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10 months agoLeicester ponder contract offer to Bohemians forward Ali Reghba

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first_img Van Persie a fan of Arsenal whiz Martinelli Promoted5 decades agoNext Tech Hong Kong: New WiFi Booster Stops Expensive Internet Promoted5 decades ago8fit Skip the Gym, Do This 10-Minute Workout Instead Leicester ponder contract offer to Bohemians forward Ali Reghbaby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveBohemians forward Ali Reghba is interesting Leicester City.The Irish Independent says Leicester are mulling over a contract offer for Reghba after he came under the spotlight for the Foxes last night.The Ireland U19 cap is in demand after a successful season where he made his Premier Division debut for Bohs and also helped the Gypsies win the U19 league title.Championship sides Middlesbrough and Brentford have had Reghba on trial but Leicester are very keen on the forward and he was involved in an U23 game away to Brighton last night, starting the game on the bench.As the 18-year-old is out of contract with Bohs, the Phibsboro club will only be entitled to compensation if he does move abroad, with former club Shelbourne also due compensation. De Visser: I told Chelsea – do not lose Hudson-Odoi Promoted5 decades ago8fit How to Burn 300+ Calories in 10 minutes? Try this workout Promoted5 decades agoBabbel Teach yourself Spanish using the ’15 min a day’ rule Have your say Watford boss Sanchez Flores a fan of Howe’s Bournemouth Promoted5 decades agoU.S Green Card – Free Check Can you get a US Green Card? Check now Promoted5 decades agoNext Tech How to Stop Dog Barking in Seconds? Redknapp slams Pochettino Spurs exit claims RECOMMENDED FOR YOU TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the love Wilder: Time for Sheffield Utd, West Ham fans to move on Recommended by WATCH: Pepe wins three points for Arsenal with stunning free-kick doublelast_img read more

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Railway executive Hunter Harrison dead at 73 CSX Corporation confirms

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first_imgJACKSONVILLE,, Fla. – Hunter Harrison, the plain-spoken, gruff American who rewrote the Canadian railroading book during his years heading both of this country’s largest railways, has died. He was 73.CSX Corp., the American railroad Harrison began leading earlier this year, issued a statement on Saturday announcing his death.The company attributed his death to “unexpectedly severe complications from a recent illness,” the same reason offered when Harrison formally went on medical leave earlier this week.“The entire CSX family mourns this loss. On behalf of our Board of Directors, management team and employees, we extend our deepest sympathies to Hunter’s family,” CSX (NASDAQ:CSX) said in the statement. “Hunter was a larger-than-life figure who brought his remarkable passion, experience and energy in railroading to CSX.”Ewing Hunter Harrison was born in Memphis, Tenn., on Nov. 7, 1944, and began his railroad career in 1964 as a 19-year-old rail car oiler for the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway while attending Memphis State University.His modest start gave no hint that he would eventually serve as the CEO of four major railroads: Chicago-based Illinois Central Railroad, Montreal-based Canadian National Railway, Calgary-based Canadian Pacific Railway and Jacksonville, Fla., railway CSX Corp.Harrison joined the Burlington Northern Railroad in 1980 when it purchased the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway, and he was eventually promoted to vice-president of transportation and service design.Harrison left Burlington Northern in 1989 to become chief operating officer at Illinois Central Railroad, rising to president and CEO in 1993. There, he was credited with initiating scheduled service for freight, a revolutionary concept for the industry.In 1998, Canadian National bought Illinois Central — considered at the time to be the most efficient railway in North America — and Harrison was appointed CN’s chief operating officer.He became CEO of CN in 2003, succeeding Paul Tellier, and served in that position until his retirement at the end of 2009. He moved to his estate in Connecticut, where he raised and trained horses for show jumping.In the fall of 2011, Harrison was approached by activist investor Bill Ackman, head of hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management, and enlisted to help with a proxy battle at CP Rail. After winning the crucial vote at the annual shareholder meeting in 2012, Ackman appointed Harrison as CEO, replacing Fred Green.In early 2017, Harrison abruptly resigned from CP, five months earlier than scheduled.He gave up stock options and other compensation worth a total of $122.9 million to become CEO of CSX, a U.S. competitor, although he was later reimbursed by CSX.Throughout his career, Harrison was adored by retail investors who rewarded his cost-cutting and attention to making the trains run as efficiently as possible by bidding higher on the shares of the railroads he headed.As an illustration, CSX shares plunged nearly 10 per cent on Dec. 15, the morning after it announced he was taking medical leave and would be temporarily replaced by chief operating officer Jim Foote.Unions were enraged by the thousands of job reductions he ordered. And they complained safety was compromised when he ordered managers and office workers at CP Rail be trained so that they could drive locomotives if union members went out on strike.Institutional investors complained his compensation and perks were excessive and CP Rail moved to scale them back after he left.“Professionally, Hunter was unmatched in this industry. He will go down as the best railroader ever, plain and simple,” said Keith Creel, Harrison’s hand-picked successor at CP Rail said in a statement released Saturday.“What he has done at multiple railroads and for our industry the last 50-plus years is incredible which includes bringing CP back to its rightful place among leaders in the Class 1 space in what some have called the greatest corporate turnaround in history.”Foote — who worked with Harrison for 11 years at CN Rail and joined him at CSX in mid-2017 — said Harrison’s positive influence on CSX’s performance would continue without him.“I believe that the battleship has turned … Because the team has implemented a foundation consistent with Hunter’s vision, I do not see any reason to diminish our expectations concerning the pace and magnitude of our future progress,” he said in a statement on Dec. 14.Luc Jobin, the current CEO of CN Rail, offered his condolences to Harrison’s family and paid tribute to the railway executive.“Hunter was a giant of the railway industry for decades and a transformative figure at CN,” Jobin said in a statement issued Saturday.— By Dan Healing in Calgarylast_img read more

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Charge-sheet in Narada case likely in a month: HC told

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first_imgKolkata: The CBI told the Calcutta HC on Friday that the charge-sheet in the Narada sting tapes case will be submitted in a month if necessary procedures are completed. Additional Solicitor General Kaushik Chanda told the court of Justice Joymalyo Bagchi that the agency was close to “stitching up” the case and will submit chargesheet in about a month if sanctions from authorities are received since the matter involves MPs and MLAs. Chanda said this during the hearing of a petition by TMC MP Aparupa Poddar.last_img

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UK nerve agent victim meets Russia’s envoy in London

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first_imgLondon: A British man poisoned along with his partner with a nerve agent, amid an assassination attempt on a Russian ex-spy in England blamed on Moscow, met its top UK envoy on Saturday, according to reports. Charlie Rowley, 45, whose partner Dawn Sturgess died after exposure to the toxin, held a 90-minute meeting with Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko at Russia’s embassy in London, Britain’s Sunday Mirror said. “I went along to ask them ‘why did your country kill my girlfriend?'” he told the tabloid newspaper. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US”But I didn’t really get any answers. I just got Russian propaganda,” Rowley added, saying Yakovenko’s explanations of Russian innocence in the plot were “ridiculous”. Rowley and Sturgess, a 44-year-old mother of three children, who lived near the southwestern English city of Salisbury, fell ill on June 30 last year. Authorities determined they had been exposed to Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent developed by the Soviet Union during the latter days of the Cold War. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsThe poison was contained in a perfume bottle that Rowley had found in Salisbury and given to Sturgess. She died eight days later but after two weeks in an induced coma, he was discharged from hospital. It followed former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia being left in critical condition after they were targeted with Novichok in Salisbury three months earlier. The pair survived and have made full recoveries, according to British authorities. Western allies accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of being ultimately responsible for the poisoning, which sparked dozens of diplomatic expulsions by both sides. British prosecutors in September issued arrest warrants for two alleged officers of Russia’s military intelligence service, known as the GRU. But the Kremlin has repeatedly denounced the accusations as “unacceptable.” “The ambassador kept saying the substance definitely wasn’t the novichok they had made because if it was it would have killed everyone,” Rowley told the Mirror. “He (Yakovenko) kept on saying the British won’t talk to him so he can’t tell us anything that he hasn’t read in the media, so he can only give his view.” A Russian TV station also reported Saturday’s meeting, saying Rowley was eager for answers that Britain had failed to provide. Yakovenko gave him a book on the “unanswered questions” concerning the events in Salisbury and a tour of Russia’s grand west London embassy on one of its most exclusive streets, it added.last_img read more

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SC allows Karti Chidambaram to travel abroad in May

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first_imgNew Delhi: The Supreme Court Tuesday allowed Karti Chidambaram, who is facing criminal cases being probed by the ED and CBI, to travel to the US, Germany and Spain this month. A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna said this nod to travel abroad was subject to compliance of conditions imposed earlier. The apex court had in January granted Karti, son of Congress leader P Chidambaram, permission to travel abroad after depositing Rs 10 crore with the secretary general of the Supreme Court. The top court had also asked him to file an undertaking that he would return and cooperate with the investigation. Karti is facing criminal cases which are being probed by the Enforcement Directorate and the CBI. One of the cases relates to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance to INX Media for receiving foreign funds of Rs 305 crore when his father was the finance minister.last_img read more

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All Brooks Koepka Does Is Win Majors

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When Brooks Koepka outdueled Tiger Woods (and Adam Scott) to win the PGA Championship Sunday afternoon, he joined an exclusive group of golfers with three career major championships to their name. In all of golf history, going back even past the days of Tom Morrises both young and old, only 46 players have ever won three majors. Fewer still have won three in the span of 14 months the way Koepka has, having captured the 2017 and 2018 U.S. Opens on top of his win at Bellerive Country Club this weekend. Koepka may still have trouble getting recognized by the general public, but he is getting plenty of recognition in golf’s history books.One weird thing about Koepka, though, is that he hasn’t really done much winning outside of golf’s most prestigious events. Other than that pair of U.S. Opens and this recent PGA Championship win, the only official PGA Tour event Koepka has won was the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open. You don’t have to win a ton of events to make a good living in golf, of course. Koepka has done plenty well for himself, earning nearly $20 million in official money and ranking among the top 20 in FedEx Cup points for four years running. But it’s still striking how much of his success has been concentrated in major championships.Since the PGA Tour was founded, only two golfers with at least three career major wins — Henry Cotton and Peter Thomson — have had a greater share of their total career PGA Tour wins come in majors than Koepka’s 75 percent mark: 2Peter ThomsonAUS5683.3 10Payne StewartUSA31127.3 10Jordan SpiethUSA31127.3 Koepka is in extremely rare — and international — companyFor men’s golfers with at least 3 major championships since the PGA Tour was founded in 1929, share of total PGA Tour wins that were majors 4Nick FaldoENG6966.7 7Gary PlayerZAF92437.5 RankPlayerCountryMajor WinsPGA Tour WinsMajors as Share of Wins * Cotton’s victories were from an era before the PGA European Tour was founded, but were all at events located in Europe.Source: Wikipedia, PGA Tour 6Pádraig HarringtonIRL3650.0 It’s no coincidence that the leaderboard above is littered with foreign-born players who didn’t regularly play on the PGA Tour. For instance, Thomson, an Aussie, won an impressive 84 professional tournaments in his career, but almost all of them were in Europe, Oceania or Asia. Particularly in the early days of pro golf, great non-American players seldom came over to the States to ply their trade, so this metric is a bit skewed for them. That’s why Koepka stands out as the only American remotely close to the top of our list; the next-highest is Larry Nelson at just 30 percent.One reason for Koepka’s odd ratio: His path to greatness contained detours. It included a stint on the second-tier European Challenge Tour out of college — where Koepka won a lot, enough to gain automatic promotion to the main tour within roughly a calendar year. Once there, he remained a card-carrying member of the European Tour through the end of the 2015 season. Since he didn’t play a full season of PGA Tour events until three years ago, he hasn’t had quite as much time to pile up wins in America as we’d expect just from eyeballing the span of his pro career.Still, Koepka owns one of the oddest — and most enviable — major records of any golfer ever. The way he’s playing, he’ll probably rack up ordinary PGA Tour wins before too long, but for now he has saved almost all of his winning for the tournaments that matter most. 1Henry Cotton*ENG33100.0% 3Brooks KoepkaUSA3475.0 5Seve BallesterosESP5955.6 9Rory McIlroyNIR41428.6 8Larry NelsonUSA31030.0 read more

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Ohio State rises to No 5 in final rankings but misses College

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Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer pleads with a referee in the Big Ten championship game against Wisconsin on Dec. 2 in Lucas Oil Stadium. Ohio State won 27-21. Credit: James King II | Sports DirectorElation one night, heartbreak the day after. Ohio State rose from last week’s No. 8 ranking, but that was not enough.Despite capping off an 11-2 regular season with a win against Michigan and a victory versus No. 6 Wisconsin to claim the Big Ten championship Saturday night, Ohio State did not move into the top four of the final College Football Playoff rankings and will miss this year’s playoff. The Buckeyes finished the season ranked fifth, one spot outside of the group that will battle for the national championship. No. 1 Clemson, No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 3 Georgia and No. 4 Alabama round out the four teams that made the playoff.The debate for the fourth spot in the playoff came down to either Ohio State or Alabama. The Buckeyes have a decisive 31-16 loss to Oklahoma in the second week of the season and a 55-24 beatdown at the hands of Iowa, an uninspiring 7-5 team. But they also have wins against Penn State, Michigan State, the Wolverines and the Badgers. On the other hand, the Crimson Tide has just one blemish on its resume, a 26-14 loss to Auburn in the final game of its season. Alabama does not have the same amount of quality wins as the Buckeyes, though. It defeated LSU 24-10 and took down Mississippi State 31-24 in Starkville, Mississippi. Ohio State’s bowl game will be announced later Sunday afternoon. read more

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Inzaghi ready for a big team – Eriksson

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first_imgSven-Goran Eriksson is convinced that his Lazio protégé Simone Inzaghi is “ready for a big team” after an impressive spell in charge of the clubThe former Italian forward, who is the younger of AC Milan legend Filippo Inzaghi, has been linked with Juventus recently after establishing Lazio as a top-four contender in the Serie A in his two years in charge.“Inzaghi is ready for a big team,” said Eriksson, according to Football-Italia.“As a player, he was very good tactically. He lives and thinks for football. He can coach any team in the world and he’s shown that he can do a great job.”Cristiano Ronaldo, JuventusSerie A Betting: Match-day 3 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Considering there is a number of perfect starts so early in the Serie A season, as well as a few surprisingly not-so perfect ones….The 70-year-old, who led England to the quarter-finals in both the 2002 and 2006 World Cups, believes that Roberto Mancini would do “very well” if he is to be the new manager of the Italian national side.“Mancini? I don’t know if it’s confirmed, but I’ve heard the rumours. If he were to sit on that bench, it’d be a good opportunity for him and he’d do very well, I’m certain of that,” said Eriksson.“We’re talking about Inzaghi and Mancini, two top Coaches in today’s football.”last_img read more

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JAMAICA Beneficiaries Receive Keys to New Homes

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first_img Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Jamaica, February 27, 2018 – Montego Bay – Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, on Friday (February 23), handed over keys to contributors who have purchased one-bedroom units at The Estuary in Friendship, St. James.The scheme was developed under a joint venture arrangement between the National Housing Trust (NHT) and West Indies Home Contractors Limited.  When completed, The Estuary will comprise 1,500 units and supporting infrastructure on 254 acres of land.  The development is being done at a cost of $7 billion, and is targeted at low income earners.In his remarks, Mr. Holness said the NHT is on track to issue 8,000 mortgages for the 2017/18 financial year.“This is the highest it has done in any decade. You can see that the Government is being very effective in using an institution like the NHT to create housing solutions for the people,” he stated.The Prime Minister commented that the NHT was designed to promote formal home ownership in Jamaica, however “the challenge has always been to find a way to ensure that every Jamaican has access to this formal process”.“I have made it a point of duty to come to all of these ceremonies, whether it is groundbreaking or handing over, to prove the point that the Government of Jamaica can use the resources at its disposal in an efficient and effective way to achieve Government policy and to deliver benefits to the people in a timely way,” he added.Meanwhile, Mr. Holness has given the commitment that the roadway leading to the community.“There are plans already in place for the roads to be repaired and this will happen in short order. And you will notice, that not just here, but right across Jamaica, that the National Works Agency (NWA), has been conducting an island wide patching programme,” he stated.Release: JIS Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img read more

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No animal slaughter on streets LGRD minster

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first_img-Local government, rural development and cooperatives minister Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain on Wednesday categorically said none would be allowed to slaughter their sacrificial animals on the roads, outside of selected places during the coming Eid-ul-Azha.“However, those who have proper drainage and other proper facilities in their own yards, can slaughter the animals there,” he added.Khandaker Mosharraf was addressing a programme at his secretariat office, on the plans and preparations of the city corporations regarding slaughtering the sacrificial animals and removal of wastage swiftly.Besides the city corporations and municipalities, all the district, upazila and union parishad administrations of the country this year have taken initiative to encourage people to slaughter their sacrificial animals at selected places.last_img read more

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How to make sure your teenager gets enough sleep

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first_imgIncreasing academic pressure has increased the time Indian students spend at school or engaged in academic work at home. On top of this technology has entered their life like never before and hence India’s next generation is losing out on their bedtime. In order to make sure that they get enough sleep, some factors need to be kept in mind, Experts share tips that parents should make sure their children follow: Daily physical exertion and exercise: Whether it is an invigorating game of football, a round of gully cricket, or just cycling around the neighbourhood, physical exertion during the day primes the body to get a good night’s sleep. Parents should encourage their children to go outside and play or take a run around a local park for their health, fitness, and bedtime. As long as the exercise doesn’t happen in the 2 hours preceding their bedtime, teenagers will find it easier to wind down and fall asleep peacefully and wake up rested, alert and happy the next morning. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf A bedtime for devices: It isn’t just teenagers – 25 percent of adults are also spending precious time watching shows on TVs and smartphones that should have ideally been expended in sleeping and becoming prepared for the next day.Jokes about the age-old argument between parents and children about bedtime and late-night TV watching apart, all devices in the household should be retired at least an hour before the children’s bedtime. This includes smartphones, laptop computers and televisions. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive Parents can join their children in this exercise to keep the protests to a minimum, and also get some better sleep themselves! Teenagers can read a book or the family can play board games instead of staying glued to the television and then staying up until midnight. Complete darkness in the bedroom: The science on the subject is absolutely clear – the best sleep is enjoyed in darkness, as the lack of light triggers the body and sends it a critical signal that it is now time to sleep. Light exposure at the time of sleep through bright lights outside the window or the harsh blue glare of a lit-up smartphone on the bedside table stimulates alertness, which makes healthy, abundant and refreshing sleep harder to achieve. Design the teenager’s bedroom to prevent unwanted light exposure. For younger children, a nightlight with a red bulb is ideal as light at that wavelength is less disruptive than other colours and wavelengths. A comfortable mattress: Even the most exhausted child will find it hard to sleep even in the darkest room if their bed is uncomfortable. Parents and children should ensure that their bed is clean and that the mattress is comfortable and provides the kind of back and body support that helps the children rest.last_img read more

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NET announcements Preview 2 of NET Core 22 and Entity Framework Core

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first_imgYesterday, the .NET community announced the second preview of .NET Core 2.2 and the Entity Framework 2.2. They also released C# version 7.3 and ML.NET 0.5. Let’s have a look at the highlights and features of each of these announcements. .NET Core 2.2 Preview 2 .NET Core 2.2 Preview 2 can be used with Visual Studio 15.8, Visual Studio for Mac and Visual Studio Code. Following are two highlights of this release. Tiered Compilation Enabled The tiered compilation is enabled by default. The tiered compilation was available as part of the .NET Core 2.1 release. During that time, one had to enable tiered compilation via application configuration or an environment variable. It is now enabled by default and can be disabled, as needed. In the image below, the baseline is .NET Core 2.1 RTM, running in a default configuration, with tiered compilation disabled. The second scenario has tiered compilation. One can see a significant request-per-second (RPS) throughput benefit with tiered compilation enabled. The numbers in the chart are scaled so that baseline always measures 1.0. Such an approach makes it very easy to calculate performance changes as a percentage. The first two tests are TechEmpower benchmarks and the last one is Music Store, a frequent sample ASP.NET app. Platform Support .NET Core 2.2 is supported on the following operating systems: Windows Client: 7, 8.1, 10 (1607+) Windows Server: 2008 R2 SP1+ macOS: 10.12+ RHEL: 6+ Fedora: 27+ Ubuntu: 14.04+ Debian: 8+ SLES: 12+ openSUSE: 42.3+ Alpine: 3.7+ Read about the .NET Core 2.2 Preview 2 in detail, on Microsoft blog. Entity Framework Core 2.2 Preview 2 This preview includes a large number of bug fixes and two additional important previews, one is a data provider for Cosmos DB and the second one, new spatial extensions for .NET’s  SQL Server and in-memory providers. New EF Core provider for Cosmos DB This new provider enables developers (familiar with the EF programming model) to easily target Azure Cosmos DB as an application database. It also includes global distribution, elastic scalability, ‘always on’ availability, very low latency, and automatic indexing. Spatial extensions for SQL Server and in-memory This implementation picks the NetTopologySuite library that the PostgreSQL provider uses as the source of spatial .NET types. NetTopologySuite is a database-agnostic spatial library that implements standard spatial functionality using .NET idioms like properties and indexers. The extension then adds the ability to map and convert instances of these types to the column types supported by the underlying database, and usage of methods defined on these types in LINQ queries, to SQL functions supported by the underlying database. Read more about the Entity Framework Core 2.2 Preview 2 on the Microsoft blog. C# 7.3 C# 7.3 is the newest point release in the 7.0 family. Along with new compiler options, there are two main themes to the C# 7.3 release One provides features that enable safe code to be as performant as unsafe code. The second provides incremental improvements to existing features. New features that support the theme of better performance for safe code: Access to fixed fields without pinning. Easy Reassign ref local variables. Use of initializers on stackalloc arrays. Easy use of fixed statements with any type that supports a pattern. One can use additional generic constraints. The new compiler options in C# 7.3 are: -publicsign to enable Open Source Software (OSS) signing of assemblies. -pathmap to provide a mapping for source directories. Read more about the C# 7.3 in detail in its documentation notes. ML.NET 0.5 The .NET community released ML.NET version 0.5. ML.NET is a cross-platform, open source machine learning framework for .NET developers. This version release includes two key highlights: Addition of a TensorFlow model scoring transform (TensorFlowTransform) Starting from this version, the community plans to add support for Deep Learning in ML.NET. Following this, they introduced the TensorFlowTransform which enables taking an existing TensorFlow model, either trained by the user or downloaded from somewhere else, and get the scores from the TensorFlow model in ML.NET. This new TensorFlow scoring capability doesn’t require one to have a working knowledge of TensorFlow internal details. The implementation of this transform is based on code from TensorFlowSharp. One can simply add a reference to the ML.NET NuGet packages in thier .NET Core or .NET Framework apps. Under the covers, ML.NET includes and references the native TensorFlow library which allows writing code that loads an existing trained TensorFlow model file for scoring. New ML.NET API proposal exploration The new ML.NET API offers more flexible capabilities than what the current LearningPipeline API offers. The LearningPipeline API will be deprecated when this new API is ready. The new ML.NET API offers attractive features which aren’t possible with the current LearningPipeline API. These include: Strongly-typed API takes advantage of C# capabilities. This helps errors to be discovered in compilation time along with improved Intellisense in the editors. Better flexibility: This new API provides a decomposable train and predict process, eliminating rigid and linear pipeline execution. Improved usability: This new API makes direct call to the APIs from user’s code. No more scaffolding or insolation layer creating an obscure separation between what the user/developer writes and the internal APIs. Entrypoints are no longer mandatory. Ability to simply score with TensorFlow models: One can also simply load a TensorFlow model and score by using it without needing to add any additional learner and training process. Better visibility of the transformed data: User’s have better visibility of the data while applying transformers. As this API inclusion will be a significant change in ML.NET, the community has started an open discussion where users can provide their feedback and help shape the long-term API for ML.NET. Users can share their feedback on ML.NET GitHub repo. Read more about ML.NET 0.5 in detail, on Microsoft blog. Read Next Task parallel library for easy multi-threading in .NET Core [Tutorial] Use App Metrics to analyze HTTP traffic, errors & network performance of a .NET Core app [Tutorial] Microsoft’s .NET Core 2.1 now powers Bing.comlast_img read more

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Ottawa announces new shortterm measure ahead of the end of eTAs leniency

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first_img Travelweek Group Friday, November 4, 2016 Share Ottawa announces new short-term measure ahead of the end of eTA’s leniency period << Previous PostNext Post >>center_img TORONTO — With the Electronic Travel Authorization’s (eTA) six-month leniency period ending next week, the Government of Canada has announced a new short-term measure to help minimize travel disruptions for dual Canadian citizens.Starting Nov. 10, visa-exempt travellers (except U.S. citizens) will need an eTA to board their flight to Canada. Canadian citizens, including dual citizens, will need a valid Canadian passport to fly to or transit through Canada.The new short-term measure, which will be available until Jan. 31, 2017, allows dual citizens whose second citizenship is from a visa-exempt country to apply for a special authorization that will let them board their flight to Canada using their valid non-Canadian passport.This measure is open to dual citizens who have an imminent flight to Canada (leaving in less than 10 days) and whose Canadian citizenship can be verified by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). If approved, the authorization will be valid for four days from the date of travel indicated in the application. Those not eligible for the authorization will need to contact the nearest Government of Canada office abroad to obtain the appropriate travel document.More news:  Consolidation in the cruise industry as PONANT set to acquire Paul Gauguin Cruises“eTA improves the safety of Canadians by allowing us to check that travellers are admissible before they board their flight, preventing those who are inadmissible from travelling to Canada in the first place,” said John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. “We have been doing everything we can to inform affected travellers about these new requirements, and I am pleased that we can now offer a short-term measure to help get some dual Canadian citizens who are not familiar with this new requirement onto their flight to Canada.”The eTA entry requirement became mandatory for visa-exempt foreign nationals (other than U.S. citizens) travelling to Canada temporarily by air on March 15, 2016. However, a leniency period was put in place from March 15 until November 9 so travellers unfamiliar with the eTA requirement could still board their flight to Canada.Here are a few quick facts about the program:Applying for an eTA is a simple online process that costs $7. Canada.ca/eTA is the only valid site where travellers can apply for an eTA.More than 2.3 million eTAs have been issued since the application went live on Aug. 1, 2015.Canadian permanent residents cannot apply for an eTA and, as usual, must show their valid permanent resident card or obtain a permanent resident travel document from the nearest Government of Canada office abroad when returning to Canada by air.Citizens of the U.S. are exempt from the eTA requirement. U.S. lawful permanent residents need an eTA and must present a valid U.S. permanent resident card (Green Card) and a valid passport when they check in for their flight to Canada. Tags: Canada Posted bylast_img read more

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Pearsons baggage handlers could be striking tomorrow

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first_img By: Brennan DohertySource: The Canadian Press Pearson’s baggage handlers could be striking tomorrow Share Tags: Airports, Toronto, Toronto Pearson Airport, Travel Alert TORONTO — Ground crew for 45 airlines at Pearson International Airport could be walking a picket line Thursday, potentially delaying flights.Airlines that would be affected include Canjet, Air Transat, Air France, British Airways and KLM Royal Dutch.The union representing 700 Swissport workers at Pearson filed a 72-hour strike notice on Monday and will ask its members to shoot down the company’s final offer.“We are suggesting that our members reject this offer,” said Christopher Monette, a spokesman for Teamsters Local 419.If this happens, the workers – including baggage and cargo handlers and cabin cleaners – will be able to walk off the job on Thursday night.Monette didn’t give specifics on why the union wants its members to reject Swissport’s final offer, because the union hadn’t yet presented it to its membership.But the Teamsters recently raised issues with the company’s decision to hire 250 temporary workers last May.A statement issued by the Teamsters last week claimed the temporary workers only receive three to four days of training, rather than the three to four weeks afforded to their union counterparts.More news:  ‘Turn around year’ for TPI brings double-digit growth“We don’t think Swissport can basically do their jobs with workers that have no experience and poor training,” Monette said, adding that the temp workers themselves aren’t to blame.“It’s not their fault. They’re being placed in an impossible situation,” he said.Swissport said that its workers all receive a minimum of 10 days of classroom training, as well as on-the-job instruction.The union also claims that Swissport hired the 250 workers as a way of putting leverage on workers during the current round of contract talks.“We’re concerned that Swissport is willing to sacrifice airport safety to gain an upper hand at the bargaining table,” Harjinder Badial, vice-president of Teamsters Local 419, said in a statement issued last week.Swissport responded that it hired the temporary workers to help handle the summer travel rush, which it said it is allowed to do under the collective agreement.“We are confident that protocols are being followed,” Pierre Payette, Swissport Canada’s vice-president of operation, said in a statement.The Teamsters have filed a formal complaint with the Canadian Industrial Relations Board over the matter.More news:  Marriott Int’l announces 5 new all-inclusive resorts in D.R. & MexicoAmong its claims are that there hasn’t been a significant change in their members’ workload and that Swissport gave the union a day’s warning before it began hiring the 250 temporary workers.Swissport said it wouldn’t comment on the specifics of the union’s allegations, citing the upcoming CIRB case.Payette has said Swissport “categorically denies” the union’s allegations.“Swissport is fully confident, however, that the CIRB will dismiss these allegations as unsubstantiated and without merit,” he said.Swissport called its final offer to the union fair and competitive, and expressed disappointment that the union may strike.“Regardless of this outcome, we remain open to ongoing negotiations and optimistic that an agreement will be reached with the union,” the company said.Monette says the union’s members don’t want to strike.“Our members are hardworking folks – they want to keep working,” Monette said. “But they’re not going to allow themselves to be bullied by Swissport.” Wednesday, July 26, 2017 << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

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Imagine if you could make your screen interactive

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first_imgImagine if you could make your screen interactive – how would that change your business? That’s the proposition from Spott.ai, the Belgium-based outfit which has a SaaS cloud solution allowing clients to upload any content including video and make it interactive – and shoppable.Michel de WachterSpeaking at the recent Zappware Strategy Summit in Ghent, company co-founder and co-CEO Michel de Wachter urged content owners, brands and broadcasters to look at the disruption in the media market as an opportunity rather than a danger.“The next generation of broadcasting and Smart TVs has the intent of going far beyond just applications,” he argued. “Television-based commerce, also known as T-commerce, is on the verge of transitioning our perception of a viewer’s experience by integrating the option to buy products simultaneously. The idea is that one can act on the urge of buying the product seen in a show immediately rather than forgetting about it shortly after. T-commerce is a budding solution for marketers and retailers, as the power of consumerism has shifted to the buyers themselves.”By providing contextually relevant information, Spott.ai’s software – which runs on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform and leverages Microsoft’s facial recognition and language detection software – transforms the audience’s experience of watching a live or on-demand show from a passive into an interactive one.De Wachter claimed that more than 40% of the TV audience skips ads in a nonlinear environment and that more than half of viewers watch a second screen while watching TV.“We have to create income and value in a different way,” he said. “You have to rethink the user interaction.”It all comes down to making the user experience interactive, he said.“Studies show that people still watch 2.5 hours of TV per day. Service providers invest a lot of money in content. But what you don’t allow viewers to do is what they can do on every other screen which is to tap or push, to interact. What happens if you give them a better experience?“You have to increase reach by transforming TV into an interactive marketplace. Our technology can turn every platform into a purchase platform, no longer directing viewers to the brand’s website, but having viewers complete a transaction on your platform.”Launched in 2016, Spott.ai clients include Lidl, H&M, Publicis Groupe, Decathlon, Unilever and the Eurovision Song Contest. It claims more than 60% interaction rates and greater than 3% click throughs boosting conversion to purchase.“By processing content once [using Spott.ai technology] it becomes interactive across all platforms: your websites, social media channels, third party websites, interactive video player platforms and even physical assets, such as paper magazines and boarding,” de Wachter said.The Spott.ai dashboard benchmarks performance of every unit of content on all platforms based on views, clicks and baskets.He admitted that getting Hollywood studios to part with the data about their content (movies, drama) was an uphill task and that the concept would prove itself first on genre such as reality cooking shows or music shows which have an obvious second screen interaction potential (e.g download recipe and buy ingredients or utensils/ viewer singer and buy track).“You can transform the UX directly into real dollars,” he insisted.last_img read more

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first_imgShareTweet “They are appealing to anyone who believes they may have been a victim of a burglary and who have not reported the matter to police, or anyone with any information about suspicious activity in the Skeoge Road, Gleneagles and Fern Park areas, to contact them at the Reducing Offending Unit at Strand Road on 101 quoting 1510 07/08/17.“Information can also be given anonymously through the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”MAN ARRESTED AS POLICE PROBE BURGLARY SPREE AT DERRY HOMES was last modified: August 8th, 2017 by John2John2 Tags: POLICE in Derry are appealing for information following reports of burglaries in the Skeoge Road, Gleneagles and Fern Park areas last night.A PSNI spokesperson said that sometime between 4 pm and 9 pm, entry was gained to a house in the Skeoge Road area, through an unlocked door, and a tablet device taken on Monday, August 7.“Later, at around 11 pm, a house at Gleneagles was also entered through an unlocked door, and a mobile phone stolen. “A further burglary at a house in Fern Park sometime on Monday, was reported to police today.“Police were called to the report of a male trying door handles of cars in the Gleneagles area shortly after 11pm on Monday evening and arrested a man a short time later.“The 23 year old man remains in custody at this time.“Officers have recovered property belonging to victims of the earlier burglaries from this individual. FERN PARKGLENEAGLESMAN ARRESTED AS POLICE PROBE BURGLARY SPREE AT DERRY HOMESPSNI DERRYSKEOGE ROADlast_img read more

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By Chris Wood Senior Analyst We know that we and

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first_imgBy Chris Wood, Senior AnalystWe know that we (and all living systems) inherit our genetic traits through a naturally occurring information storage system known as deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA. DNA consists of a linear sequence of the chemical bases adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine (denoted by the symbols A, C, G, and T), attached to a repeating linear chain made up of alternating sugar and phosphate segments and bound together with hydrogen bonds in a double helix to complementary bases. The “A” of one strand always forms a base pair with the “T” of the other strand, and “C” always forms a base pair with “G.”Our molecular blueprint for life, the haploid human genome, comprises approximately three billion DNA base pairs, divided into 23 pairs of chromosomes ranging in size from about 50 million to 250 million bases. Contained within these chromosomes are approximately 23,000 smaller regions, called genes, each one containing the recipe for a protein or group of related proteins that are produced in a linear, step-by-step process.First (and we’ve simplified things here), in transcription, an enzyme called RNA polymerase converts the DNA strand base for base into messenger RNA (mRNA). The mRNA has the same sequence as the DNA, except that thymine (T) is replaced with uracil (U). The mRNA then carries the information out of the cell nucleus into the cytoplasm for the second step in protein production, called translation.Once in the cytoplasm, the mRNA interacts with a specialized complex called a ribosome, which “reads” the sequence of mRNA bases and translates them into proteins. These proteins go on to play key roles in the structure and function of all cells, including the regulation and execution of subsequent transcription and translation.This flow of information from DNA to RNA to proteins is one of the fundamental principles of molecular biology – so important that it is sometimes called the “central dogma.”The important takeaway for our purposes is that DNA itself is trapped in the cell nucleus. It’s RNA’s job to get the information out of the nucleus and into the cytoplasm, transforming you from a chemical recipe to a real living, breathing human. Because of RNA we can build proteins. We are made of proteins. In other words, RNA builds life. And that’s big.But there is something else amazing about RNA that could revolutionize how doctors treat many (if not most) chronic human diseases. And nobody knew about it until just a few years ago.Back in 1986, a geneticist named Rich Jorgensen was working at a small biotech startup in California. He was tasked with creating a spectacular new flower, to help attract venture capital funding for the company. His plan was to create a very, very purple petunia. So he inserted an extra copy of the purple-producing gene into the plant’s DNA. But instead of producing purple, Jorgensen’s petunia instead bloomed with white flowers, the complete opposite of what the scientist expected. Inserting the extra purple-producing gene had resulted in the flowers completely losing their pigmentation. This was a big puzzle. And it took another decade of scientific research (and countless experiments with flowers, fruit flies, worms, and other organisms) to figure out what was going on.Completely by accident, Jorgensen had stumbled upon an ancient secret inside living cells – a process that cells use to turn down, or silence, the activity of specific genes. This process is now known as RNA interference, or RNAi.RNAi is thought to have evolved about a billion years ago, as a cellular defense mechanism against invaders such as RNA viruses and to combat the spread of harmful, mutation-causing genetic elements called transposons, within a cell’s DNA. It works by destroying the messenger (mRNAs) carrying genetic information to the cell’s protein factories. By killing the mRNAs and not allowing the protein specified by that gene to be made, the gene is rendered essentially inactive.When Jorgensen inserted the extra purple-producing gene into the petunia’s DNA, it triggered the cell’s RNAi to silence all the purple-producing genes because the cell thought the recipe for the protein looked fishy. Exactly why the cell thought this is a bit too complex to go into here. But in very simple terms, the instructions Jorgensen inserted to make more purple happened to have a suspicious viral shape.What’s important is that with RNAi, scientists had discovered a way to effectively silence genes one at a time (by shutting down the protein-building process), just based on knowing their sequence. Since many, if not most, chronic human diseases result from inappropriate protein production or improper protein activity, the implications for the treatment of disease were profound. Cancer, HIV and other infectious diseases, neurodegenerative disorders, and cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases – all became theoretical fair game for treatment with RNAi therapeutics.And so, not too long after the discovery of RNAi in 1998 – by Craig Mello and Andrew Fire (who were awarded the 2006 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for the discovery) – came the hype. Drugs based on RNAi were said to be the next major class of human therapeutics. Big pharma and small biotech firms alike pumped a flood of money into RNAi-based drug development.The boom phase in RNAi got rolling in 2005 and lasted through about 2008. During that time we saw a bidding war break out for access to potentially gate-keeping RNAi intellectual property and several billion dollars in investments in the space by big pharma. Merck paid $1.1 billion to acquire Sirna Therapeutics, and Roche paid more than $300 million for a limited platform license from Alnylam (arguably the global leader when it comes to RNAi IP). The industry loved the attention, and the media fanned the flames. Consequently, unrealistic expectations set in, and investors fell prey to the mistaken notion that the technical barriers to exploiting RNAi in medicine were relatively low.The industry was in for a wake-up call, however, when the difficulty surrounding RNAi drug delivery came to light. The drugs (comprised of what’s called small interfering RNA, or “siRNA”) break down quickly in the bloodstream; and even if they reach the cells in the body where they are needed, they have trouble entering the cells. Once the mistake of putting IP ahead of enablement was recognized a backlash ensued, and there was a severe crisis of confidence in the potential of RNAi thereapeutics. Novartis ended its five-year partnership with Alnylam in September 2010. Shortly thereafter, Roche, one of the world’s biggest spenders on drug R&D, terminated its RNAi program altogether. Stock prices of companies operating in the space plummeted.Just recently, however, we’ve started to see a comeback in RNAi. The recovery is based not on hype, but on sound science and clinical successes, which should pique investors’ interest. Technical hurdles remain but are being overcome, and companies are advancing drug candidates in the clinic. Alnylam, for example, now has four RNAi drugs in clinical trials and is on pace to have five RNAi therapeutic programs in advanced clinical development by 2015. Together with collaborators at MIT, the company also recently announced the discovery of “core-shell” nanoparticles that have optimal chemical and physical properties for effective, systemic intracellular delivery of RNAi therapeutics. The findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. And Alnylam is by no means the only one making advances in the RNAi space.Earlier this year, scientists from MIT, led by Paula Hammond, came up with a novel delivery vehicle in which RNA is packed into microspheres so dense that they withstand degradation until they reach their target. The new system, which was described in the journal Nature Materials in late February, supposedly knocks down expression of specific genes as effectively as existing delivery methods, but with a much smaller dose of particles.Whether RNAi therapeutics can ever live up to the hype they experienced in the early 2000s remains highly uncertain. Perhaps the technical hurdles will ultimately be too much to overcome. Or perhaps a new technology will come along that renders the therapeutics obsolete before they ever make it out of the clinic. [Ed Note: Researchers from the University of Florida have recently created what they call nanozymes, which is a new type of nanoparticle conjugate that mimics RNAi.]Nevertheless, RNAi has the potential to usher in a new order of medicine, the likes of which we’ve only rarely seen. And while investing in the space is highly speculative and requires a lot of due diligence, there is the potential for uncovering a stock that returns several times your initial investment. Good hunting. Bits & BytesHacking Your Hand (Technology Review)Generally speaking, we like to devise things that become extensions of our physical faculties. With hands, we’ve come up with everything from baseball bats to martini glasses to robot surgical machines. But what do we think of a human hand as becoming an extension of a machine? That may not seem like it has any practical applications, like hitting a home run or performing a double bypass. Still, it hasn’t stopped the Japanese from inventing the “PossessedHand,” an apparatus that can actually control your hand for you. What this might say about the creator’s psyche is perhaps best left unexplored.Gmail Mining (Fox News)Do you want Google to play dumpster diver, pawing through your Gmail, looking for commercial tie-ins? Well, as of yesterday, that’s a choice being offered to a million Gmail users (out of 425 million accounts). The bridge Google has constructed between its search engine and email service will mine the correspondence stored within a user’s Gmail account for any data tied to a search request. If that’s too creepy, rest assured that this feature is opt-in only. For now, anyway.How to Land on Mars (SlashGear)The landing of the large exploration vehicle Curiosity on Mars was a grand technological achievement. The article at the link, actually written before touchdown, explains how it would be accomplished. Lots of links, graphics, video. Call it Martian Invasion 101…Facebook Expands Advertising for Mobile (Tech Crunch)Until now, every Facebook mobile ad had to be triggered by your or a friend’s activity, but as of Tuesday Facebook began testing a new non-social ad unit that lets developers buy mobile news-feed ads that open Android and iOS App Store purchase pages when clicked. It’s a move aimed at persuading investors that it’s moving forward with new monetization ideas, but the company will have to tread very carefully to avoid alienating users.last_img read more

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In This Issue Dollar recovers losses after FM

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first_imgIn This Issue. * Dollar recovers losses after FMM. * Cyclone hits Australia. * Oil trades in a tight range. * Connection problems for Chuck! And Now. Today’s A Pfennig For Your Thoughts. Greece Makes Its Proposal . Good Day!…And a Happy Friday to one and all! This was a holiday-shortened week, but it still seemed quite long to me, as I kept thinking all day yesterday that it was Friday.. UGH!  The new Polar Vortex has come south.. Can you believe that? Sure it will only last a day, and we’ll have temperatures back to normal in a couple of days, but for today. Well, this is not the weather I signed up for! Oh, quit your complaining, Chuck, back home in St. Louis this stuff goes on and on and on, until you’re at wit’s end.  And besides. It’s a Friday! Time to get everything finished, and get to work on a weekend! I’m experiencing wireless/ internet problems this morning, so this letter may or may not go out on time. UGH!  I guess the shoddy ISP service we get here, can’t stand the cold. The Great George Harrison greets me this morning with his song: While My Guitar Gently Weeps. George Harrison was a very talented guitar player and writer of music. One of my faves.  OK. well, with the internet down, I’m using my iPhone to get news. Gee, that’s fun. NOT!  But from what I can tell the dollar has the conn again, and has recovered all that it lost right after the Fed Meeting Minutes (FMM) on Wednesday. Apparently, it was not enough to get their heads handed to them when they read that the Fed Members were not “all-in” on a rate hike for June, so just wait when we get to June and these same guys get left at the rate hike alter. At least that’s the scenario I’m sticking with, for the economic data continues to disappoint, and print negative in most cases, proving that the economy is not ready for prime time.  And next week we may get a clearer picture of the Fed’s plans, as Fed Chairwoman, Janet Yellen will make the trek up the Hill and give her testimony on the economy to lawmakers. This will be repeated the following day to the other side of the legislation, first the Senate, then the House. I would think that given what we already know from the FMM, that it has a very recognizable dovish slant, that Yellen will do her best to keep everyone guessing. I think she prefers that guessing game with the markets. But we have that looming on the docket for next week. So. Greece made their proposal to receive an extension of 6 months to their original agreement that is to end on the last day of this month.   And as expected Germany lashed out at the proposal. So, that wrangling over a proposal didn’t do the euro any big favors, heading into the weekend. The Eurozone flash PMI’s are printing this morning. Another problem for the euro I do believe, so the euro is trying to do the heavy lifting, and it’s just not working out in the euro’s favor today. And the Swedish krona is getting whacked this morning, as it seems the Riksbank didn’t just like seeing the krona get whacked when they announced negative rates, and sat back to watch the krona drop. Then after sufficiently waiting, the announced the implementation of QE, and sat back again to watch the krona drop more. A couple of days passed, and the krone was attempting to gather some momentum, when the Riksbank decided to give the krona one more shot! Overnight, the Riksbank told the markets that they aren’t finished cutting rates, and then reminded the markets that they don’t have to wait for a scheduled meeting to make a rate cut. Well, needless to say, that pulled the rug from under the krona. And unfortunately, for the Norwegian krone, it’s getting dragged through the mud too. So. my iPhone is a hotspot, which means I should be able to connect to my phone’s wireless server. But. my stupid laptop won’t do that. (I do recall when I was last here in October, telling our IT guys that I had this problem, but then I forgot about it.. until now!) The good news is that my iPad will. but I’m not going to attempt to type out a letter on an iPad. So. I can get some data, not all, but some, and some news but other than that, I’m flying in the dark here. UGH!  The things I must go through. I ask that question to myself or anyone that’s listening all the time.. Why must things be so difficult for me? Ahhh, questions that go unanswered. the stuff that keeps us trying to figure this all out, eh? The Aussie dollar (A$) is flat this morning, so no new negativity toward the A$ overnight. We need to keep our friends in Australia in our thoughts today, as they had Cyclone Marcia hit shore in Queensland overnight. It was a Category 4 going on 5 when it hit. YIKES!   And right behind that cyclone is another. So, things could be getting quite hairy down in Australia. I hope everyone is safe. Alrighty then! We have house guests here and it was a sleepover. and Larry, our guest, had a hotspot that worked on my laptop! YAHOO! I’m back in the saddle again, our where a friend is a friend. the old cowboy.. Gene Autry..  So. here’s the skinny. everything is as I told you above, but the Eurozone flash PMI’s were actually better than expected, but that’s  really not the focus of the markets today. Their focus is all about the Greece situation. And it finally appears to be weighing down the euro. The price of Oil bumped up a buck overnight, so it seems to be in a very tight range, and the petrol currencies bump and grind along with the tight moves. The Russian ruble is a little weaker this morning, but. it appears it will end the week with a weekly gain, the third week in row that the ruble has done that. Interest rates are still very high in Russia, and the currency has responded well to the news of a peace agreement. Maybe, just maybe, cause we never know for sure, but maybe the ruble has turned the corner?  Like I said, we just don’t know. I heard a speaker on the TV yesterday on a business newscast talking emphatically about how the currency pegs that are in place are in no danger of being broken. Hmmm. Isn’t that like a sports team owner given the “vote of confidence’ to his manager, that soon finds out that he’s fired?  I think so. But, we’ll have to wait-n-see how this all plays out, eh? And Gold sure got whacked again yesterday. UGH!  I see that Gold futures are attempting to rebound, but with the pressure that the short paper trades put on Gold, this is getting to be a very difficult thing to live with for me that is.  I see that Germany has repatriated more of its Gold. Good for them!  One thing that I keep focusing on is that the Central Banks (except here in the West) are accumulating Gold, and calling it back so they hold it. There’s smoke there folks. and you know what I always say about how where there’s smoke, there’s fire.  I don’t know what it is these Central Banks are doing, but to me they just keep giving us a warning signal after warning signal. And they’re doing it right out in the open, so everyone can see! The U.S. Data Cupboard is lacking any beef today. the Markit PMI will print. I would look for a grinding down of the index number which last month was 53.9.  Yesterday, the Leading Index number fell from the previous month, but the Initial Jobless Claims were better.. Last week the print for claims rose 25,000 and this week it fell 23,000. So, basically, it’s flat for February. What’s so good about that? Well.. it’s time to go to the Big Finish. I know this isn’t my best effort today, but I really did what I could with what I had at the time. For What’s It’s Worth. Well, since I’m running so far behind in time this morning, I cheated and just went to Ed Steer’s letter to find this. the whole article can be read here: http://sputniknews.com/business/20150213/1018240631.html “Almost 91 domestic credit institutions have been incorporated into the new Russian financial system, the analogous of SWIFT, an international banking network. The new service, will allow Russian banks to communicate seamlessly through the Central Bank of Russia. It should be noted that Russia’s Central Bank initiated the development of the country’s own messaging system in response to repeated threats voiced by Moscow’s Western partners to disconnect Russia from SWIFT. Chuck again. yes, I talked about this a few months ago, and how the Russians were going about getting around the U.S. blocking their ability to use SWIFT.  It’s all a part of the de-dollarization Almost 91 domestic credit institutions have been incorporated into the new Russian financial system, the analogous of SWIFT, an international banking network. The new service, will allow Russian banks to communicate seamlessly through the Central Bank of Russia. It should be noted that Russia’s Central Bank initiated the development of the country’s own messaging system in response to repeated threats voiced by Moscow’s Western partners to disconnect Russia from SWIFT. Chuck again.. yes, I talked about this a few months ago, about how Russia was going to get around the U.S. blocking Russia’s ability to use SWIFT. It’s all about their de-dollarization that’s been going on, folks. To recap. Chuck’s internet connection is down and he’s flying in the dark. Germany balks at Greece’s proposal to extend the current agreement 6 months. and it weighs on the euro. Eurozone flash PMI’s print better than expected. Oil trades in a tight range, and the ruble ends the week with 3 weeks gained. Gold got whacked again, and Russia starts its own SWIFT system. Currencies today 2/20/15. American Style: A$ .7850, kiwi .7555, C$ .8030, euro 1.1305, sterling 1.5380, Swiss $1.0540, . European Style: rand 11.6470, krone 7.6050, SEK 8.4285, forint 270.25, zloty 3.6970, koruna 24.3400, RUB 62.06, yen 118.55, sing 1.3590, HKD 7.7565, INR 62.09, China 6.1330, pesos 15.07, BRL 2.8695, Dollar Index 94.60, Oil $51.91, 10-year 2.10%, Silver $16.55, Platinum $1,162.13, Palladium $782.50, and Gold. $1,213.02 That’s it for today. Having people here talking while I’m writing is different for me. I usually only hear the songs on the iPod, which right now is playing 10cc: The Things We Do For Love. I guess which would have been a good song last weekend, eh?   I didn’t make it to the ball fields yesterday, and it got really cold overnight here, so I guess I’ll have to wait until tomorrow. I was surprised I didn’t receive any nice or not so nice comments about my wish for when I grow old that I wrote about yesterday. No biggie, just thought it would.  Well, it’s the 20th of February, only another week until March. and you know what March brings, right?  Spring training games. I have my seats I have my parking passes, I am all set to watch my beloved Cardinals play baseball at Roger Dean Stadium!   Well, no 3-day weekend until the end of May, so. hunker down and work diligently, and it’ll be here before you know it!   And with that, it’s time to get off the bus, and get this out the door. I hope you have a Fantastico Friday! Chuck Butler Managing Director EverBank Global Marketslast_img read more

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Welcome to Invisibilia Season 4 The NPR program a

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first_imgWelcome to Invisibilia Season 4! The NPR program and podcast explores the invisible forces that shape human behavior, and we here at Shots are joining in to probe the science of why we act the way we do. In Episode 4, they’re asking: are we destined to repeat our patterns or do we generally stray in surprising directions? – a question increasingly relevant in an age when algorithms are trying to predict everything about our behavior. Here’s an excerpt from the episode.On paper, Shon Hopwood’s life doesn’t make a lot of sense, not even to him.”I don’t have a great excuse as to why I did these things. And everybody always wants that,” he tells me. “It closes the circle for people. But that’s not really how it happened.”To the naked eye, it looked like Shon Hopwood was born into a really good pattern. He grew up in the neighborly, low-crime community of David City, Neb., to a great Christian family that encouraged self-reliance. “My parents basically opened the door in the morning and would say, ‘See you in a few hours.’ It was a good childhood.”Fresh air, loving family, safe community: Those are some pretty good patterns.But for some reason, in college, Hopwood started veering off the graph. He wasn’t that interested in school, so he dropped out and returned to David City to work, and that was all going fine, until one day when his friend Tom asked him down to the bar for a drink.”And he just asked me, he said, ‘What do you think about robbing a bank?,’ ” Hopwood says.”And you know most people would have said, ‘No!’ Or ‘What are you talking about?’ Or walked away, or a million other responses. And my response was, ‘Yes! This is a great idea!’ “And so Hopwood’s path forked. He would become a bank robber.Of course Hopwood had second thoughts. He had them right up to the moment he walked into the bank dressed as a handyman. “I walk in the bank and I pull a mask up and I drop the tool box on the ground. It makes a huge noise so everyone turns and looks at me. And I unzip my coveralls, pull out a 22[-caliber] rifle and yell, ‘Everyone get down. This is a robbery!’ “After that Hopwood recruited a small group of friends and just hit one bank after another until one day, four guys from the FBI tackled him. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison, which was bad enough, but what really cut was that a bunch of people in his hometown disowned his completely blameless parents.”They have to have some reason for why I did these things, because otherwise it just doesn’t compute. Because it didn’t make any sense that me and the people that were involved with me had robbed these banks. I mean one of my co-defendants was the son of the town attorney,” he says.We need to find a predictable pattern, and when it eludes us, we ache for it.Now, because we live in the age of computers, our ability to discern patterns has expanded. Today a computer can scan more data in a minute than you or I could sift in a lifetime, and in that data see things we could never see. Beautiful things and horrible things and even — we’re told — the future.A competition to find the patterns that determine the path of a human lifeAbout two years ago a Princeton sociologist named Matthew Salganik decided to stage a massive computer competition.The idea was inspired by Netflix. In 2006, the company distributed huge amounts of user data to programmers all over the world so they could write computer models that found hidden patterns that improved its predictions for which movies subscribers would like. The competition totally worked out for Netflix. The companies movie choice predictions substantially improved.So Salganik’s plan was to do the exact same thing, except instead of staging a competition to improve predictions of movie preference, he wanted the competition to improve predictions about the things sociologists cared about: high school GPA, which child would persevere when faced with adversity, who would become homeless. Could we, he wondered, harness the pattern-finding abilities of computers to discover new things about how individual lives turned out?”Looking at lots of people and looking at broader patterns helps us have a fuller understanding of what’s possible,” Salganik says. If his competition worked well, it could make the world a better place. After all, if computers could locate the things that predicted stuff like higher grades, policy makers could design better interventions.So Salganik set to work. He got a massive trove of data on 5,000 kids who had been followed from the day they were born, then made that information available to data geeks and researchers across the globe. Four hundred teams were given incredibly detailed information about the kids from birth until age nine, then told to predict their grades — and a handful of other outcomes — at age 15.One day last fall, Salganik sat down to crunch the numbers, figure out which models were best able to predict where the children in the study had ended up, and what he found deeply surprised him.What Salganik wanted to see was at least one computer model entry able to predict with reasonable accuracy the outcomes of each child in the study.But none of the computer models did as well as Salganik expected.If they had, the screen in front of him would have been filled with tall, colorful towers — bars stretching from the floor of the y-axis to the top, indicating that the predictions had gotten close to 100 percent accurate. Instead what he saw was a bunch of squat bars crowded around the bottom like flattened mushrooms, indicating that the predictions were a lot closer to 0 percent accurate than 100 percent.”I would say this is not impressive,” he tells me as he looks at the graph. “I think this is sad. Disappointing.”But was it? Or was it just an accurate representation of how unpredictable our individual lives are?Duncan Watts works at Microsoft Research. He does computational social science, including prediction studies similar to the one that Salganik was doing. In fact over the years, Watts says, he’s done tons. He says when it comes to predicting stuff like what will happen in a particular human life, Watts thinks the outcome that Salganik found is just the outcome.”We find exactly the same pattern everywhere we look… when you’re talking about individual outcomes, there’s a lot of randomness,” Watts says.”And the other half of this conversation is that people don’t like that answer, and so they keep wanting a different answer. They say nature abhors a vacuum. Humans abhor randomness. We like deterministic stories,” Duncan says.We like the idea that patterns can tell us what will happen in life because that idea makes us feel more secure he says.”If you think you can predict things— even if you’re wrong — it means that you get up in the morning and you feel confident,” Watts says. “And so you can invest your time and energy today in things that won’t pay off until tomorrow.”Watts believes being more realistic about patterns is important but hard to pull off because it involves accepting something that feels like a contradiction: that patterns are important and predictive — you can identify things in the lives of kids that tend to help or hurt them — but you can’t say for sure whether those same things would influence the life of any individual kid because randomness has a lot more power over complex things like life than we like to think.Randomness, Watts says, is as important as pattern, though obviously it doesn’t get the same respect in our algorithmic world.A life that no one could predict turns againWhich brings us back to the unusual trajectory of Shon Hopwood.Hopwood was working in the prison law library, checking out books, when a fellow prisoner asked him for help with his case. The guy wanted help to draft a petition the U.S. Supreme Court.Hopwood had never studied law and only had a high school education but he wanted to be helpful so he spent two months working on an argument, then sent off the petition and basically forgot about it.”Then one day I’m walking out to the recreation yard at 6:30,” Hopwood says, “and a friend of mine comes running and screaming out of the housing unit. And this being federal prison my first thought is, ‘What did I say to this guy yesterday that he wants to come and fight me at 6:30 in the morning?’ “The Supreme Court had accepted the appeal he had written.That highly unusual event led to other unusual turns in trajectory, until one fine day, Hopwood found himself moving a box of belongings into a small office at Georgetown University Law School.The bank robber had become a law professor.Proof that even though we yearn for predictable patterns, no matter how many computers we have, it might just be impossible to predict where any single life will go. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

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In 1983 Utah was the first state to lower its blo

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first_imgIn 1983, Utah was the first state to lower its blood alcohol limit from 0.10 to 0.08 for impaired driving. It would take nearly two decades for every state to follow suit, but as they did, the nation’s rate of alcohol-related traffic deaths dropped 10 percent. Now, Utah is pioneering the move to lower it once again. Beginning Dec. 30 — yes, the day before New Year’s Eve — Utahns will have to be extra careful about drinking and driving. On Sunday, the state’s blood alcohol content limit will drop from 0.08 percent to 0.05 percent, marking the strictest DUI law in the country.To give you an idea of the difference in consumption, for a man weighing 180 pounds, it takes about four drinks to reach a BAC of 0.08 percent, according to the American Beverage Institute. But to reach .05, it’s about half as many drinks and can be even fewer for women.Utah law limits the type of and strength of alcohol depending on where it is purchased, with different limits on beer and heavy beer.Still, the current limit of .08 is “a significant amount of drinking” for a lot of people, says Utah state Rep. Norm Thurston, a Republican.Thurston sponsored the bill to lower the limit in 2017 at the request of the National Transportation Safety Board, which has been urging states to lower DUI limits to 0.05 since 2013.Thurston says he believes the new limit will save lives because it sends a strict message to anyone who has been drinking not to get behind the wheel. “You would think that we’re already there as a society,” but Thurston says he meets a lot of people who say they think it’s safe to drink and drive, “just a little bit.”Critics slammed the Republican, a practicing member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for running the bill. The church urges its members not to consume alcohol, and many accused him, as a Mormon, of trying to legislate drinkers and non-Mormons.The American Beverage Institute, an alcohol trade organization, has been a vocal critic of the law. Spokesman Jackson Shedelbower says he doesn’t believe the change will save lives. The lower limit targets social, moderate drinkers, not “legitimately drunk drivers,” he says.”Nearly 70 percent of alcohol-related fatalities in this country are caused by someone with … a BAC of 0.15 and above,” Shedlbower says, three times the new limit in Utah.So, will drunken driving arrests in Utah increase starting Dec. 30? Probably not, says Sgt. Nick Street with the Utah Highway Patrol.”Troopers and officers throughout the state should already be arresting based on impairment, not based on a per se limit, and that standard is not going to change,” he says.Street says he believes the law has already changed drivers’ behaviors, even though it hasn’t taken effect yet.”I think people are making better decisions on the front end of a night,” by using ride-hailing apps or choosing designated drivers. Copyright 2018 KUER 90.1. To see more, visit KUER 90.1.last_img read more

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