better than a regular camera and display, both in control of the drone and inspection of the area,” McGregor pointed out.”Once the reconstruction begins, VR can allow architects and engineers to assist from all over the world,” he noted. “Government officials could even use the technology for inspection purposes, so in my mind, this opens up the exciting possibilities of VR beyond the mind-numbing games.” VR could have an immense potential to increase empathy. That said, optics around VR use are important, noted Carter Rogers, senioranalyst at SuperData Research.”This video got backlash because the section on Puerto Rico was partof a larger product demo; and also, Facebook Spaces’ cartoon avatarswere jarring when juxtaposed with scenes of devastation,” Rogers toldthe E-Commerce Times.”Earlier this year, we saw a similar reaction to CEO Sleepout, anAustralian homelessness fundraising event. Attendees watched aVR video simulating homelessness, and critics called this way ofexperiencing homelessness out of touch,” he said.In contrast, the United Nations received a much more positive receptionwhen it partnered with Vrse (now called “Within”) to create Clouds OverSidra, a film showing the plight of Syrian refugees, Rogers noted. Peter Suciu has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2012. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, mobile phones, displays, streaming media, pay TV and autonomous vehicles. He has written and edited for numerous publications and websites, including Newsweek, Wired and FoxNews.com.Email Peter.last_img read more

Prevalence of metabolic health found to be very low among American adults

first_img Source:https://home.liebertpub.com/news/american-adults-have-very-low-rate-of-metabolic-health/3480 Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Nov 28 2018A new study found that the prevalence of metabolic health is very low among American adults, even among those who have normal weight. This has serious implications for public health, according to the study published in Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. Researchers Joana Araújo, PhD, Jianwen Cai, PhD, and June Stevens, PhD, from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Gillings School of Global Public Health, coauthored the study entitled “Prevalence of Optimal Metabolic Health in American Adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2009-2016.”Related StoriesMathematical model helps quantify metastatic cell behaviorBlood pressure self-monitoring can help patients with hypertension to stick with exercise programCarbohydrate plays important role in regulating blood pressure, research suggestsThe researchers used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, collected from 2009-2016. They estimated the proportion of American adults who had optimal cardiometabolic health using different sets of guidelines. Compared to older guidelines, the use of more recent guidelines with more rigorous cut-offs saw the proportion of metabolically healthy Americans decreased from near 20% to more than 12%. Optimal metabolic health was based on measures of waist circumference, glucose (fasting and HbA1c), blood pressure, triglyceride and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, and not taking any related medications.”While we can quibble about the definition of metabolic health, it is alarming that only one-tenth of the population meets criteria for appropriate waist size, glucose, blood pressure and lipid profile” says Dr. Adrian Vella, Editor-in-Chief of Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders and Professor, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN.last_img read more

Study proposes improvements in pharmacological study of cognitive function enhancers in schizophrenia

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jan 16 2019Schizophrenia is a serious, chronic mental disorder involving a series of symptoms. It is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. Various symptoms of this disorder, such as delusions and hallucinations, have been shown to be very adequately treated by means of antipsychotics, and its symptomatology can be improved. Yet patients experience many difficulties on a social and functional level, in other words, “they have severe problems in carrying out everyday life activities ranging from personal hygiene or managing their finances to maintaining a stable social network, having a partner or holding down a job. And there is no treatment for this”, explained Arantzazu Zabala, a Doctor in Psychology specializing in neuropsychology.Since the year 2000, explained Zabala, one of the authors of the work, “it has emerged that it is the cognitive impairments that correlate most with functional deficits, and since then, to combat these deficits, the scientific community has been developing a broad range of interventions, including cognitive enhancers. These are drugs which when added to the routine, antipsychotic treatment, could reverse or, to a certain extent, reduce the cognitive impairments displayed by patients”.Related StoriesRevolutionary cancer drugs that target any tumor to be fast-tracked into hospitals by NHSAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaExploring how schizophrenia and depression are related to drug consumptionMethodological improvements in the interests of progressNine clinical trials from across the world were analyzed in a study conducted by researchers from the UPV/EHU, the University of La Rioja, the BioCruces Health Research Institute and Cibersam (Centre for Biomedical Research into Mental Health). The trials involved patients with schizophrenia and used three acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (deonepezil, galantamine and rivastignine)that are very effective in improving the cognitive impairments of patients with Alzheimer’s. As the researcher explained, “right now there is insufficient evidence to be able to recommend acetylcholinesterase inhibitors as a cognitive enhancer for patients with schizophrenia”. In fact, numerous limitations in the nine trials studied have emerged in this meta-analysis, and various improvements that need to be applied to studies of this type have been proposed.Doctor Zabala is nevertheless optimistic: “Much work remains to be done, but it’s heading in the right direction.” The researcher insists that the trials analyzed “are original pieces of work, are among the first ones, but right now the therapeutic targets have expanded greatly. Our work draws attention to the need for studies that will offer sufficient methodological quality to be able to guarantee the effectiveness of the compounds”. In this respect, the research conducted at the UPV/EHU proposes a series of improvements in studies of this type, which the scientific community should bear in mind “so that in addition to demonstrating the effectiveness of a drug on the patient’s functionality, aspects such as the safety and tolerance of it are also studied,” concluded Zabala.Source: https://www.ehu.eus/en/-/avances-en-el-estudio-de-farmacos-contra-el-deficit-cognitivo-de-pacientes-con-esquizofrenialast_img read more

Bitcoin fever hits US real estate market

View of a beach from a condo building in Florida, where bitcoin fever has hit the real estate market © 2018 AFP As of the end of last year, the digital currency was listed as a way to pay for some 75 properties for sale, especially in south Florida and California, according to the real estate firm Redfin.”Bitcoin accepted” is a message now seen in the description of homes for sale in the Miami area.One seller is going even farther, saying he will take only bitcoin (33 of them to be exact) for his half-million-dollar downtown condo in the Florida metropolis.Bitcoin has been on a roller coaster ride of late, shooting up to nearly $20,000 a piece in mid-December and then dropping sharply around Christmas. It started the year at around $14,000.Its use in real estate transactions is novel, and agents are wary because of its high volatility.”I’d be blown away if a year from now we see hundreds of real estate transactions in bitcoins,” said Jay Parker, Florida CEO for the Douglas Elliman brokerage agency.Still, such transactions can be useful for foreigners who want to invest in the United States and cannot otherwise do so, said economist and bitcoin expert Charles Evans of Barry University. “This seems to be driven by international investors who are circumventing inefficient banking and currency controls at home, and by US cryptocurrency enthusiasts,” Evans told AFP.”The governments in those countries restrict the amount of money that their residents are allowed to transfer abroad through the banking system. Bitcoin enables individuals there to bypass such restrictions,” he added.This could be a draw for investors, who even before the bitcoin rage were already hot on the real estate market in south Florida.Nearly half of all foreign buyers of property in south Florida are from Latin America.According to the National Association of Realtors, over the past five years, investors from Venezuela, Brazil and Argentina—in that order—have led purchases in this part of the state.Money laundering?Bitcoin offers another advantage for some foreign investors: it lets them dodge US economic sanctions.Evans cited the example of Venezuela, which imposes strict currency controls and is enduring runaway inflation that surpassed 2,600 percent in 2017.What is more, many senior officials in the government of Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro have been hit by sanctions imposed by Washington, which considers his administration a dictatorship.Evans said there is also a lot of interest in bitcoin among Iranians, whom he described as “doubly hit” with restrictions in Iran and international sanctions.It is an open secret that money laundering fuels the real estate market in south Florida. But instead of hiding the practice, bitcoin could have the opposite effect.The crypto currency “is a terrible medium for large-scale money laundering, because all bitcoin transactions are recorded in the publicly available transaction record known at the Blockchain,” said Evans.Although bitcoin has been associated with the drug trade and cyber attacks, Blockchain “leaves a lot of fingerprints,” former Florida representative Jose Felix Diaz told Politico.”So if you’re using it for illegitimate reasons, the state and the federal government should have every tool at their disposal to go after you,” Diaz said.Last year, Diaz sponsored a bill-turned-law that includes bitcoin in Florida’s laws for fighting money laundering.Real estate agent Parker also said money laundering via bitcoin is far from posing a risk because “the beneficial owners of the real estate are always going to be able to be traced.”Parker said the fad of doing real estate deals in bitcoin could be as volatile as the currency itself.”I think it’s a gimmick. There’s not much risk. The only risk is if the currency crashes before you can liquidate it,” said Parker.”I think the people that are using bitcoins to try to market their properties are doing it with the very purpose of getting you to write about it, getting their properties exposure,” said Parker. Citation: Bitcoin fever hits US real estate market (2018, January 14) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-01-bitcoin-fever-real-estate.html Explore further Bitcoin fever has hit the US real estate market, especially that of Florida, offering foreign investors a way to dodge currency controls at home and US economic sanctions. 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. Bitcoin and cryptocurrency for n00bs read more

Phasetransition cubic Gallium Nitride doubles ultraviolet emission efficiency

Citation: Phase-transition cubic Gallium Nitride doubles ultraviolet emission efficiency (2018, February 20) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-02-phase-transition-cubic-gallium-nitride-ultraviolet.html New method for making green LEDs enhances their efficiency and brightness Novel photonics materials are becoming pivotal for energy conversion, communications, and sensing, largely because there is a global desire to enhance energy efficiency, and reduce electricity consumption. As Dr. Can Bayram, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, notes, “Who doesn’t want to consume less electricity for the same quality of lighting?” Provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign More information: Richard Liu et al. High Internal Quantum Efficiency Ultraviolet Emission from Phase-Transition Cubic GaN Integrated on Nanopatterned Si(100), ACS Photonics (2018). DOI: 10.1021/acsphotonics.7b01231 Explore further When the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to a trio of researchers for inventing a new (In)GaN-based energy-efficient, more environmentally friendly light source, this idea was brought to the forefront and gained more widespread recognition.In related work, the Innovative COmpound semiconductoR Laboratory (ICOR) team led by Prof. Bayram has published a well-received paper titled “High internal quantum efficiency ultraviolet emission from phase-transition cubic GaN integrated on nanopatterned Si(100)”. Richard Liu, a Ph.D. candidate advised by Prof. Bayram, and whose primary research areas are optoelectronics and nanophotonics, is the lead author for this paper.The team’s paper and its promise for a novel emitter have recently been featured in Compound Semiconductor and Semiconductor Today.GaN materials (also known as III-Nitrides) are one of the most exotic photonic materials, and in the U of I team’s work, they investigate a new phase of Gallium Nitride materials: cubic. Using aspect ratio nanopatterning technology, they report a hexagonal-to-cubic phase transition process in GaN, enabled through aspect ratio patterning of silicon substrate. The emission efficiency of optimized cubic GaN, thanks to the polarization-free nature of cubic GaN, is measured to be approximately 29%, in sharp contrast to the general percentages of 12%, 8%, and 2%, respectively, of conventional hexagonal GaN on sapphire, hexagonal free-standing GaN, and hexagonal GaN on Si.Bayram comments that “New photonic materials are critical in next-generation energy conversion devices. GaN-on-Si, enabled through phase-transition technology, provides an efficient, scalable, and environmental solution for integrated visible photonics.” Journal information: ACS Photonics This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. read more

Amazon pokes fun at glitches says tech gadgets popular

first_img Amazon upbeat on Prime Day, despite early glitches Citation: Amazon pokes fun at glitches, says tech gadgets popular (2018, July 17) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-07-amazon-fun-glitches-tech-gadgets.html Explore further Gary Liu, vice president of marketing at Boomerang Commerce, said he believes shoppers got a “vanilla” experience when it came to personalization. He said Amazon heavily promoted its own devices and its own brands but he wanted to see heavier promotions on national-label fashions.”Shoppers are looking for something more familiar,” he added.While Amazon doesn’t disclose sales figures for Prime Day, Deborah Weinswig, CEO of Coresight Research, had estimated before it began that it will generate $3.4 billion in sales worldwide, up from an estimated $2.4 billion last year. Prime Day also lasts six hours longer than last year and is four new countries.In Europe, Amazon employees were using Prime Day to draw attention to their complaints against the company. Unions in Spain said most of the company’s 2,000 permanent staff there were on a three-day strike on Tuesday.Amazon created Prime Day in 2015 to mark its 20th anniversary, and its success has inspired other e-commerce companies to invent shopping holidays. Amazon disclosed for the first time this year that it had more than 100 million paid Prime members worldwide.It’s hoping to keep Prime attractive for current and would-be subscribers after raising the U.S. annual membership fee by 20 percent to $119 and to $12.99 for the month-to-month option. United Parcel Service employee Liz Perez scans an Amazon Prime package for delivery in Miami, Tuesday, July 17, 2018. Amazon Prime Day was launched July 16. The event is in four new countries this year and will be six hours longer than last year’s. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) 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. © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. In this Tuesday, July 17, 2018 photo, a FedEx employee delivers packages in Miami. Amazon Prime Day was launched July 16 and and will be six hours longer than last year’s and will launch new products. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) Early problems Monday sent shoppers to social media to complain after their attempts to click on Prime Day deals returned only images of dogs with an apologetic message. The snags were an embarrassment for the tech company on the much-hyped shopping holiday it created.”It wasn’t all a walk in the (dog) park, we had a ruff start—we know some customers were temporarily unable to make purchases,” Amazon said in a statement.But Amazon touted Prime Day growth and said shoppers still found lots to buy, with tech gadgets in particular among the most popular. It said top sellers included some of its own devices—the Fire TV stick with Alexa Voice Remote, Echo Dot and Fire 7 tablet with Alexa. Others included a water filter for hiking and the multi-use Instant Pot.The hiccups, though, could have sent shoppers elsewhere during a key period for Amazon to sign up new Prime members. It recently announced that the cost of Prime membership would go up, and the shopping day is a way to prove the value. Many other chains offered sales and promotions to try to capitalize on the day. And industry observers said Amazon could have done a better job in several areas, such as offering personalized recommendations.”For all the hype about Whole Foods, the grocery stuff on sale was less appetizing,” said Sucharita Mulpuru-Kodali, an analyst at Forrester Research. “No Prime Day specials at the store.”She also said some of the products Amazon’s site was pushing were a little odd, like urinal splash guards in the health section. She also believes Amazon should have started the sale at midnight instead of the middle of the day to reduce the rush of traffic on the site. Amazon poked fun at the early glitches it saw with Prime Day, though it said shoppers still found plenty to buy. Analysts, meanwhile, saw other things Amazon could have done better, like discounting more fashion brands and taking more advantage of its acquisition of Whole Foods.last_img read more

EU ministers do battle over digital tax

first_imgFrance has rallied EU partners to draw up the tax to ensure that global tech platforms such as Google and Facebook pay their fair share © 2018 AFP France for a year has rallied EU partners to draw up the tax which Paris says is necessary to ensure that global tech platforms such as Facebook and Google pay their fair share.Paris fervently argues that the measure would be a popular accomplishment for the EU ahead of European elections next year, in which anti-Brussels populists could do well.However, Ireland leads a small group of countries that argue the tax would also punish European companies and stifle innovation. Dublin, along with Luxembourg and the Netherlands, are the European homes for several US tech giants that would face the tax. “Today is the big battle day over fairness in taxation in the digital economy,” said Hartwig Loger, the finance minister of Austria, which holds the EU’s six-month rotating presidency.”It is our clear goal to have by the end of the year.. the first steps in taxing the digital economy at the European level,” he said.Austria’s self imposed deadline leaves less than three months to get opponents on side as European tax rules require unanimous backing by all EU members. “Let’s see how far we get,” cautioned German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, who this week was reported to be quietly working against the tax after a secret memo was leaked to the German press. “I share the ambition many have to achieve results already this year,” he added.’Sword of Damocles’Work is based on a proposal by the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, that would create a European tax on “big tech”, based on overall revenue in Europe and not just on profits. But lead opponent Ireland says a growing number of countries are grumbling about hidden problems with the tax, including that it could inadvertently snag European companies.Provoking US President Donald Trump while the threat of a EU-US trade war still looms is also a concern.”If Europe looks to deal with this issue on its own I believe that it runs the risk of… promoting a response from countries that will be affected… at a time in which global trade is under such pressure,” Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe told AFP.Amid the increasing questions, Austria said countries widely backed a French compromise to introduce a sunset clause so that the EU tax would later be replaced by a worldwide deal, once one is reached at the OECD.A sunset clause could serve “as a sword of Damocles motivating the international community to come to an overall … decision,” said Latvian Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola.But the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, a club of rich nations including the US, has so far failed to reach a consensus on the matter. France urges ‘wake-up call’ on tax for US web giants EU finance ministers battled Saturday over a controversial proposal to slap a European tax on US tech giants amid rising worries that it is ineffective and protectionist.center_img 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. Citation: EU ministers do ‘battle’ over digital tax (2018, September 8) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-09-eu-ministers-digital-tax.html Explore furtherlast_img read more

Vietnam could give tech companies one year to obey cyberlaw

first_imgThe bill would require tech companies to store data in Vietnam, and remove ‘toxic content’ from websites and hand over user information if asked by the government to do so Explore further Vietnam rolls out web monitor to control ‘false information’ Vietnam may give internet companies like Google and Facebook one year to comply with a controversial cybersecurity law, according to a draft decree that outlines how the draconian bill could be implemented. © 2018 AFPcenter_img The cybersecurity bill, which observers say mimic China’s repressive web control tools, is set to come into effect in January despite drawing sharp criticism from the US, the EU and internet freedom advocates.The bill would require tech companies to store data in the country, and remove “toxic content” from websites and hand over user information if asked by the government to do so.Critics of the bill say it will be a chokehold on criticism in the one-party state where activists are routinely jailed and all independent media are banned.According to a draft decree on how the law may be implemented, published by the Ministry of Public Security Friday, companies offering internet services in Vietnam may be given 12 months to comply.”Enterprises… must archive data (and) set up branches or representative offices in Vietnam,” the decree said.It did not outline the punishment for failing to comply, but any country in breach of the law could be barred from offering its services in Vietnam.An enterprise can mean internet service providers, e-commerce sites, online payment firms and social networks.The draft decree added that companies must store user data in the country for at least 36 months.Personal data required to be stored includes everything from a user’s name to passport number, medical records, credit card information and biometric data.Google declined to comment Saturday, while Facebook did not immediately respond to a request from AFP.The public has two months to provide feedback on the decree, in line with Vietnamese law, though public comments have not traditionally led to dramatic alterations to proposed bills.The law was passed by Vietnam’s rubber-stamp parliament in June, part of a broader crackdown on internet freedoms that has sparked outcry from the country’s activists.This week, the government said it had set up a web monitoring unit that can scan up to 100 million items per day to sniff out “false information”. A few days later officials said 3,000 sites featuring “inappropriate content” had been blocked. With 53 million users, Facebook is by far the leading site in Vietnam, a country of 93 million.It is a crucial platform for activists—and many have been jailed based on Facebook posts—but also a leading site for business owners.Any efforts to block access to the site are likely to spark widespread opposition across the country. Citation: Vietnam could give tech companies one year to obey cyberlaw (2018, November 3) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-11-vietnam-tech-companies-year-cyberlaw.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

A Miami unicorn is born—parking startup worth more than 1 billion after

first_img Explore further Miami is now officially home to its first unicorn. On Monday, ParkJockey, founded in 2013 by entrepreneurs Ari Ojalvo and Umut Tekin and based on Brickell Key, announced an investment by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank. The companies declined to state the exact figure, but according to sources familiar with the matter, the investment is in the hundreds of millions, making ParkJockey worth more than $1 billion.Simultaneously, ParkJockey announced that, along with Abu Dhabi-based Mubadala Capital and debt financing from New York-based Owl Rock, it had acquired Vancouver-based Impark and New York-based Citizens Parking Inc., two of the largest parking operators in North America.In a stroke, the investment and acquisitions make ParkJockey one of the most valuable parking companies in the world. It is also an unusual example of two brick-and-mortar businesses getting bought out by the technology platform they will now be using.The news says “a lot about the ability to build a business in Miami and take it to significant size,” Ojalvo told the Miami Herald. “It should be good news for entrepreneurs and the people in this ecosystem that (creating) something like ParkJockey is feasible here.”Through ParkJockey’s platform, parking managers have a channel through which they can coordinate with other large-scale enterprises to monetize parking spaces. For instance, ParkJockey allows a landlord to host or stage Lyft or Uber drivers at their garage or parking lots. ParkJockey already serves as a parking management platform for PortMiami, Port Everglades, and AmericanAirlines Arena. It also handles parking for special events, including the Miami International Boat Show.But ParkJockey says its biggest market is the real estate industry. Ojalvo said a platform like ParkJockey’s will only grow in importance as demand for urban living grows, and as building residents increasingly call on vehicles to bring goods or services to them. To manage this growing congestion, he said, landlords will need to turn to a platform like ParkJockey’s. Ojalvo is also positioning ParkJockey as the main platform through which parking for autonomous vehicles will be coordinated.”Real estate needs to be ready for this,” Ojalvo said. “Our cars are smart, our phones are smart, but real estate is not connected—it’s pretty dumb. A whole infrastructure is needed to bring real estate to the standard of smart cars so they can communicate with each other.”Michael Ronen, managing partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers, said ParkJockey “is ideally placed to capitalize on these themes and transform the parking industry.””The parking industry is a significant market but remains fragmented with many opportunities for technological innovation,” he said in a statement. “Human mobility, however, is undergoing huge secular change and there is demand for new driver services, refueling, parking and vehicle staging near key high traffic locations.”Ojalvo, whose background is in management consulting, said ParkJockey has purposefully been operating “under the radar” so that it could prove out its technology and value proposition. Prior to Monday’s news, the company counted more than 100 employees across offices in multiple cities. It plans to hire more, including in Miami, to fuel its growth. The next market it is hoping to grow in is Atlanta.Given its primary focus as a business-to-business company, Ojalvo said it is not clear whether ParkJockey will become a household name. He said it will be up to operators whether they want to make it clear whether they are using ParkJockey’s platform.Either way, ParkJockey will continue to call Miami home for the foreseeable future. And Ojalvo said Miami residents will soon be experiencing the transition from traditional to “smart” parking.”Parking requires a city-wide solution; you can’t go cut a deal with every garage,” Ojalvo said. “That’s where we come in.” Citation: A Miami ‘unicorn’ is born—parking startup worth more than $1 billion after funding (2018, December 12) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-12-miami-unicorn-bornparking-startup-worth.html How self-driving cars will make our cities more charming 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. ©2018 Miami Herald Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.last_img read more

Report aims at untapped workforce for Israels growing hightech sector

first_img Explore further Women, Arabs and ultra-Orthodox are under-represented in Israel’s tech sector, according to a recent report Israel’s high-tech sector—an industry that has earned it the nickname “start-up nation”—is seen as a global leader.Its 7,000 local high-tech firms and dozens of research and development centres of foreign companies employ 280,000 Israelis and make up 12 percent of the business sector GDP and a whopping 43 percent of exports, according to the economy ministry.But while the absolute number of Israelis working in high-tech has grown over the past five years, their proportion of the labour force remains around the eight percent mark, putting the Jewish state at potential disadvantage in the competitive global market.The report by the Israel Innovation Authority and Start-Up Nation Central, an NGO based in Tel Aviv, showed there were 15,300 vacant positions in the local industry, a shortage that could be preventing the high-tech sector from growing even faster.”The tech sector is the main potential driver of the growth of the Israeli economy,” Eugene Kandel, head of Start-Up Nation Central and former head of Israel’s national economic council said.”The required growth will not be possible if the country’s supply of tech workers is inadequate.”Israel has in recent years found ways to compensate for its lack of local employees, setting up intensive “boot camps” to provide technological training, outsourcing work to cheaper countries, supplying visas to skilled foreign workers, and increasing investment in higher technological education. The overwhelming majority of Israelis employed in the sector are Jewish men, excluding the ultra-Orthodox who tend to be educated mainly in religious studies, and not in English, maths or other subjects necessary for a tech career.Like Israeli Arabs, few ultra-Orthodox men or women serve in Israel’s army, a hothouse for forging high-tech skills, putting them at a significant disadvantage.As a result, Arabs make up 1.4 percent of the high-tech workforce and ultra-Orthodox men and women just 0.7 percent.’Unrealised potential’Women in general are under-represented, the report said, without detailing the reasons.It said that while they account for 30 percent of high-tech workers, women hold just 23 percent of “core tech” jobs such as software engineers and only 16 percent of managerial positions.”The potential of women in tech is probably double these numbers, as girls comprise almost half of all students studying advanced math in high school,” it said. Israel needs to “tap into the unrealised potential in women, the Arab population and the ultra-Orthodox community”, said Aharon Aharon, head of the Israel Innovation Authority (IIA), noting that the state had indeed launched a number of programmes aimed at just that.The need to increase the numbers of employees was “truly a national issue,” said Naomi Krieger Carmy, head of the IIA’s societal challenges division.”There’s no one silver bullet,” she said, rather there are joined solutions.The report, based on a survey of 40 percent of the industry, did not constitute a “complaint”, Kandel said, but an indication of where things stood and how to find solutions.”If we had more people that would fill these jobs, the country would grow faster and the industry would go much faster,” he said. In Israel, a push to bring Arabs into tech sector Citation: Report aims at untapped workforce for Israel’s growing high-tech sector (2018, December 16) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-12-aims-untapped-workforce-israel-high-tech.htmlcenter_img © 2018 AFP The growth of Israel’s powerful high-tech sector is not being matched by adequate increases in employee numbers, a report said Sunday, with recruitment of more women, and Arabs and ultra-Orthodox Jewish men needed. 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

Building trust in artificial intelligence

first_img Citation: Building trust in artificial intelligence (2019, July 2) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-07-artificial-intelligence.html From telecommunications to road traffic, from healthcare to the workplace—digital technology is now an intrinsic part of almost every area of life. Yet how can we ensure that developments in this field, especially those that rely on artificial intelligence (AI), meet all our ethical, legal and technological concerns? In a project led by the Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems IAIS, and with the participation of Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), an interdisciplinary team of scientists from the Universities of Bonn and Cologne are drawing up an inspection catalog for the certification of AI applications. They have now published a white paper presenting the philosophical, ethical, legal and technological issues involved. Artificial intelligence is changing our society, our economy and our everyday lives in fundamental ways. And in doing so, it is creating some exciting opportunities in how we live and work together. For example, it already helps doctors to better evaluate x-rays, which often leads to a more accurate diagnosis. It is the basis of chatbots that provide helpful answers to people looking for advice on, for example, insurance. And, before too long, it will be enabling cars to become more and more autonomous. Current forecasts indicate that the number of AI applications is set to increase exponentially over the coming years. McKinsey, for example, projects additional global growth from AI of up to 13 billion U.S. dollars by 2030.At the same time, it is clear that we need to ensure that our use of AI and the opportunities it brings remains in harmony with the views and values of our society. Acting under the aegis of Kompetenzplattform KI.NRW, an AI competence platform in the state of the North Rhine-Westphalia, an interdisciplinary team has come together to develop a certification process for AI applications to be carried out by accredited examiners. This will confirm compliance with a certified quality standard that, in turn, will enable technology companies to verifiably design AI applications that are technically reliable and ethically acceptable.”The purpose of the certification is to help establish quality standards for AI made in Europe, to ensure a responsible approach to this technology and to promote fair competition between the various players,” says Prof. Dr. Stefan Wrobel, director of Fraunhofer IAIS and professor of computer science at the University of Bonn.Focusing on the human aspectArtificial intelligence has the potential to enlarge our capabilities and provide us with new knowledge. However, once we begin to base our decisions on machine learning that is either fully or partially automated, we will face a host of new challenges. The technical feasibility of such applications is a one consideration. First and foremost, however, we must resolve the basic philosophical, ethical and legal issues. To ensure that the needs of people are firmly embedded at the center of development of this technology, close dialog between the fields of information technology, philosophy and law is necessary. The team of experts has now published a white paper in which they detail their interdisciplinary approach to the certification process. For example, they explain the ethical principles involved. “Anyone using AI should be able to act properly in accordance with their moral convictions, and nobody should be curtailed in their rights, freedom or autonomy,” says Prof. Dr. Markus Gabriel, professor of philosophy at the University of Bonn. Legal questions have also been addressed. “For example, we need to determine how AI applications can be made to conform to the basic values and principles of a state governed by the rule of law and subject to the principles of freedom,” explains Prof. Frauke Rostalski, professor of law at the University of Cologne.Priorities for building trust in the use of AIThis interdisciplinary approach has identified a number of ethical, legal and technological issues of relevance to the use of AI. These are all examined in the white paper. The criteria employed in a certification process should include fairness, transparency, autonomy, control, data protection, safety, security and reliability. Recommendations of the EU thus also serve as orientation for the KI.NRW certification project.The certification process will revolve around questions such as: Does the AI application respect the laws and values of society? Does the user retain full and effective autonomy over the application? Does the application treat all participants in a fair manner? Does the application function and make decisions in a way that are transparent and comprehensible? Is the application reliable and robust? Is it secure against attacks, accidents and errors? Does the application protect the private realm and other sensitive information?Building in checks and controls at the design stageAccording to the white paper, it must be determined during the initial design process whether the application is ethically and legally permissible—and if so, which checks and controls must be formulated to govern this process. One necessary criterion is to ensure that use of the application does not compromise anyone using it in their ability to make a moral decision—as if the option existed to decline the use of AI—and that their rights and freedoms are not curtailed in any way.Transparency is another important criterion: the experts emphasize that information on correct use of the application should be readily available, and the results determined through the use of AI in the application must be fully interpretable, traceable and reproducible by the user. Conflicting interests, such as transparency and the nondisclosure of trade secrets, must be balanced against one another.The plan is to publish an initial version of the inspection catalog by the beginning of 2020 and then begin with the certification of AI applications. This project also involves the participation of Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), which has extensive experience in the development of secure IT standards. This know-how will feed into the certification process. Finally, given that AI is constantly evolving, the inspection catalog itself will be a “living document” in need of continual updating. More information: White paper: www.iais.fraunhofer.de/ki-zertifizierungCompetence platform KI.NRW: www.ki.nrwAI certification project: www.iais.fraunhofer.de/ki-zertifizierung Explore furthercenter_img Provided by University of Bonn Credit: CC0 Public Domain Artificial intelligence in Australia needs to get ethical, so we have a plan 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

DGCA suspends Air India pilot for six months for physical altercation with

first_img Press Trust of India New DelhiJuly 15, 2019UPDATED: July 15, 2019 21:45 IST The incident took place on June 17 when the flight was to take off from the Bengaluru airport to the Kolkata airport. (Representative image – PTI File)HIGHLIGHTSThe DGCA suspended Air India Pilot in Command Captain Milind for a period of six monthsHe was suspended for being involved in a “heated argument” and “physical altercation” with a cabin crew memberThe incident took place on June 17 when the flight was to take off from the Bengaluru airport to the Kolkata airportAviation regulator DGCA on Monday suspended an Air India pilot for six months for being involved in a “heated argument” and “physical altercation” with a cabin crew member in the aircraft before it was about to take off, sources said.The incident took place on June 17 when the flight was to take off from the Bengaluru airport to the Kolkata airport.”Air India Pilot in Command Captain Milind has been suspended by the DGCA for a period of six months from the date of the incident,” a source told PTI.Captain Milind and cabin crew member Rajat Verman were involved in a “heated argument and thereafter physical altercation when the aircraft was on ground”, they said.The DGCA had issued a show cause notice to the pilot on June 28, asking him to explain in writing why action should not be taken against him, the sources said.”The reply of the show cause notices was reviewed by the regulator and it was not found satisfactory. As a result, he has been suspended for six months,” the source said.ALSO READ | Sweden: Small plane carrying parachutists crashes, 9 deadALSO WATCH | Plane with Justice for Kashmir banner flies over Headingley stadium during India-Sri Lanka matchFor 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 byAnupriya Thakur Tags :Follow Air India Next DGCA suspends Air India pilot for six months for physical altercation with cabin crew memberAviation regulator DGCA on Monday suspended an Air India pilot for six months for being involved in a “heated argument” and “physical altercation” with a cabin crew member in the aircraft before it was about to take off, sources said.advertisementlast_img read more

Renegade White Dwarf Survived a Supernova Now Its Warping the Little Dipper

first_img The 12 Strangest Objects in the Universe Originally published on Live Science.by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GameIf You’re Over 40 And Own A Computer, This Game Is A Must-Have!Vikings: Free Online GameUndoDr. Marty Nature's Feast Freeze-Dried RAW Cat Food3 Signs Something’s Wrong Inside Your Cat’s BodyDr. Marty Nature’s Feast Freeze-Dried RAW Cat FoodUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoMarie Claire | HanacureMeet The Beauty Equivalent To TIME’s Person Of The Year AwardMarie Claire | HanacureUndoGundry MD SupplementsTop Cardiologist: This One Thing Will Properly Flush Out Your BowelsGundry MD SupplementsUndoAncestryThe Story Behind Your Last Name Will Surprise YouAncestryUndo 9 Strange Excuses for Why We Haven’t Met Aliens Yet There’s a rebellious, half-dead star in the Little Dipper that’s hellbent on escaping our galaxy — and now, astronomers have an idea why. The star, a small white dwarf that’s moving incredibly fast toward the edge of the galaxy, may be one of just a handful of known white dwarfs that exploded in supernovas and lived to tell the tale, according to a study published June 21 in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Academic Astronomical Society. The study authors said this unusual star, named LP 40−365, is a “partly burnt runaway remnant,” suggesting that a peculiar, weaker-than-average supernova rendered the star much smaller, faster and toastier than a typical white dwarf. Strange as it appears, this stellar oddity may not be alone; using data from the European Space Agency’s Gaia space telescope, the study authors also found three additional stars in other parts of the galaxy with properties and trajectories similar to LP 40-365’s.These Sharks Were Too Busy to Notice a Bigger Predator Watching ThemThe unexpected twist at the end of this feeding frenzy delighted scientists.Credit: NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Windows to the Deep 2019Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really Loud00:35关闭选项Automated Captions – en-US facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/65914-partly-burnt-remnants-survive-supernova.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0002:2802:28  The researchers said these four oddball stars may represent a newfound type of fate for white dwarfs that run out of fuel and explode — a fate that leaves them charred, shrunken and streaking across the galaxy at incredible velocities, but still largely intact. These partly burnt dwarfs “form a distinct class of chemically peculiar runaway stars,” the study authors wrote, and the objects could shed their own weird form of light on the complex factors that cause stars to explode in the first place. A modest thermonuclear explosion When a large star exhausts all of its nuclear fuel, it may shed its outer layers of matter and shrink into a hot, shriveled husk called a white dwarf. Eventually, as gravity continues compacting that dying star core, the star may collapse, explode in a supernova, and leave behind an ultradense neutron star or black hole. The authors of the new study said stars like LP 40−365 represent a third possible fate for exploded dwarfs. To meet this fate, the white dwarf must explode in a peculiar, theoretical sort of explosion called a type Iax supernova. Essentially, previous studies have argued, these are smaller-than-average supernovas capable of ripping away some of a white dwarf’s matter while leaving its core largely intact. In addition to blowing away a bunch of the afflicted star’s mass, a type Iax supernova may kick that star out of its orbit — possibly sending the star flying so fast that it is no longer bound by the gravitational pull of its home galaxy. Stars like LP 40−365 will almost assuredly escape into intergalactic space in time, the authors wrote, and satellite images already show this happening. (Take a look at these two images of LP 40−365, taken in 1955 and 1995, to see how its escape is already warping the shape of the Little Dipper.) It’s not unusual for a renegade star to get punted across the universe after, say, its binary partner explodes or gets sucked into a black hole. But it’s quite another matter for an old star to collapse into a white dwarf, explode in a supernova and then keep on smoldering as an even-smaller white dwarf. Besides their impressive speed (they move at hundreds of miles per second), partly burnt remnants are also unusual for their size; they are much smaller than a typical white dwarf, having lost much of their mass in the supernova. They also retain clear traces of past supernovae in their atmospheres, which are rich in ash and heavy elements but lacking in light elements like hydrogen and helium, which may have burnt away. The researchers said they are optimistic that, by looking for these telltale features, the Gaia satellite could detect as many as 20 additional partly burnt stellar remnants before the instrument’s mission ends in 2022. That could provide enough evidence to prove that some stars have what it takes to survive a supernova explosion, even if the experience leaves them eager to find a new galactic home. 15 Amazing Images of Starslast_img read more

Book Excerpt Archaeology From Space

first_imgArchaeologist Sarah Parcak studies lost cities of the ancient world. But unlike the fictional archaeologist Indiana Jones — and generations of real-world archaeologists — Parcak peers at temples, pyramids and other remnants of the distant past from great heights, scanning the ground with satellite technology orbiting at altitudes thousands of miles above Earth. A pioneer in this relatively new field of so-called space archaeology, Parcak shares some of her biggest discoveries in a new memoir, “Archaeology From Space.” Her book outlines how aerial views have transformed her field, revealing hundreds of sites that were previously unknown. The lives of people from millennia ago still have much to teach us, and new methods for studying the past — particularly civilizations that succumbed to a changing climate — can uncover important lessons for humanity’s future. Below is an excerpt of “Archaeology From Space: How the Future Shapes Our Past,” published by Henry Holt and Company on July 9, 2019. Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really LoudThis rapid strike produces a loud ‘pop’ comparable to those made by snapping shrimps, one of the most intense biological sounds measured at sea.Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Why Is It ‘Snowing’ Salt in the Dead Sea?01:53 facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/65868-archaeology-from-space-excerpt.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0000:3500:35  The Scope of Space Archaeology The human story—the story of us—is evolving at breakneck speed thanks to new technologies. Armed with new data sets, we can spin fresh tales that bring us closer to getting more right than wrong about our ancestors and ourselves. What we can find with new technologies such as satellite imagery is simply astounding. It is helping us rewrite history. We’ve gone from mapping a few dozen ancient sites in one summer-long archaeological season to mapping hundreds, if not thousands, of sites in weeks. With advances in computing and artificial intelligence, we are on the verge of achieving those same results in a few hours. In case you want to be an archaeologist and are worried that we space archaeologists will find everything first, fear not. Knowing the location of an ancient site is only the first step. We still have to survey sites on the ground, a process known as ground-truthing, and then undertake years of excavation to get a better understanding of what is there. And wow, do we have a lot of work to do. To give you a sense of just how much, and how quickly this field is advancing, I saved writing this introduction until last, to make sure to include any hot-off-the-press discoveries made with satellite technologies. With the chapters done and edited, I thought I could get away with a bit of downtime between big announcements. Dream on, Parcak. In a recent Nature publication, a team led by archaeologist Jonas Gregorio de Souza announced 81 previously unknown pre-Columbian sites in the Amazon basin area of Brazil, using satellite imagery and ground surveys. Based on their findings, they estimated 1,300 other sites dating to between 1250 and 1500 AD in just 7 percent of the Amazon basin, with potentially more than 18,000 others in total. More than a million people may have lived in areas that today seem largely inhospitable. Their findings included ceremonial centers, large platform mounds, ringed villages, and fortified settlements in north-central Brazil’s upper Tapajós Basin, where few archaeologists had ventured.3 To me, what is extraordinary about this discovery is just how much archaeologists and others had taken for granted about what might, or might not, be there in the rainforest. Satellite data allowed the archaeological team to search large areas in a matter of months, when the job would have taken decades on the ground. All this, from a subfield that barely existed 20 years ago. Although the world is learning more, there’s still a way to go in popular understanding. In a recent travel insurance application for my work abroad, I was quoted an insanely high price for one year of coverage, over $50,000. When I inquired why, the team admitted they thought I traveled into space to look down from the actual satellites for ruins. I’m still laughing. As I write this, I am downloading brand-new satellite imagery of Giza, in Egypt, the site of the last standing wonder of the ancient world. Who knows if I’ll find anything previously undiscovered there. The main thing I have learned is to expect the unexpected. New sites and features appear where you hadn’t previously thought to look, or, in cases like Giza, have the potential to overturn long-held assumptions about major sites and time periods. In the following chapters, you’ll read about projects that did just that. Mapping sites from space is fun, but getting to explore them is what takes me back in time, often thousands of years, to eras when people believed in different gods, spoke languages now extinct, and lived in places assumed never to have been inhabited—but they were all Homo sapiens sapiens. Just like us. As such, archaeology has the potential to inspire in us great wonder, bringing us together. Today, given the conflicts and unrest around the world, this is very much needed. Some people don’t get the chance to experience that sense of awe in person at ancient sites, but I hope the stories shared here will give a sense not only of this, but of how much we assume about past peoples, and how wrong we have sometimes been, given our access to such fragmented information. There aren’t any papers published yet on whether remote sensing can complete the puzzle of what it means to be human and how to avoid the pitfalls of great civilizations that came before us. All I can say is that there is extraordinary wisdom to be learned from previous cultures. It’s shaped me profoundly and allows me to place current events in the long arc of perspective. For more than 300,000 years, our ancestors have migrated across Planet Earth, surviving and, in some cases, thriving—being creative, bold, innovative, and, of course, destructive. This story of space archaeology, its contributions to research, and the tales it helps us tell, only introduces the possibilities of the science. The scale of these new stories, however, should amaze and inspire us. In our history on Earth, humans have habitually pushed deeper into the unknown; as we now begin to focus on exploring Mars, and farther afield, we can imagine 100,000 years from today, when there will be literal space archaeologists traveling from planet to planet, exploring the remnants of our early settlement efforts in other galaxies. The origins of their field will be many light-years away, but the questions will remain close to those we ask today, about people who came before us. The answers matter far less than those questions. Perhaps it’s a start to understanding what makes us human: our ability to ask how, where, when, why, and who, and creating the tools we need to bring the answers to life, on Earth, looking down from outer space. Image Gallery: How Technology Reveals Hidden Art Treasures In Photos: Ireland’s Newgrange Passage Tomb and Henge Originally published on Live Science.by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 min and see why everyone is addicted!Vikings: Free Online GameUndoGundry MD Total Restore SupplementU.S. Cardiologist: It’s Like a Pressure Wash for Your InsidesGundry MD Total Restore SupplementUndoGundry MDThis Is What Happens To Dark Spots (When You Do This Every MorningGundry MDUndoLivestlyThis List Ranks The Dog Breeds You’ll Want To Avoid At All CostsLivestlyUndoHistory A2ZMan Who Escaped Alcatraz Sends FBI Letter After Being Free For 50 YearsHistory A2ZUndoTop 10 Best Meal DeliveryMeal Kit Wars: 10 Tested & Ranked. See Who WonTop 10 Best Meal DeliveryUndo 7 Amazing Places to Visit with Google Street Viewlast_img read more

Womens panel files case against Devikulam MLA for remarks against IAS officer

first_imgSHARE SHARE EMAIL environmental issues COMMENT crime against women crime, law and justice SHARE The CPI(M) MLA was making disparaging comments against the officer for her attempt to stop an allegedly illegal construction in ecologically sensitive Munnar The Kerala Women’s Commission on Monday registered a case against CPI(M) legislator S Rajendran for his remarks against Devikulam Sub-Collector Renu Raj.The Devikulam lawmaker had made the remark on February 8 after the young IAS officer tried to stop the unauthorised construction of a shopping complex in the tourist town of Munnar in Idukki district.Commission sources said the case was registered on the basis of media reports about the MLA’s purported remarks against the official.Television channels had aired visuals showing the legislator making the disparaging comments that the sub-collector lacked brains, had no powers to intervene in the construction as building rules comes under the panchayat.“She doesn’t have brains. She studied only to become a collector. Such people will have only so much brains. Should she not study the sketch, plans. A collector cannot intervene in a panchayat construction,” the MLA had reportedly said on Friday after revenue officials tried to stop the construction.Illegal constructionRaj, who was appointed as the Devikulam sub-collector in November last year, on Sunday said a memo had been issued to the panchayat on February 6 to stop the illegal construction.But the work was still going on.The Kerala High Court had in a 2010 judgement said for any new construction in Munnar, a no-objection certificate had to be obtained.No NoC was obtained when the construction work of the four-storeyed shopping complex was taken up, she said. center_img Kerala February 11, 2019 civil and public service Published on COMMENTSlast_img read more

Will KCRs project bring down a heritage structure

first_imgJune 25, 2019 Telangana SHARE SHARE EMAIL SHARE The Errum Manzil in Hyderabad   –  Nagara Gopal Published oncenter_img Telangana CM wants to build a complex where 150-year-old Errum Manzil stands COMMENT Will Hyderabad lose the 150-year-old heritage structure Errum Manzil to a modern Legislative Assembly complex? This question is uppermost among the people of this 428-year-old city ever since Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao made the dramatic statement last week that his government would spend ₹100 crore to construct a brand new structure to house the Legislature complex and identified the 17-acre land and the iconic building built atop a hillock. Heritage lovers, activists, residents of the neighbourhood, and the legal heirs association of Nawab Fakhrul Mulk Bahadur, who built the Errum Manzil in 1870, have written to the Chief Minister, urging him to save the palace complex with 150 rooms. As action started picking up with visits of officials and with the date for foundation stone laying set for June 27, a PIL too was filed in the Telangana High Court on Monday.The controversy Known for his penchant to propose grandiose building plans, KCR has invariably landed in controversy colliding with heritage structures every time. Ever since the formation of Telangana in 2014, he has been toying with plans to build a completely new Secretariat and Assembly complex.He first set his sights on the 65-acre Government Chest Hospital in Erragadda, a over 100-year-old Nizam era building called the Irranuma Palace. With opposition from activists, the move was shelved. Then, his attention turned to Bison Polo grounds in Secunderabad. This, again, raised a hue and cry.But KCR did not give up. Overcoming the initial cold response, he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi as also Home and Defence Ministers and got their nod. The grounds are part of the Cantonment area and house the Gymkhana stadium. Also, part of the complex is the Parade Grounds, the lung space of Secunderabad, where the Independence Day function takes place. The popular explanation for the move to shift the Secretariat complex is KCR’s belief in astrology and Vaastu. Apparently, the existing complex was ‘‘unfavourable” for him for an election in 2019, and he even avoided shunned going there for a couple of years. However, after the bold decision to prepone elections to December 2018 and the landslide victory that KCR scored, things seemed to have changed. KCR moves fastWith a friendly Chief Minister in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, YS Jaganmohan Reddy, KCR moved swiftly. He acquired portions of the Secretariat belonging to AP and quickly decided to rebuild the entire complex, and then hit upon the idea of siting the Assembly in Errum Manzil. The cost of this grand plan is ₹500 crore.While residents of Secunderabad are heaving a sigh of relief that they will not lose the green space or have to face traffic hassles, people of Punjagutta, which is on the busy Khairatabad-Ameerpet stretch in the heart of Hyderabad, will have to face up to these issues.The existing Legislature building, housing both the Assembly and Council, is part of the Public Gardens. The impressive structure was built in 1905 to mark the 40th birthday of the 6th Nizam, Mir Mahabub Ali Khan. The legal heirs association, in a letter to the Chief Minister, requested him to drop the proposal, saying that an important milestone in the history of Hyderabad would go if Errum Manzil palace was demolished. The architecture, in European style, gave it a special position among the many structures. It also housed 150 rooms, a polo ground, a pond for boating and a private forest.According to accounts of Nizam’s history, Fakhr-ul-Mulk was a minister with the 6th Nizam and had constructed beautiful palaces. The famous Nizam College, Chest Hospital, etc., were built by him and his descendants and handed over to the State when Hyderabad merged with the Indian Union in 1948. Successive State governments have used the buildings as offices of the Engineer in chief, Public Works Department, Jala Soudha, etc. “The heirs also pointed out that the palace had served as the Public Works Department office for decades and had become a known landmark in the city,”, in the statement by Nawab Shafath Ali Khan, the Secretary. COMMENTSlast_img read more

Anwar meets fishermen over PSR says he will speak with Penang CM

first_imgGEORGE TOWN: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has met with fishermen here who are concerned that their livelihoods may be affected by the upcoming Penang South Reclamation (PSR) project.The PKR president also said that he would arrange a meeting with Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow next to discuss these issues.However, he did not state when this meeting would take place.Anwar said the meeting would allow him to obtain more information about the PSR project and its effect on the livelihood of fishermen. “I will discuss with the Chief Minister and ask if we can guarantee the fate of the fishermen.”I know this is hard because I do not know of any large-scale reclamation project worldwide where the  future of the fishermen is secure,” he said during a visit to the Sungai Batu Fishermen’s Unit in the southern coastline of Penang Island on Saturday (July 13).Anwar added although the PSR’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) from the Department of Environment (DoE) was approved, the project could still be reviewed.On Friday (July 12) Anwar raised the issue during a meeting with Dr Mahathir Mohamad and had told the Prime Minister that he would be meeting those who might be impacted by the PSR.The PSR project involves the development of three man-made islands with a total size of over 1,800ha, with parts of the islands to be put up for sale.The proceeds from the sales would then be used to fund projects under the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP), a RM49bil mega project aimed at solving traffic congestion on the state’s island side.Penang Fishermen Association chairman Nazri Ahmad and several state leaders were also present. Tags / Keywords: Nation 11 Jul 2019 Dr M: Govt to look into fishermen’s grouses over Penang reclamation project {{category}} {{time}} {{title}} Related Newscenter_img Nation 05 Jul 2019 Chow: DoE has okayed Penang South Reclamation scheme Anwar , fishermen , Penang South Reclamation , PSR Related News Metro News 11 Jul 2019 Worry over fishermen’s livelihoodlast_img read more

Soch badlo papa BJP MLAs daughter who married Dalit boy appeals to

first_imgSoch badlo papa: BJP MLA’s daughter who married Dalit boy makes emotional appeal to dad on live TVSakshi, the MLA’s daughter had earlier filed a petition in the Allahabad High Court, seeking protection to “live a peaceful life” as a married couple. She spoke to her dad from the Aaj Tak studio on Friday.advertisement India Today Web Desk New DelhiJuly 12, 2019UPDATED: July 12, 2019 19:12 IST Sakshi Misra, daughter of MLA Rajesh Misra had uploaded a video on social media and informed about her wedding to Ajitesh Kumar.HIGHLIGHTSBJP MLA Rajesh Mishra’s daughter Sakshi on Friday made an emotional appeal to her fatherEarlier, Sakshi had said she was being threatened by her father and “his men” because she had married a Dalit manOn Friday, Sakshi asked her father to change his thinking and requested him not to discriminateSakshi, the daughter of BJP MLA Rajesh Mishra, whose viral video gripped the country this week, on Friday made an emotional appeal to her father with whom she spoke while sitting in the studios of Aaj Tak TV.Sakshi, in her viral video, had said she was being threatened by her father and “his men” because she had married a Dalit man. On Friday, Sakshi appeared on Aaj Tak TV and while in the studio, spoke to her dad over a call.”I had so many dreams and wanted to study. I used to tell my father to take me to work but he never took me seriously,” Sakshi said in a trembling voice. In an emotional message, Sakshi asked her father to change his thinking and requested him not to discriminate.Sakshi claimed that her father never let her step out of the house. “He [Sakshi’s father] had no clue what was happening with us. My brother and mother used to harass me when you were in the office,” Sakshi added.When called, BJP MLA Rajesh Mishra alleged that his family was being harassed. As Sakshi spoke with her father on Aaj Tak, she broke down and apologised to him. Rajesh Mishra said he wished she finds happiness in life, but disconnected the call soon after.THE CASESakshi and her husband Ajitesh had earlier filed a petition in the Allahabad High Court, seeking protection to “live a peaceful life” as a married couple.The next hearing in the case has been fixed for July 15 as Sakshi Mishra and her husband Ajitesh were not present in the court.Sakshi Misra (23) had uploaded a video on a social media platform last week, making her marriage with Ajitesh Kumar (29) public.In another video, she alleged there was a threat to her life from her father, brother and an associate.The couple asked for security, contending that there was a threat to their life from the BJP MLA, who was “unhappy” with their marriage as Sakshi was a Brahmin and Ajitesh a Dalit.The petitioners prayed that police or Rajesh Mishra do not disturb them in “their peaceful living as both petitioners were major and had entered into marriage with a free will”.READ | Respect her decision: BJP MLA denies threatening his daughter for marrying DalitREAD | Tell your goons to back off: BJP MLA’s daughter fears for life after marrying Dalit, releases videoWATCH | BJP MLA’s daughter who married Dalit boy makes emotional appeal to dad on live TVFor 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 bySumeda Nextlast_img read more