By Kelly ServickOct. 7, 2019 , 4:15 PM Artificial intelligence–equipped rovers could offer psychologists a new—and highly malleable—model of the brain. Could robots be psychology’s new lab rats? William Hahn/Florida Atlantic University WASHINGTON, D.C.—Sending a mouse through a maze can tell you a lot about how its little brain learns. But what if you could change the size and structure of its brain at will to study what makes different behaviors possible? That’s what Elan Barenholtz and William Hahn are proposing. The cognitive psychologist and computer scientist, both at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, are running versions of classic psychology experiments on robots equipped with artificial intelligence. Their laptop-size robotic rovers can move and sense the environment through a camera. And they’re guided by computers running neural networks–models that bear some resemblance to the human brain.Barenholtz presented this “robopsychology” approach here last week at the American Psychological Association’s Technology Mind & Society Conference. He and Hahn told Science how they’re using their unusual new test subjects. The interview has been edited for clarity and length.Q: Why put neural networks in robots instead of just studying them on a computer? 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But they’re not making a robot walk around and recognize stuff and carry out complex cognitive functions.William Hahn: What we want is the organism itself to guide its own behavior and get rewards. One way to think about it would be to try to build the simplest possible models. What is the minimum complexity you need to put in one of these agents so that it acts like a squirrel or it acts like a cat?Q: What kind of experiments can you run with these machines?E.B.: We actually have a preliminary result with our little rover car, in what we jokingly call a Skinner box. [In B. F. Skinner’s classic experiments on animal learning], a pigeon wanders around the cage, and then it maybe walks over to a certain location, and maybe that’s electrified. It gets a shock, so it learns very quickly not to go there. Or maybe the pigeon pecks at a little button and it gets a food reward.We put [the rover] in a box with colors on the various sides of the wall, and we just reward it for facing the correct direction. We were asking whether we could get this kind of robot to engage in a behavior just based on reinforcement. We’re never telling it, “This is the right thing to do.” Instead, we’re just allowing it to explore, given, “Here’s my camera input, here’s my behavior, is there an outcome—do I get rewarded?”Q: And its “reward” is just being told it’s correct?E.B.: [Yes,] right now, this is what it’s trying to optimize. And that brings up a very interesting question—a psychological question: What’s the nature of reward that really best simulates the way it works in organisms? There isn’t a score in our heads. There’s endorphins and there’s serotonin, and there’s all this stuff that happens that we call reward.Q: So did the robot learn to face the right wall?E.B.: Yes, it was able to solve it.Q: And what did that tell you?E.B.: One is, OK, these systems are capable, in a real-world situation, of solving this kind of problem. On the flip side, we also realized, through the course of trial and error, how incredibly difficult even that simple task was.Q: Are there more complex questions you’d eventually like to ask in this type of experiment?E.B.: [We want to] extend the rover’s capability beyond rotating on its axis in a little box to be able to have, say, multistep kinds of processes to get the reward. It first has to go to location A, and then location B. Even something as simple as that, in a small space, is extraordinarily difficult.Q: In your talk, you mentioned that you’re testing whether some computational units in these networks evolve properties of place cells—the neurons that fire when an animal is at a particular location, no matter which way its head is facing. Can you tell me more about that?E.B.: We give [the robot] the current frame, and we say, “What do you think the world would look like a second from now if you were to take a right?” To be able to do that, it has to know where it is. It has to build, in its own mind, a map of, “I am here, and then there’s another world over there, and if I turn, I’ll now be at that world.”W.H.: [We want to know,] do we have to put place cells in there explicitly? Or if we just [give] reinforcement, do place cells just show up because that makes it easier to find reward?Q: Do you encounter people who are skeptical that these robots are good models to study the brain?W.H.: We get pushback from both directions. People are like, “This doesn’t look like regular engineering robotics,” and then other people are like “This doesn’t look like psychology research. Why would you think this has anything to do with the brain?”E.B.: [To those] who say, “This can’t be the brain, the brain is much too complex,” … my response is: Let’s see how far this can go. Let’s see what it can’t account for.Q: Do you think these robot experiments could ever replace certain kinds of animal research?W.H.: That’s been one of our motivations. If you imagine 100 years from now, are we still going to be running mice in mazes? Probably not.
Happy Women’s Day: Google Doodle celebrates 13 inspiring women who took the road less travelledHappy Women’s Day: Google Doodle celebrates 13 inspiring women who took the road less travelled
Google’s international women’s day doodle celebrates women across globe, who have broken new ground in their respective fields.According to Google, “the slideshow Doodle features a little girl whose grandmother tells her the best bedtime story ever: the tale of her favorite historical heroine. The little girl then visits 13 remarkable women in her imagination, taking us along on a journey that spans centuries and circles the globe.”Although some of the women showcased in today’s Doodle aren’t household names, each made a mark in her own way. They pursued a range of professions and passions and hailed from an array of backgrounds and countries. In fact, all of these women have been featured in individual Doodles in the past, but often only in their countries of origin. So today, we’re taking the opportunity to share their stories with everyone.”The 13 women who have been showcased in the doodle through art are:Ida Wells (American journalist, suffragist, and civil rights activist)Lotfia El Nadi (Egypt’s first female pilot)Frida Kahlo (Mexican painter and activist)Lina Bo Bardi (Italian-born Brazilian architect) and Olga Skorokhodova (Soviet scientist and researcher in the field of deaf and blind communication)Miriam Makeba (South African singer and civil rights activist), Sally Ride (American astronaut and the first woman in space) and Halet ?ambel (Turkish archaeologist and the first Muslim woman to compete in the Olympics)Ada Lovelace (English mathematician, writer, and the world’s first computer programmer), Rukmini Devi (Indian dancer and choreographer credited with reviving Indian classical dance), Cecilia Grierson (Argentine physician, reformer, and the first woman in Argentina to receive a medical degree), Lee Tai-young (Korean lawyer and activist who was Korea’s first female lawyer and judge) and Suzanne Lenglen (French tennis champion who popularised the sport).advertisementThe 2017 UN theme for the day is ‘Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030.’Interested in General Knowledge and Current Affairs? Click here to stay informed and know what is happening around the world with our G.K. and Current Affairs section.To get more updates on Current Affairs, send in your query by mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
big cat/VineA referee helped cause a fumble in the Sun Bowl.It’s tough out here for refs. Referees receive more criticism than they do praise, especially when the game is on the line. Usually, the criticism comes when a ref makes a bad call.Well, the Sun Bowl brought about a different kind of critique. North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky escaped the rush and darted up the field for a short gain, but ran into a ref on the way. The ref’s right hand hit the ball, and Trubisky fumbled.You can see the ref trying to escape the play, yet he doesn’t react quickly enough. Trubisky didn’t help matters, leaving the ball wide open for a defender, or in this case a ref, to come in and knock it outStanford recovered the fumble in North Carolina territory and went on to kick a field goal.Stanford leads North Carolina 13-7 at the half.
Agra: The police have arrested a man accused of raping a woman, who lived in an ‘ashram’ here in Uttar Pradesh, about an year ago. The victim, who has been staying in the Brahma Kumari Ashram for four years, told the police that the ‘ashram’ manager Bhagwan Singh raped her about a year ago and threatened her of dire consequences if she complained. She said that the accused tried to molest her again two days ago but she managed to escape and sought the help of neighbours who took her to the Sikandra police station where she lodged her complaint. Also Read – Cong may promise farm loan waiver in Haryana The victim claimed that some of other women in the ‘ashram’ were also molested by the accused. The accused, however, told reporters in the police station that he had consensual relations with the victim. “Two days ago, this woman had a fight with other women in the ‘ashram’ and when I intervened in the matter, she threatened to get me booked,” said the accused. Circle Officer of Hari Parvat police station Gopal Chaudhary said that other inmates of the ashram were being interrogated and investigation was on.
Simranjit Dinesh Dagar reach finals of Presidents CupSimranjit Dinesh Dagar reach finals of Presidents Cup
New Delhi: World Championships bronze medallist Simranjit Kaur (60kg) and GeeBee Boxing silver medallist Dinesh Dagar (69kg) confirmed their places in the finals of the 23rd President’s Cup in Labuan Bajo, Indonesia on Thursday. Ankush Dahiya (64kg) and Ananta Pralhad Chopade (52kg) made it to the semi-finals of the competition. Asian Boxing Championships silver medallist Simranjit was flawless in her first bout and outpunched Italy’s Francesca Martusciello 5-0 in a commanding performance to enter the final against Indonesia’s Asian Games bronze medallist Hasanah Huswatun. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhDagar, a silver medallist at the 2018 India Open, did not waste any time in racing towards a convincing 5-0 victory over Indonesian Naumeo Defri. Dinesh has so far been highly impressive at this tournament and got both his wins without dropping a single point. He will take on Indonesia’s Samada Saputra in the title clash. In 52kg, Chopade was unanimously declared the winner against Indonesia’s Fahmi Muhamad that enabled him to enter the semifinals and assure himself of a medal. He will aim to keep his run going against Sri Lanka’s Dharmasena Piyal. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterDahiya knocked out Afghanistan’s Noor Belal in the third round to set up a semi-final showdown with Korea’s Giheon You. Earlier, Monika (48kg) ended the challenge of Indonesia’s Niis Anggelina 5-0 to book her place in the final of this tournament. India Open gold medallist Jamuna Boro (54kg) also continued her impeccable form to enter the semi-finals. In men’s 49kg, Neeraj Swami (49kg) has assured himself of a medal after making his way into the semifinals. Six-time World Championships gold medallist Mary Kom leads the 10-member Indian squad at this prestigious tournament which will continue till July 28.
Hunger Strikes on Downward Decline Mustapha El KhalfiHunger Strikes on Downward Decline Mustapha El Khalfi
Rabat- Morocco’s government spokesperson and Minister Delegate for Relations with Parliament and Civil Society, Mustapha El Khalfi, announced on Monday in Rabat, that the number of hunger strikes observed by detainees in Moroccan prisons dropped by approximately 37 percent between 2014 and 2017.Answering an oral question on the matter from the Istiqlalian Group of Unity and Egalitarianism at the House of Representatives, El Khalfi said that in 2014, 2,700 cases of hunger striking were recorded, while in 2017, this number decreased by about 1,000 cases, demonstrating a continuous downward trend.The minister pointed out that once a hunger strike is registered, the participating detainees are summoned for inquiry as to the reasons for their actions, with the aim of urging reconsideration. He added that if the reason for the strike was related to the conditions of detention, the detainee petition will be satisfied according to the law. El Khalfi underlined that if the strike is conducted for other reasons, the demands of the inmates are transferred to the competent authorities. He emphasized that the inmates are regularly kept informed about the progress of their files in line with Article 131, related to the organization of penitentiary institutions. The inmate, in turn, is obliged to inform the judicial authorities, family, and the central administration of the reasons for the hunger strike.
Norfolk County has refined its search for the young entrepreneurs of the future.Norfolk’s tourism and economic development department has again opened the floor to applications under its Student Start-up Program (SSUP). The difference this time around is quality will drive the selection process.In years past, SSUP has sprinkled start-up capital among dozens of student participants. The short-list this year will be whittled down to 10 applications under a new “merit-based system.”Managers of the SSUP program ask aspiring entrepreneurs to draw up a business plan and submit it to the county by June 17. Norfolk’s tourism and economic development advisory board will announce the successful applicants June 21.Eligible students are in Grades 6 through 12 and must be residents of Norfolk County. Previous SSUP grant recipients do not qualify.Along with the business plan and application, parents and guardians must sign indemnity waivers and approve the use and publication of a photo upon acceptance into the program.Norfolk’s tourism and economic development department came up with the SSUP concept several years ago as a means of encouraging young people to start their own businesses.Market-place events will be held this summer where students can sell their wares, promote their businesses, and learn something about what it takes to satisfy consumer demand while turning a profit.Eight market-place events are scheduled. SSUP participants can collect $50 from the county per market event to a maximum of $100.“A mentorship and networking event will be held Aug. 8 to give students the opportunity to share their experience, outline their challenges, and celebrate their success thus far,” Christina Lounsbury, a customer service representative in the tourism and economic development department, said in a memo to Norfolk council.SSUP runs over July and August. At the end of August, participating students who file a written report on the performance of their business are eligible for an additional bonus of $100.“The program provides real-world experience in business and exposes young people to an alternative of being an employee or the ability to offset part-time work,” Lounsbury says. “They have the opportunity to be creative and follow their dreams.”Norfolk’s tourism and economic development department is bracing for an avalanche of applications. The call for applications has been promoted in 26 elementary and secondary schools in Norfolk, on the county’s website and media platforms, in newsletters and on electronic signage around the county.The county is receiving on-line applications at https://www.norfolkbusiness.ca/ssup-norfolk/student-start-up-program-application/MSonnenberg@postmedia.com
Children will be able to watch porn on social media sites becauseChildren will be able to watch porn on social media sites because
Children will be free to watch explicit X-rated sex videos on social media sites because of a loophole in a new porn crackdown, Britain’s chief censor has admitted.The government is also braced for criticism next week over an anticipated delay in its prospective curbs on under 18s’ access to hardcore porn sites.David Austin, chief executive of the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), has been charged by ministers with enforcing new laws that require people to prove they are over 18 to access porn sites.However, writing for telegraph.co.uk, Mr Austin admitted it would not be “a silver bullet” as online porn on sites such as Facebook and YouTube would escape the age restrictions.“Social media companies will not be required to carry age-verification for pornographic content on their platforms,” he said. He said it was a “matter for government to review this position” which comes despite evidence from the London School of Economics (LSE) that children under 16 view most of their porn on social networking sites or in films and TV. Some 40% of boys aged 14 to 17 admit regularly watching porn. Professor Sonia Livingstone, who led the LSE research and is a member of the UK council for child internet safety, said the BBFC’s crackdown on porn sites was welcome but did not go far enough Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. People could also verify they are over 18 by using digital ID apps or through a mobile phone provided adult filters had been removed.The BBFC will have powers to require social media firms and search engines to stop providing links to porn sites that fail to block under 18s but it is relying on self-regulation by the tech giants such as Facebook and YouTube to keep porn off their own sites.Concerns about self-regulation surfaced this week when it was revealed moderators contracted to Facebook were turning a blind eye to children under the age limit of 13 even when they were involved in self-harming and were failing to take down child abuse videos. The new laws give the BBFC powers to order internet service providers (ISPs) to block access to porn sites that fail to turn away under-aged users and to cut off their customers’ credit card payments. David Austin has been charged by ministers with enforcing new laws that require people to prove they are over 18 to access porn sites “Children access pornography in lots of different ways, and this initiative will only stop one of them. So there’s more regulatory effort needed,” she said.The Daily Telegraph is campaigning for a statutory duty of care on the social media companies that would require them to protect children from online harms including sex and violence.The BBFC said it would be monitoring and reporting to the government on “all aspects of the regime including pornography on social media.” The culture department said it would protect children from “harmful content” under its proposed new statutory practice on social media firms but it has yet to reveal details.It will also face criticism next week over an expected delay in the introduction of the age verification for porn sites. It had been anticipated it would lay the BBFC’s guidance before Parliament before the summer recess but it is now thought this will be delayed until the autumn.It means that the crackdown on under 18s access to porn sites is unlikely to be in place until the end of the year.A culture department spokesman said: “We’ve been clear our focus is to introduce age verification on commercial pornographic sites.”Privacy campaigners have been sceptical that the government can rein in the estimated 5m porn websites worldwide. Britain is the first country to attempt to introduce age verification for such sites and is being watched closely around the world. “The BBFC will be looking for a step change in the behaviour of the adult industry,” writes Mr Austin. “We have strong powers to use against those that do not comply.”The BBFC said it had met with all biggest porn sites such as PornHub, Xhamster and Xvideos and, as a result, was confident of a “high level of compliance” although Mr Austin admitted “determined, tech-savy teenagers may find ways around the controls.”Age verification cards to access porn sites will be issued at newsagents under the scheme. In a move harking back to days when porn was bought off the top shelf, newsagents will determine face-to-face if a customer is old enough to buy a porn site ID card over the counter. The Daily Telegraph is campaigning for a statutory duty of care on the social media companies that would require them to protect children from online harms In response to privacy concerns over porn sites’ potential access to people’s data, Mr Austin said personal data would be held by third parties rather than the porn sites and the scheme would minimise the amount of personal data required for verification.
Largest electromechanical repair facility on the Copperbelt of Zambia and the DRCLargest electromechanical repair facility on the Copperbelt of Zambia and the DRC
Marthinusen & Coutts (M&C), repairer of rotating electrical equipment, is close to completing a contract awarded in January 2011 by specialist winder consulting company DRA Technical Services (DRATS) on behalf of the client Konnoco Zambia, for the rewinding and refurbishment of the rock winder and man winder rotating machines for the Konkola North copper project. Konnoco Zambia is a subsidiary of Teal Minerals (Barbados), which is a Joint Venture owned by African Rainbow Minerals and Vale. The rock winder was sourced from Deelkraal gold mine and M&C is conducting a complete rewind of the MG set AC drive motor, the two MG set DC generators and the two DC hoist motors. The man winder, sourced by DRATS from Chibuluma in Zambia, is undergoing a complete rewind of the DC hoist motor armature and refurbishment of the two field frames and five transformers for the winder.Repair of the man winder’s field frames and transformers is being conducted at M&C’s dedicated rotating machinery repair facility in Zambia – the largest electro-mechanical repair facility on the Zambian and DRC Copperbelt. The remaining work has taken place at M&C’s Cleveland facility in South Africa. M&C will oversee the initial installation and commissioning of this equipment by the contracted winder supply companies, supervised by DRATS. Prior to commissioning in mid-2012, most of the equipment will be stored at the M&C Rotapro workshop in Benoni. Final commissioning on site will be conducted by M&C, involving activities such as setting the brush gears and making the halving joint connections.This contract follows the recent successful repair of rock winder and man winder rotating machines, comprising drive motors and generators, for Great Basin Gold’s Burnstone mine near Balfour, Mpumalanga. Both winders were also secondhand machines sourced for the project by DRATS.Eugene Lottering, High Voltage Administration Manager at M&C, says the company has established a close working relationship with DRATS and this has contributed to the success of the Konkola North Project contract to date.DRATS’ Anthony Clark comments: “We regard M&C as specialists in their field. They have become our preferred contractor for this type of work, based on their direct experience with winder motors and the specialist expertise the company offers. M&C’s performance on the Burnstone project last year demonstrated not only their ability to apply this specialist knowledge, but also to conduct contract work to spec and on schedule.”The Konkola North project demonstrates M&C’s engineering capability and, more specifically, its ability to design customised engineering solutions for customers using sophisticated technology. M&C has its own design room and has invested in critical equipment such as ‘full load’ test bays and crucial testing equipment enabling the company to manufacture and repair motors with unparalleled results.
Leading mineral processing technology company Eriez has joined forces with energy efficient mining and processing champion CEEC, to continue to drive improvements across the global mining industry. The Coalition for Energy Efficient Comminution (CEEC) is an international, not-for-profit company, entirely funded by sponsorship from the minerals industry. Its mission is to share energy efficient, productive mining processes to help reduce costs, lower footprint and improve shareholder value.Announcing a sponsorship agreement with Eriez, CEEC CEO Alison Keogh said she was pleased to welcome the US-based company to the CEEC team. “Eriez brings an exciting option to mineral processing circuits with its innovative HydroFloat™ technology, which has potential to significantly cut costs and boost processing efficiency,” she said. “Eriez highlights the potential to add significant value through flotation of coarser material. When successfully commercialised at full scale, this will dramatically reduce costs by lowering use of energy, water and other resources per unit.”Eriez Australia Managing Director Jaisen Kohmuench said his company was proud to partner with a true collaborator like CEEC. “We were familiar with CEEC’s global initiatives and were introduced to CEEC by colleagues in North America. We wanted to help support CEEC’s work and to share our key learnings with the mining industry, so we’re excited to come on board as a sponsor,” he stated. “Two decades ago Eriez pioneered coarse flotation in the phosphate and potash industries. Since then we’ve advanced our technology, resulting in development of our coarseflotation system, the HydroFloat™. This innovative separator has a fluidised bed which increases particle contact with bubbles and reduces the turbulent action often found in conventional mechanical flotation cells. As a result, we’re able to recover much coarser particles, even those with minimal surface area exposure.”Kohmuench pointed out a recent study by Dr Jan Miller at the University of Utah has shown that the HydroFloat™ can recover copper ore particles as coarse as 1mm with a mineral surface expression as low as 1%. By increasing the size of ore particles from 20 to 80 microns, for example, the energy required per tonne drops from 20-30 kWh/t to less than 7 kWh/t. He added: “With grinding consuming up to 3% of the world’s total electrical energy consumption,coarse flotation could save the industry significant costs and greatly reduce its energy use and carbon footprint.”Keogh concluded: “Grinding less before flotation and simultaneously improving coarse particle recovery hasthe potential to help revolutionise the process. This can drive significant energy efficiency and productivity improvements in comminution and other mining and mineral processing steps. Commercialisation of technologies, such as the HydroFloat™, has the potential to transform the way operations manage energy, water and other resources.”
Doctors call for appointment of 500 new GPs to address manpower crisisDoctors call for appointment of 500 new GPs to address manpower crisis
If the 280,000 or so children under six who currently don’t have a medical card are given one, then there will be a huge increase in visits to GPs – thereby increasing the average GPs workload by 10 per cent or more – other patients will, of necessity – have to lose out or wait.He warns that if the GP service is overwhelmed “it will have a serious follow-on impact on the rest of the health service with disastrous results”.The one-day AGM takes place in the Herbert Park Hotel, Ballsbridge. The keynote speaker is Dr Edward Walsh, founding President of the National University of Limerick. There are also one-on-one forums covering legal and tax advice, and a workshop by credit management specialist Declan Flood on ‘Getting Paid’.Related: Health Budget measures could have “dangerous and unintended” consequences, GPs warnRead: €666 million adjustment “toughest challenge I’ve had to face yet” — Reilly THE CEO OF the National Association of General Practitioners is calling for the Government to support the appointment of 500 new GPs in order to bring Ireland into line with other developed countries.Speaking in advance of the representative body’s AGM in Dublin, Chris Goodey said the move was needed to bring the country’s doctor-patient ratio up to the OECD average.“As a matter of urgency the government needs to put the resourcing in place to support an increase in the number of GPs,” Goodey said.He said that unless there were “significant reforms” to make General Practice attractive for new entrants to the profession “the current manpower crisis will lead to a collapse in the system of primary care”.He said that in his address to the AGM he would send a “strong warning” to the Government parties that unless funding to the sector was increased “150 General Practices across every county in the country face the real risk of imminent closure”.The organisation is also warning that the plan announced in the Budget to extend free GP cover to all children aged five and under will have a significant impact on other patients.According to spokesperson Dr Stephen Murphy:
Trap places trust in Clark Green as he names starting 11 toTrap places trust in Clark Green as he names starting 11 to
DAVID FORDE AND Ciaran Clark face a baptism of fire after Giovanni Trapattoni handed them their competitive debuts in tomorrow’s World Cup qualifier against Sweden.Trapattoni has named his starting XI for the crucial clash in the Friends Arena with Clark, who wins his fifth cap, chosen ahead of Sean St Ledger to partner John O’Shea in the heart of the Irish defence.Seamus Coleman and Marc Wilson, who opened the scoring in Ireland’s last qualifier against the Faroe Islands, are named at full-back.As expected Leeds United’s Paul Green starts alongside Glenn Whelan in centre-midfield with James McCarthy the man to miss out.Sunderland’s James McClean starts on the wing but there is a still a question mark over Robbie Brady whose inclusion is tentatively marked as “TBC” until after training in Stockholm this evening.Up front Ireland’s record goalscorer Robbie Keane is partnered by West Brom striker Shane Long.Kick-off in the Friends Arena is at 7.45pm (GMT) tomorrow evening. Ireland team (vs Sweden): David Forde, Seamus Coleman, Ciaran Clark, John O’Shea, Marc Wilson, Robbie Brady (TBC), Paul Green, Glenn Whelan, James McClean, Robbie Keane, Shane Long.‘Keane is a great player’ — respect from Ibra for Robbie ahead of Stockholm showdownClose the roof! Sweden boss Hamren doesn’t want to wear long-stockings tomorrow
Secondary school students battle it out to deliver The SpeechSecondary school students battle it out to deliver The Speech
Poll Results: THREE SECONDARY SCHOOL students are battling it out for the grand prize of best speech as part of a competition being run by the prestigious Matheson Junior Debating National Mace.The Matheson Junior Debating National Mace – in which over 500 students took part this year – is a competition open to all junior cert students in Irish schools which seeks to identify the country’s very best young debaters.This year organisers are also running ‘The Speech’ a competition designed to increase students’ understanding of communication and oratory.Students from first to transition year were invited to submit a film of them giving their favourite speech – be it from history or television and the movies – and from these three grand finalists have emerged.The winner will be determined by a panel of experts in oratory, members of the media, and sponsors at the grand final of the main debating competition on 9 March at the Padraig Pearse Museum in Rathfarnham in Dublin.For the winner there is a perpetual trophy and a netbook to be had.But who gets your vote? Watch all three of the speeches here and vote below:Speech A: Ross Merriman, St. Mary’s College RathminesRoss has been involved in debating for the past number of years and was ranked second in the country last year. His speech is Al Pacino’s from Any Given SundaySpeech B: Katie Sullivan Smyth, Colaiste na hInse, BettystownKatie, a Transition Year student, has never been involved in debating or public speaking before this. Her speech is Reese Witherspoon’s from Legally Blonde 2Speech C: Dennis Gifford,Colaiste na hInse, BettystownDennis, a TY student, is also a first time speech maker and his chosen oratory is Success, a speech by motivational speaker Eric Thomas.Poll: Which speech is your favorite? Speech C – Success (193) Speech B – Legally Blonde 2 (187) Speech A – Any Given Sunday (83) Speech A – Any Given SundaySpeech B – Legally Blonde 2Speech C – SuccessVoteRead our ‘Favourite Speeches’ series including Michael D Higgins, Martin McGuinness and Enda Kenny
Do you speak Arabic How the US bungled its online fight againstDo you speak Arabic How the US bungled its online fight against
ON ANY GIVEN day at MacDill Air Force Base, web crawlers scour social media for potential recruits to the Islamic State group. The entrance to MacDill Air Force Base Source: Chris O’Meara/AP PhotoThen, in a high-stakes operation to counter the extremists’ propaganda, language specialists employ fictitious identities and try to sway the targets from joining IS ranks.At least, that’s how the multi million-dollar initiative is being sold to the US Defence Department.A critical national security program known as “WebOps” is part of a vast psychological operation that the Pentagon says is effectively countering an enemy that has used the internet as a devastating tool of propaganda.But an Associated Press investigation found the management behind WebOps is so beset with incompetence, cronyism and flawed data that multiple people with direct knowledge of the program say it’s having little impact.Several current and former WebOps employees cited multiple examples of civilian Arabic specialists who have little experience in counter-propaganda, cannot speak Arabic fluently and have so little understanding of Islam they are no match for the Islamic State online recruiters.It’s hard to establish rapport with a potential terror recruit when — as one former worker told the AP — translators repeatedly mix up the Arabic words for “salad” and “authority.” That’s led to open ridicule on social media about references to the “Palestinian salad.”Four current or former workers told the AP that they had personally witnessed WebOps data being manipulated to create the appearance of success and that they had discussed the problem with many other employees who had seen the same.Yet the companies carrying out the program for the military’s Central Command in Tampa have dodged attempts to implement independent oversight and assessment of the data.Central Command spokesman Andy Stephens declined repeated requests for information about WebOps and other counter-propaganda programs, which were launched under the Obama administration. And he did not respond to detailed questions the AP sent on 10 January.The AP investigation is based on Defence Department and contractor documents, emails, photographs and interviews with more than a dozen people closely involved with WebOps as well as interviews with nearly two dozen contractors.The WebOps workers requested anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the work and because they weren’t authorised to speak publicly.The information operations division that runs WebOps is the command’s epicenter for firing back at the Islamic State’s online propaganda machine, which uses the internet to sway public opinion in a swath of the globe that stretches from Central Asia to the Horn of Africa.Early last year, the government opened bidding on a new counter-propaganda contract — separate from WebOps— that is worth as much as $500 million. The document announcing the new $500 million defence contract. Source: John Elswick/AP PhotoMonths after the AP started reporting about the bidding process, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service told the AP that it had launched an investigation. NCIS spokesman Ed Buice said the service is investigating a whistleblower’s “allegations of corruption” stemming from how the contract was awarded.The whistleblower’s complaint alleges multiple conflicts of interest that include division officers being treated to lavish dinners paid for by a contractor.The complaint also alleges routine drinking at the office where classified work is conducted. The drinking was confirmed by multiple contractors, who spoke to AP and described a frat house atmosphere where happy hour started at 3 p.m.CronyismOne of the most damning accusations leveled by the whistleblower is against Army Colonel Victor Garcia, who led the information operations division until July 2016, when he moved to a new assignment at Special Operations Command, also in Tampa.The whistleblower contended that Garcia steered the contract to a team of vendors that included a close friend’s firm. The whistleblower requested anonymity for fear of professional retribution.The AP obtained a screen-grab from a Facebook page that shows Garcia and the friend at a tiki bar in Key Largo two weeks before the winning team was officially announced 30 September.The photo was also turned over to NCIS investigators by the whistleblower, who said the photo created a “clear impression and perception of impropriety.” 12 Comments 22,720 Views Short URL While watching a soap opera online, the colleague said the material was irrelevant because it was in Farsi or Urdu. But when she checked, it was indeed Arabic. She has since left WebOps to find more meaningful work, she said.The WebOps Arabic program focuses on Syria, Iraq and Yemen, but for most of the time Colsa has been running it, it has had no Syrian or Yemeni staff, the AP was told in separate interviews with two current employees and one who left recently.Engaging in theological discussions on social media with people who are well versed in the Quran is not for beginners. Iraq and Syria are riven with sectarian violence between Shiite and Sunni Muslims, who follow different interpretations of Islam.Multiple workers said that WebOps “experts” often trip up on language that is specific to one sect or region.“People can tell whether you are local, or whether you are Sunni or Shia,” said another former worker, so poorly crafted messages are not effective. He said he left WebOps because he was disgusted with the work.A number of the workers complained to AP that a large group on staff from Morocco, in North Africa, were often ignorant of Middle Eastern history and culture — or even the difference between groups the U.S. considers terrorist organisations. The group was so dominant that colleagues jokingly referred to them as “the Moroccan mafia.”A lot of them “don’t know the difference between Hezbollah and Hamas,” said the employee who left to find more meaningful work. Hezbollah is an Iran-backed Shiite group based in Lebanon. Hamas, based in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, is the Palestinian branch of the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood.Cathy Dickens, a vice president for business management and corporate ethics at Colsa Corp., referred questions to CENTCOM, which declined comment.Read: BBC causes a stir with Real Housewives of ISIS sketchRead: Here’s how fighter jets refuel while bombing ISIS Colonel Victor Garcia (left) posing with Simon Bergman Source: AP PhotoGarcia, a West Point graduate and decorated officer, denied any wrongdoing and described the complaint as “character assassination.”Garcia, who moved to his new post two months before the contract was decided, said he scrupulously avoided any discussions about the contract with both his friend and his former deputy. His former deputy served on the five-member panel that reviewed all of the bids.“Because I was aware of these conflicts of interest, I intentionally kept myself out of that process — with any of these contract processes,” Garcia said.The whistleblower is a senior manager at a company that lost its bid for the work. He told AP that he was investigated for attempting to accept kickbacks on an unrelated government contract.He denied the allegations, which were made four years ago, and no charges have been filed in the case.The problems with the WebOps operation and the personal bonds underpinning the new contract illustrate challenges awaiting President Donald Trump. He has promised to boost military spending by tens of billions of dollars while also cutting waste at the Defense Department and ensuring that contractors aren’t getting sweetheart deals.Charles Tiefer, a professor at the University of Baltimore’s law school and a government contracting expert, reviewed AP’s findings and called Central Command’s lack of rigorous oversight inexcusable.“These people should not be wasting the money consigned to defend us against terrorism,” said Tiefer, who served on a bipartisan Commission on Wartime Contracting. The commission reported in 2011 that at least $31 billion was lost to waste and fraud in Iraq and Afghanistan.Do you speak Arabic?In a large office room filled with cubicles at Central Command, about 120 people, many of them Arabic language specialists, are assigned to fight IS militants on their own turf: the internet.The WebOps contract is run by Colsa Corp., based in Huntsville, Alabama.A major challenge for Colsa — and contractors working on other national security programs— is finding people who can speak Arabic fluently and can also get security clearances to handle classified material.The problem, according to six current and former Colsa employees, is that to engage with operatives of the Islamic State, or their potential recruits, you need to be fluent in language, nuance and Islam — and while Colsa has some Arabic experts, those skills are not widely distributed.“One of the things about jihadis: they are very good in Arabic,” said one specialist who worked on WebOps.Another former employee said common translation mistakes he personally witnessed, including the “Palestinian salad” example, were the result of the company hiring young people who were faking language abilities.He mockingly described the conversations between managers and potential hires: “‘Do you speak Arabic?’” he mimicked. “‘Yes. How do you say ‘good morning?’ Oh, you can do that? You are an expert. You are hired.’”A third specialist said she asked a colleague, who was assigned to analyse material written in Arabic, why he was discarding much of it. Source: Shutterstock/chainarong06 http://jrnl.ie/3216458 Share Tweet Email3 Saturday 4 Feb 2017, 8:15 PM ‘Do you speak Arabic?’: How the US bungled its online fight against IS The US security programme dealing with IS online is beset with “incompetence, cronyism and flawed data”. By Associated Press Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Feb 4th 2017, 8:15 PM
Cuomo Signs Bill Accelerating Process for Military Spouses to Transfer LicensesCuomo Signs Bill Accelerating Process for Military Spouses to Transfer Licenses
The state of New York will expedite the process for issuing occupational licenses to the spouses of active-duty military personnel transferred to New York who are licensed to practice in another state, under legislation signed Sept. 9 by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D).The bill (A.4394-A/S.2947-A) also requires the state to issue temporary licenses while the applications of military spouses are pending.The measure would cover as many as 50 fields, including medicine, architecture, engineering, accounting and social work. The bill’s enactment makes New York the last state in the country to give special consideration for licensing to military spouses, reported the Watertown Daily Times.“This law allows military spouses to pursue professional job opportunities that were closed to them before. We are now on par with the majority of states that recognize the importance of military families,” Assistant Assembly Speaker Felix Ortiz, who introduced the legislation, said in a press release issued by the governor’s office.The legislation requires the state Education Department to expedite the licensure process for spouses of active-duty members of the armed forces, National Guard, or reserves who are transferred to New York and who hold a license with substantially similar requirements from another state.Fort Drum supported the legislation, with the post’s Deputy Garrison Commander Eric Wagenaar saying the bill would help the region encourage military families to come to and stay in the North Country. Dan Cohen AUTHOR
Will email marketing count for your business growth Here is what AlanWill email marketing count for your business growth Here is what Alan
Alan LazarPR HandoutEmail marketing is a powerful and vibrant method to connect with millions of people across the globe. It is also a personalised way to reach out to your target customers. Email marketing can be tailored as per client action and demands, so that every communication turns out to be fruitful and relevant.During a recent chat with Alan Lazar, who made a multi-million-dollar e-commerce marketing empire, said email marketing is a cost-effective solution that helps a business reach its target customers. After defying several odds, Alan, the Los Angeles-born entrepreneur, now is a 7-figure earner specialising in branded e-commerce products. Known in the industry as The Man Behind the Brand, Alan, now works with info products and assists his clients such as Tai Lopez, Ed Myette and among others and make them create billions of dollars.Alan, who knows all the aspects of creating and promoting one’s brand, said, “Email marketing helps you build credibility with your customers by sharing helpful and informative content, a requisite in any business. when you have an audience that are interested in having your updates, you start thinking differently about how to boost your sales.”Born in 1983 and dropped out of college to support his mother and brother, Alan started his career as a telemarketer, ran a call centre in New Delhi, India, before making his foray into internet marketing and traffic arbitrage doing 7-figure months. According to Alan, everyone at some point needs clients like doctors, lawyers or media professionals who need marketing representation.For him, email marketing is an essential tool that gives one the required metrics to observe how one’s email are performing. “The insights are important as they help you market in a better and smarter way. Therefore, you get to understand your audience better and what makes your clients interested in your brand,” explained the email marketing giant.Alan believes that email marketing is especially good for those running their small businesses. Email templates are designed to make one’s brand look professional; one can customise this/her content and provide necessary information to customers without whelming them with bunch of irrelevant information, Alan said. He has been the key figure in making and promoting several odd brands with his strong business foresight and acumen including Pig Out Chips and Hundy app.The marketing expert believes that through email marketing one can share their newsletters and announcements to various social media platforms, instead of just connecting with people through the email list. It helps attracts new clients and promote services.According to Alan, another important benefit of email marketing is generating leads. The method gives one the chance to draw the attention of the new visitor and nurture the relationship with helpful and informative content, he explained. Alan’s innovative ideas, unique way of approaching things and the will to surpass his obstacles made him reach to the top of email marketing industry.
First Call of Duty Black Ops 3 tournament broadcast on Twitch lastFirst Call of Duty Black Ops 3 tournament broadcast on Twitch last
In the past, Major League Gaming had a monopoly of sorts on broadcasting Call of Duty tournaments on its own streaming channel, MLG.tv. That, however, changed as they partnered with Twitch to broadcast the very first Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 tournament over the weekend.Considering that Twitch is the most popular video game streaming site on the internet, having a Call of Duty tournament shown on it will bring in thousands of new viewers. Also, with Activision having its own professional Call of Duty league, the day of MLG’s stranglehold on the franchise was nearing an end anyway.Eight teams competed to win the grand prize of $50,000 in this tournament: OpTic, FaZe, eLevate, compLexity, EnVy, Luminosity, Team Kaliber, and Rise Nation (who ended up the champs). Alex “Goldenboy” Mendez, Ben “Benson” Bowe, and Joseph “Merk” Deluca casted the festivities.The Totino’s Invitational Call of Duty Tournament was held at the Major League Gaming eSports arena in Columbus, Ohio.The latest entry in the wildly popular Call of Duty franchise was released on November 6. It managed to generate an impressive $550 million in just three days, making it the “biggest entertainment launch of the year,” according to Activision. Activision made a deal with Sony which will see all of the game’s DLC exclusively on PlayStation systems for one month before being released on Microsoft’s Xbox systems and on PC. Check out a review of the game below.
Man streams suicide live on social networking siteMan streams suicide live on social networking site
Kolkata: In a sensational incident, a 40-year-old man streamed his suicide live on a social networking site.He hanged himself from the ceiling of his house. The incident triggered panic among his friends on the social media site.The incident took place on Saturday evening when a World Cup Football match was going on. It occurred in Purba Vivekanndapally area of Siliguri.It is suspected that the victim Arindam Dutta (40), an employee of a private company, might have been suffering from depression. This might have prompted him to commit suicide. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedPolice said he was watching the football match when he suddenly went live on a social media site. Initially, the video was captured inside a dark room. It was also noted from the video that a football match was going on in the background. He hung himself from the ceiling with the help of a piece of cloth. The moment he was going to commit the suicide, he received a call on his mobile phone due to which the video stopped.Police said the victim used to stay in a rented room. The owner of the house informed police that the victim was supposed to leave for Kolkata on Sunday. Also Read – Naihati: 10 councillors return to TMC from BJPThe owner found the room locked from inside when he went up to his room. He did not open the door despite repeated knocks on the door. As a result, he looked inside the room through a window only to find the victim hanging from the ceiling.He reported the matter to the local police, who recovered the body after breaking open the door.The body was sent for an autopsy. No suicide note was found inside the room. Police have started a detailed probe into the incident. According to a preliminary investigation, police suspect that he had committed suicide due to depression. The exact cause is yet to confirmed. The mobile phone of the victim is being examined by the police officers.
News | Focused Ultrasound Therapy | July 10, 2019 Insightec’s Exablate Neuro Approved With GE Signa Premier MRI in U.S. and Europe GE Healthcare and Insightec announced U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval and CE mark for Insightec’s… read more News | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | August 01, 2019 | Jeff Zagoudis, Associate Editor FDA Issues Draft Guidance on Medical Device Safety in MRI Environment The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a new draft guidance titled Testing and Labeling Medical Devices for… read more Feature | Contrast Media | July 18, 2019 | By Greg Freiherr How To Manage Risk in the MR Suite Macrocyclic contrast agents have the best safety profile of all the magnetic resonance (MR) contrast media that are n read more Technology | Interventional Radiology | August 16, 2019 Profound Medical Receives U.S. FDA 510(k) Clearance for Tulsa-Pro Profound Medical Corp. announced it has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to… read more News | Neuro Imaging | August 16, 2019 ADHD Medication May Affect Brain Development in Children A drug used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) appears to affect development of the brain’s… read more Technology | Contrast Media | July 15, 2019 FDA Approves Bayer’s Gadavist Contrast for Cardiac MRI in Adult Coronary Artery Disease Patients The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Gadavist injection for use in cardiac magnetic resonance… read more Image courtesy of Double Black ImagingDouble Black Imaging released a new MRI safe display at RSNA 2014. The DBI24-MRSafe is a 2.3 mega-pixel color LED backlit display designed for use in the MRI Suite. This is the only MRI compatible, MR safe display with lag free output and no interference with the scanner even when positioned at the exit of the bore.Spatial uniformity of 2 percent over the central 75 percent, ultra high brightness of 1,000 cd/m2 and a contrast ratio of 1,000:1 provide outstanding image quality within the MR Suite.For more information: www.doubleblackimaging.com FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 Related Content News | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | August 06, 2019 Canon Medical Introduces Encore Orian MR Upgrade Program Canon Medical Systems USA Inc. is helping to provide low-cost patient care solutions for its customers with the launch… read more Two brain metastases from primary lung cancer are contrast enhanced in the brain of a 61-year-old male. Speakers at AHRA 2019 will state that ProHance and other macrocyclic MR agents present a very low risk to patients. Images courtesy of Bracco Technology | Neuro Imaging | August 07, 2019 Synaptive Medical Launches Modus Plan With Automated Tractography Segmentation Synaptive Medical announced the U.S. launch and availability of Modus Plan featuring BrightMatter AutoSeg. This release… read more News | Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) | July 16, 2019 AAPM 2019 Features More Than 40 Presentations on ViewRay’s MRIdian MRI-guided Radiotherapy ViewRay Inc. announced that the company’s MRIdian System is the focus of more than 40 abstracts selected by the… read more Technology | December 24, 2014 Double Black Imaging Releases MR Safe Display at RSNA 2014 Product compatible with MRI Images of regions of interest (colored lines) in the white matter skeleton representation. Data from left and right anterior thalamic radiation (ATR) were averaged. Image courtesy of C. Bouziane et al. News | Neuro Imaging | July 05, 2019 Delta T1 Maps Provide Quantitative, Automated Solution to Assess Brain Tumor Burden Imaging Biometrics LLC (IB) a subsidiary of IQ-AI Ltd., is highlighting a recently published study in the American… read more
Merge Healthcare Named a Leading Vendor in KLAS 2015 Midterm Performance ReviewMerge Healthcare Named a Leading Vendor in KLAS 2015 Midterm Performance Review
Merge Healthcare Incorporated was recently recognized as a top vendor in the KLAS 2015 Midterm Performance Review: Software & Services report. Merge Healthcare ranked second in the Software Performance by Vendor category, receiving an overall score of 81.9.”At Merge, our dedication to helping clients move their quality of care forward is at the foundation of what we do, and being recognized by KLAS is a testament to that commitment,” said Justin Dearborn, chief executive officer of Merge Healthcare. “We strive to deliver products that exceed our clients’ evolving needs so they are best prepared for success now and in the future. It is exciting to see our efforts translating into tangible achievements such as this.”Bob Schallhorn, senior vice president of solutions management at Merge Healthcare, added, “Over the past 18 months, Merge has been quite successful in expanding its footprint in the market. In 2014, Merge’s iConnect Enterprise Archive had its best year of the past five and Merge Cardio experienced tremendous growth, as well. This latest KLAS report is further proof that Merge’s continued focus on client success and quality of patient care is resulting in improved KLAS rankings and significant commercial accomplishments.”The 2015 Midterm Performance Review: Software & Services report provides a summary of the KLAS performance ratings gathered over the past 12 months for healthcare IT software vendors in 93 market segments.For more information: www.merge.com FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 News | PACS | August 26, 2015 Merge Healthcare Named a Leading Vendor in KLAS 2015 Midterm Performance Review Merge recognized as a leader in software performance by vendor