Smart Speakers Are Useful and Fun, but Don’t Let Them Reign as the Queen of All Knowledge

first_imgVince Lynch is CEO of IV.AI, a global AI company that helps businesses better connect with their customers. It processes 150 languages so all customers can be heard regardless of their origin. Clients include SMBs and larger companies such as Netflix, Toyota, Estée Lauder, Telefonica, and Capital One. When we were asked to help promote the “Resident Evil” film franchise for Sony Pictures a couple of years ago, we came up with the idea of altering the fictional artificial intelligence character (The Red Queen) into a real AI character — for which the fans could interact. It was a fun concept that was quite successful, but it created some serious challenges and reminded us how hard it is to build truly meaningful AI.Creating AI, including smart speakers like Alexa and smartphone assistants like Siri, is challenging. These devices offer a helpful utility function and are good for amusement, but they are created and trained by humans, which can introduce biases and a power dynamic that should be addressed.The Red Queen AIEngagement was what we were aiming for when we started on the Red Queen AI. We began by collecting all the scripts that had been created by the writers of the films in the series. We trained the AI to learn the character using natural language processing techniques and then generated new dialogue written entirely by the AI to see how it would work.The first few AI outputs were a nightmare. There wasn’t enough training data in the model, so the new AI version of the character was overly aggressive. We needed more data to soften the harsh villain character and enable it to work for a wider audience.The film character’s catchphrase was “You’re all going to die down here,” but the first version of the AI couldn’t quite get it right. It gave us some pretty funny results, including “You must die” and “Your death is here.” As you might imagine, it could be a bit heavy out of context and could have hindered our ability to reach a new audience that hadn’t seen the previous films.To add more training data and to make the AI smarter, we decided to tap into literature by authors like Charles Dickens and Shakespeare so the AI could learn from the more gentle communication styles of classic villains. Then, we added real conversations from police engagements with criminals to provide more realism and modern communication, as well as examples of people on psychoactive drugs recounting the things they saw, which ended up providing some rather creative dialogue.We trained and retrained, and finally settled on the AI’s output: “I’m not sure I’m done playing with you yet.” This statement would then appear more playful and not as murderous. Plus it worked for the context of the engagement, which allowed people back into the game.Everyone was happy with the end result, and the game was a hit. But it’s important to note that our decisions about which training data to use had biases. The decisions of the writers as to what made a good villain had biases. All of those biased slants can be OK when the aim is entertainment — but they should be approached with caution for more serious conversations managed by voice assistants, such as for healthcare, finances, and nutrition.The Challenges of AI AssistantsThe creators of AI assistants are often a small, homogenized group of people behind the curtain who decide what answers are true (or the most accurate) for billions of people. These arbitrary statements create a distorted view of reality that users of AI assistants might take as gospel.For instance, more than a year ago, Alexa was accused of a liberal bias. And last January, a video went viral when someone asked Google Home who Jesus was and the device couldn’t answer but could tell users who Buddha was. The company explained that it didn’t allow the device to answer the question because some answers come from the web, which might prompt a response a Christian would find disrespectful.As the use of smart speakers continues to climb, so do expectations. The number of smart speakers in U.S. homes increased 78% from December 2017 to December 2018 to a whopping 118.5 million, according to “The Smart Audio Report.” But users need to be mindful of the way the AI platforms work.Digital assistants have the potential to limit the scope of what products and platforms we use.After all, when one device (and, therefore, one company) owns the road to external knowledge, that company can act unethically in its own interest.For example, if I ask Siri to play a song by The Beatles, the device might automatically play the song from Apple Music instead of my Spotify library. Or I might ask Alexa to order AA batteries, and Alexa could happily order Amazon’s own brand.Combatting the Limited Scope of AI DevicesIn free markets, where competition is supposed to benefit consumers, these flaws can present significant obstacles. The companies that own the speakers could conceivably gain even more control over commerce than they already have.To combat this, users should be as transparent as possible with their requests to AI devices. “Play The Beatles on Spotify” or “Order the cheapest AA batteries,” for instance, are more thorough instructions. The more aware users are of how companies engage with them, the more they can enjoy the benefits of AI assistants while maintaining control of their environment.You can also ask an AI device to communicate with a specific company when you are buying items. For instance, Best Buy offers exclusive deals that you can only get when ordering through your smart speaker. You can also get updates on your orders, help with customer service needs, and updates on new releases.Users should remember that AI assistants are tools, and they need to think about how they manage them in order to have a good experience.And users should report responses if assistants make them feel uncomfortable so the makers of these devices and skills can improve the experience for everyone. Natural language processing requires a considered focus, as the potential benefits are just as significant as the liability of things going wrong.As for our natural language processing and the Red Queen, we discovered that some users were signing off at night with “Good night, Red Queen,” which means she clearly wasn’t too aggressive in the end. Follow the Puck A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Vince LynchCEO of IV.AI Tags:#AI#artificial intelligence#digital assistant#smart speakers AI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storagelast_img read more

Master Resolve’s Built-In Film Grain with This Rundown

first_imgLooking for more control over your film grain effects? DaVinci Resolve 14 Studio gives you fully customizable options to mimic film stock.With the rise in accessibility of HD cameras, there’s one digital asset that has grown tremendously in popularity over the last decade, and that is film grain. From websites that supply grain overlays (like RocketStock) to companies that provide plugins that can help emulate film stock down to the color properties (such as Film Convert), the options for filmmakers are plentiful. To some, it’s somewhat paradoxical to layer a clean HD image with film grain, but for many, it’s a creative necessity.In the studio version of DaVinci Resolve, there’s a ResolveFX Texture Film Grain effect. You can change the film type, the grain opacity, the composite mode, and plenty more. Given that Resolve 14 Studio now costs just slightly more than most grain plugins, let’s see if it would be worth it to pay a little extra and bag the studio version of Resolve — or if this grain effect is something completely different.(It’s important to note that in Resolve, the grain is a procedurally generated layer of simulated grain. So we’re not receiving a scan of actual film stock. It’s a digital interpretation.)You can add the grain either on the edit page or the color page. However, note that if you add the grain on the edit page, you cannot adjust the settings on the color page — the control settings do not follow through. This goes for all effects applied on the edit page. Therefore, for this insight, we are going to apply our grain effect on the color page.Another important factor is that if you do decide to apply grain, or any effect, on the edit page, your nodes won’t have the FX logo to notify you that there is an effect present. However, if you display the thumbnails of each clip, you’ll be able to see which clips have effects applied to them on the edit page.What effects exactly? That, it doesn’t tell you. Therefore, again, I would suggest applying effects that will affect the color and image quality in the color page.To apply the film grain, first, create a new node, and open the OpenFX panel in the top right corner. With the panel open, scroll down until you find ResolveFX Texture — Film Grain. As the grain is quite far down the list, you can make it easier to find by either searching for the effect with the search tool or setting the grain as a favorite and selecting show favorites only.With the node selected, your effects panel should automatically jump to the settings control of the recently added effect. This is the control panel for adjusting all of the customizable elements of the applied grain. The menu controls are broken into three different categories: main controls, grain params, and advanced controls.The main controls are going to be where you choose which film grain preset you want to work with, and how you want to apply that to your footage. If you open the film menu type, you’ll notice that along with the film size, there are also numbers and letters that appear alongside the size. These represent specific film stocks — different brands will have slightly different grain structures. We’re going to come back to this submenu later because it represents an important distinction over other grain plugins.The param controls will be the settings panel that gives you creative control over the grain elements. For example, in this shot below, I think the grain is a little too strong and too colorful. It resembles ’90s television noise more than 35mm film grain.Therefore by adjusting the strength and saturation, I can adjust this preset to feel more organic. It’s a fantastic feature, and certainly, it’s something that you cannot achieve with a grain overlay.The advanced controls may be the best part of this built-in effect. The panel has three sliders: shadows, midtones, and highlights. These sliders will control the amount of grain that applies to these tonal regions. As a confirmed grain addict, one of the most significant issues I often face is applying a grain texture on a clip where there is already visible noise in the shadows. In this case, the noise becomes more prominent with the added boost from the grain. In Resolve, with these advanced controls, you can control the amount of grain that composites into these regions.To wrap up, let’s jump back to the main controls. When you switch film types, you may notice the lack of artistic difference in the image, especially if you’ve come from using the FilmConvert plugin. As in FilmConvert, a simple switch from 5207 Vis3 to Portra 400 would drastically alter the color, the grain, and even the exposure intensity. And I think this is an important thing to highlight with ResolveFX grain, as it’s not an effect that is going to magically convert your HD media to footage that looks like it was shot with Kodak T200. It’s more of a tool that will help blend digital footage with celluloid footage — a tool that lets you add grain back to a denoised shot. At the very least, it will give you a basic starting point to work on building the 35mm film look. However, this isn’t a FilmConvert-like plugin. You will still need to correctly color the footage and adjust it to mimic a film stock.On that note, for those who seek a method that will help convert their footage into celluloid-like media, this isn’t it, I would suggest looking at the various plugins on the market.Lewis McGregor is a certified BlackMagic Design DaVinci Resolve Trainer.last_img read more

Understanding the real limits of current AI technology

first_imgGo ahead. Ask Siri on your iPhone: “Tell me good Italian restaurants nearby.” Instantly, you get a list. Great.So, ask again. This time, “How about bad Italian restaurants nearby?” A list pops up, but most of the bad restaurants are also good restaurants on the previous list.No one with a minimal grasp of technology should be surprised. Siri — on your so-called smartphone — doesn’t know good from bad.Oops.In fact, modern AI (i.e. Siri, IBM’s Watson, etc.) is not capable of “reading” (a sentence, situation, an expression) or “understanding” same. AI, however, is great at pretending as though it understands what someone just asked, by doing a lot of “searching” and “optimizing.”This is one point made emphatically by Noriko Arai, a mathematician at the National Institute of Informatics in Japan, in a recent book entitled “AI vs. Children Who Can’t Read Textbooks.”You might recall her name from a 2017 TED talk. Arai gained her notoriety by launching the “Can a Robot Get into the University of Tokyo?” project in 2011. I’d heard of the project but paid little attention until I read her book.Noriko AraiArai explains that passing the exam to enter Todai (short for the University of Tokyo in Japanese) turns to be very ambitious challenge for a machine. Unlike Jeopardy! — always framed as factoid questions — the entrance exams for Todai consists of seven sections, including math, English, science, and a 600-word essay. Each section poses distinct challenges for researchers translating natural language into machine-readable formula.In the end, after several years of R&D by roughly 100 people — including PhD students and corporate researchers — Arai’s Todai Robot flunked the Todai exam. However, the robot did better than 80% of the students who took the test.Definitely junior-college material.There are many ways to interpret the Todai Robot Project, and many implications. However, here’s where I find the genius in Arai’s project: Continue Reading Previous VadaTech presents base board for wideband massive MIMO software defined radioNext Kontron: KBox B-201-CFL offers compact housing and flexible mounting options ThomasMaloney says: Arai assessed where Japan went wrong with its now infamous “Fifth Generation Computer System.” Log in to Reply Leave a Reply Cancel reply You must Register or Login to post a comment. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Log in to Reply 2 thoughts on “Understanding the real limits of current AI technology” She compares a Todai Robot, that can search and optimize but can’t really understand the meaning of questions, to Japanese kids who similarly cram information into their heads before taking tests, but on a very superficial level, not understanding questions they said they’d read. Succinctly lays out the basic limitations AI faces today.center_img March 26, 2019 at 5:12 am “Well, obviously we cannot expect an AI to work exactly like a human brain. There are certain limitations that restrict their thinking or how they really function which should be kind of expected since they are basically programmed to work as such. If they Arai framed her big AI research project in a simple, easy-to-understand catch phrase that got everyone’s attention: “Can AI Ace the Entrance Exam of a Top University?” Who wouldn’t want to know? Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Advanced Technology March 26, 2019 at 2:30 am “Of course AI still has a long way to go. If and when artificial intelligence reaches the standard of computing and processing that the human brains have, we will be in a lot of trouble I reckon! We need to embrace the fact that there are such quirks and p StephenGiderson says: Fifth Generation Computer Project You might have heard of Japan’s Fifth Generation Computer System, a massive government-industry collaboration launched in 1982. The goal was a computer “using massively parallel computing and processing” to provide a platform for future developments in “artificial intelligence.” Reading through what was stated then, I know I’m not the only one feeling a twinge of “Déjà vu.”The plan was to build a high-speed parallel computing machine around the concepts of logic programming. The planners believed that logic reasoning would help Japan design AI applications such as automatic diagnostic systems or machine translation. More than 5 billion yen was poured into the project.Japan bet its national reputation on this effort. In those days, Japan was often viewed as a heavy borrower of knowledge from abroad while contributing little of its own ingenuity to the outside world. Japan hoped to deflect the stereotype and build a new reputation.The project was an abject failure. There is no fifth-generation computer to speak of today. Yet, no official reports exist in Japan today analyzing what went haywire, according to Arai. She suspects that this is one reason why Japan has steered clear of big AI projects ever since.Curiously, Arai points out that the U.S. corporations have all learned from Japan’s failure.Big companies like IBM and Google “quickly abandoned the idea of developing AI around logic programming. They shifted their efforts to developing a statistical method in designing AI for Google translation, or IBM’s Watson,” she explained in her book. Modern AI thrives on the power of statistics and probability.last_img read more

Indigenous designers getting ready for the biggest day of year across the

first_imgBrittany HobsonAPTN National NewsFor some Indigenous designers, there is no bigger day than Aboriginal Day.That’s when APTN will broadcast concerts and events from coast to coast to coast – and designers get to dress the hosts with their latest fashions.“We talk a lot about honour and it’s really the only word I can say. I feel honoured to do this. To be a part of this celebration and to be recognized,” said designer Andreanne Dandeneau .Here is a link to everything going on June 21 – Aboriginal Day Live bhobson@aptn.calast_img read more

We felt a little disrespected Luka Modric

first_imgThe Croatian player believes the English media underestimated his country before the 2018 FIFA World Cup Semi-Final in RussiaCroatia and England met in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia in the Semi-Final round.There, Kieran Trippier opened up the scoreboard in favor of the Three Lions, but then Ivan Perisic and Mario Mandzukic gave the Croatians a ticket to the final.“When I said that after the game it was not meant to be about the players or the head coach but more in regards to some media and commentary that we read and watched,” the Real Madrid midfielder told Sky Sports.Jose Mourinho, Lionel MessiMourinho: “Lionel Messi made me a better coach” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho believes the experience of going up against Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi at Real Madrid made him a greater coach.“We felt a little bit disrespected and not enough recognition we thought we deserved.”“It was a little bit of extra motivation for the team, not that we needed any for a World Cup semi-final. That’s how I felt,” he added.“Is it a problem for England? That’s something you need to answer for yourself and analyze.”last_img read more

Updates On Construction Projects On The Kenai Peninsula

first_imgFacebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Department of Transportation has released it’s weekly road construction update for the projects currently taking place on the Kenai Peninsula. STERLING HIGHWAY REHABILITATION, SKILAK LAKE to STERLING ROAD CONSTRUCTION through OctoberDrivers should expect LANE CLOSURES, ONE-LANE TRAFFIC and flagging operations, Monday through Sunday, 8:00pm to 7:00am.Construction crews have begun milling operations between MP 77 and 79.Construction crews have begun foaming and paving work. Drivers should expect PILOT CAR operations and 15 to 20 minute DELAYS, Monday through Sunday, 8:00pm to 8:00am.Crews will continue to work north from MP 67 and 69. Watch for flagging and PILOT CAR operations, with 5 to 10 minute DELAYS.STERLING HIGHWAY, MP 89.8 LEFT TURN LANESROAD CONSTRUCTION through OctoberWork is suspended through June and July and there will be no traffic restrictions during this time.Expect paving operations to begin in August.KENAI SPUR HIGHWAY REHABILITATION, SPORTS LAKE to SWIRES ROAD, PHASE I ROAD CONSTRUCTION through the seasonConstruction crews are working on the Kenai Spur Highway between MP 5 and 8.Drivers should expect LANE RESTRICTIONS, and ONE-LANE TRAFFIC with flagging and PILOT CAR operations.KALIFORNSKY BEACH ROAD MP 16 to 22.2, RESURFACING and SIGNALIZATIONROAD CONSTRUCTION through the seasonDrivers should be aware that the temporary signals are on a timer, not detection, so usual signal patterns have changed.STERLING HIGHWAY BELUGA LAKE DAM IMPROVEMENTSROAD CONSTRUCTION through mid JulyThe area of impact for this construction is approximately a 1/2 mile, with guard rails on both sides of the highway.HOMER EAST END ROADROAD CONSTRUCTION through OctoberOn June 22 and 23, drivers should expect LANE RESTRICTIONS, flagging operations and DELAYS up to 20 minutes from 8:00am to 8:00pm.Please drive with caution and check back for more information as the project continues.last_img read more

Another strong quake hits Indonesia

first_imgClose-up map of Lombok where a new earthquake struck on Thursday. AFPA strong aftershock struck Indonesia’s Lombok on Thursday, causing panic among evacuees sheltering after a devastating earthquake killed more than 160 on the holiday island four days earlier.The 5.9-magnitude quake Thursday struck at a shallow depth in the northwest of the island, the US Geological Survey said, even as relief agencies raced to find survivors among wreckage from Sunday’s quake.“The quake was felt strongly. There have been 355 aftershocks since Sunday,” national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.Evacuees at a shelter in northern Lombok’s Tanjung district ran out onto the road crying and screaming, an AFP reporter at the scene said.Motorcycles parked on the street toppled over and the walls of some nearby buildings collapsed.A woman wearing a motorbike helmet was seen crying with her two daughters in her arms.“We were stuck in the traffic while delivering aid, suddenly it felt like our car was hit from behind, it was so strong,” witness Sri Laksmi told AFP.“People in the street began to panic and got out of their cars, they ran in different directions in the middle of the traffic.”The aftershock comes after Sunday’s devastating 6.9-magnitude earthquake, which relief agencies said had wiped out entire villages in the worst-hit regions of northern and western Lombok.A total of 164 people have been confirmed killed in Sunday’s quake, national disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told AFP, with a further 1,400 seriously injured and more than 150,000 displaced.Indonesian search and rescue members react shortly after an aftershock hits the area in Tanjung on Lombok island on 9 August 2018. AFP Meta: A strong aftershock struck Indonesia’s Lombok on Thursday, causing panic among evacuees sheltering after a devastating earthquake killed more than 160 on the holiday island four days earlier.Relief efforts had yet to reach parts of the island even before Thursday’s aftershock, Indonesian authorities said, with hopes fading of finding further survivors among the wreckage.“The earthquake does not have any tsunami potential,” Hary Tirto Djatmiko, spokesman for Indonesia’s meteorology, climatology and geophysics agency (BMKG), said of Thursday’s aftershock.last_img read more

Sutherland Springs Shooter Had Told Judge He Wouldnt Hurt Again

first_img Share LYNDA GONZALEZ / KUTThe gunman in a mass shooting at a Texas church last year told a military judge in 2012 that he “would never allow myself to hurt someone” again while confessing to abusing his stepson.The Air Force on Thursday released hundreds of court documents about former airman Devin Patrick Kelley, who killed more than two dozen people during a rampage in Sutherland Springs, Texas.Five years earlier, Kelley was convicted of assaulting family members while serving in the Air Force. He was sentenced to 12 months confinement and given a bad conduct discharge.Kelley told the judge he had a problem controlling emotions and that “seems to cause a lot of problems in my life.” His ex-wife wrote that Kelley choked her and pointed a gun at her twice.last_img read more

7 projects bag SKOCH OrderofMerit award

first_imgKolkata: Seven flagship projects of the Urban Development and Municipal Affairs department have been selected for SKOCH Order-of-Merit award.The projects that received SKOCH Order-of-Merit award are – floating market located on the western fringes of Eastern Metropolitan Bypass near Patuli, Solar high mast LED lights at Jaigaon in Alipurduar, development of green zone in Kolkata, online payment of Municipal Property Tax, Samabyathi project, ADDA online project and development of eco-tourism complex at Saheb Bandh in Purluia town are Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe Floating Market at Patuli was developed by Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority and it is one of the successful projects of the state government. Some shop keepers were rehabilitated there and people visit the place to buy goods at affordable rates in a unique atmosphere.Similarly, the project of installing 31 high mast solar lights in Jaigaon was carried out by Jaigaon Development Authority (JDA) and it has given a facelift to the place. People residing in the Jaigaon Planning Area were also immensely benefitted as unlike conventional lights, the solar lights are cost effective and hassle free. As many as 37,300 people benefitted from the project. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedAgain, the Green Zone in Kolkata is one of the successful initiatives under Green City Mission and it led to the creation of a beautifully decorated corridor from Kolkata Airport to Chinar Park and from Parama Island to Nabanna via Maa Flyover and AJC Bose Road Flyover. At the same time, the projects including the online payment gateway system of the Asansol Durgapur Development Authority’s (ADDA), which was named as “ADDA Online” also immensely benefitted the residents of the area. The Samabyathi project of the state government is also one of its kind in the country. It provides financial support to bereaved family members to perform the final rites and rituals of a deceased from the financially weaker section. Under the project, the state government provides assistance of Rs 2,000 to each of such families.last_img read more

Suite stay at Secrets Akumal top prize in Sunquests latest contest

first_img Thursday, July 28, 2016 MISSISSAUGA — Sunquest has a seven-night stay at Secrets Akumal Riviera Maya up for grabs, in a new contest for bookings July 28 – Aug. 3.All Deal of the Week bookings qualify as a ballot to win. Sunquest will be doing a random draw for the prize when the Deal of the Week ends and the winner will be notified on or before Aug. 10Agents will also receive a bonus US$150 resort coupon, for a total of $550, at all Secrets Resorts and Spas offered by Sunquest in Mexico, the D.R., Jamaica and Costa Rica. This applies per room, per stay, in Preferred Club room categories.For more information visit travelbrandsagent.com. << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: AMResorts, Secrets Resorts & Spas, Sunquest Posted bycenter_img Travelweek Group Share Suite stay at Secrets Akumal top prize in Sunquest’s latest contestlast_img read more

UPC Hungary has added a HD version of commercial T

first_imgUPC Hungary has added a HD version of commercial TV channel TV2 HD to its network.The ProSiebenSat.1-owned channel is now available to UPC customers that subscribe to the Mediabox HD, HD DVR or HD Media Card services.The addition of TV2 HD to UPC’s cable network takes the total number of HD channels offered by the operator to 13.last_img

All community concerts and Choral Trail performanc

first_imgAll community concerts and Choral Trail performances are free of charge. For more details see www. derrychoirfest.com.Tickets for all evening concerts are currently on sale from the Millennium Forum Box Office.Festival trails spread music throughout the community was last modified: October 24th, 2018 by John2John2 Tags: AT this year’s City of Derry International Choir Festival the city will be filled with song for the entire week until Sunday 28 October. In addition to the competitive schedule and official concerts, participating choirs will step off the stage and onto community choral trails and concerts, appearing in numerous pop-up locations in the city.Managed by local choir Allegri, the inaugural Every Voice Fringe Festival has already put on kids’ workshops, a sacred concert in First Derry Presbyterian Church, and two gala concerts in Derry and Strabane. ShareTweet For the remainder of the festival, you can catch informal performances from the visiting choirs in venues such as Foyleside, The Craft Village, City Hotel, Altnagelvin Hospital and many more. Ten churches will also play host to visiting choirs during their Sunday morning services on 28 October as part of the festival’s Sacred Trail.This year’s exciting festival line-up sees choirs coming from as far afield as Colombia, Estonia, Norway, Wales, Latvia, Finland, Germany and Ireland. The Every Voice Fringe Festival adds another dimension to the formal events taking place in St. Columb’s Hall, the Guildhall and Christ Church, as singers spill out into the streets and bring their music to the public. AllegriDerry and Strabane CouncilEvery Voice Fringe FestivalFestival trails spread music throughout the communitylast_img read more

If you have any interest at all in making the kind

first_img If you have any interest at all in making the kind of money most investors only dream about, you simply have to speculate in today’s junior precious metals explorers.  Historically, they reverse with a vengeance after the kind of extreme overbought conditions we’re seeing today… like Conquistador, which rose 1,874% in 1996… Silverado Mines, which shot up 3,988.5% in 1980, or Golden Scepter, which skyrocketed 7,650% in 1983. To show you why the precious metals sector is on the cusp of rewarding bold speculators with similar gains and how to position yourself to maximize this opportunity, Casey Research is hosting Downturn Millionaires.  This must-see web video event features contrarian investing legends Doug Casey and Rick Rule, who have leveraged beaten-down markets to fortunes multiple times for themselves and their clients… John Mauldin, chairman of Mauldin Economics … Bill Bonner, founder of Agora Publishing… and Casey Research Chief Metals and Mining Investment Strategist Louis James, who will reveal what to look for in a junior mining company, as well as one company with millions of proven ounces of gold in the ground that’s selling at a huge discount. Downturn Millionaires premiers at 2 p.m. on April 8 – to reserve your spot, click here now. Natural resource investors have experienced a tough year. The price of gold bullion has fallen from its 2011 highs and the prices of even good junior companies have been slashed to as little as half of their former valuations. All the more reason to start returning broker phone calls according to David Galland, Casey Research managing director, speaking on the Friday eve of the airing of a webinar he is moderating, featuring some of the biggest names in the industry. The webinar, “Downturn Millionaire: How to Make a Fortune in Beaten-Down Markets,” features Casey Research Founder Doug Casey, Sprott Global Resource Investments Founder Rick Rule, International Speculator Editor Louis James, “Endgame” Author John Mauldin and Diary of a Rogue Economist Editor Bill Bonner. In this interview with The Gold Report, Galland shares the motivation behind assembling this all-star cast for a golden wake-up call. The Gold Report: You are moderating a webinar for Casey Research titled “Downturn Millionaire: How to Make a Fortune in Beaten-Down Markets.” This is going to air on Monday, April 8. It’s an interesting title considering the current state of the precious metals market. Gold hasn’t even flirted with $1,900/ounce ($1,900/oz) since 2011 and dropped below $1,600/oz. Silver fell from $43/oz that same year to below $30/oz. Will this conference deliver the painful message that the bull market is over or do you have some good news for listeners? David Galland: We have some good news. The genesis of the webinar is somewhat interesting. Long-term friend Rick Rule, founder and chairman of Sprott Global Resource Investments Ltd., sent an e-mail saying, “Guys, this is a real market capitulation and one of those rare opportunities to make serious money on the rebound.” The proverbial light went off in our collective heads because we, too, have seen this sort of extreme opportunity several times during our careers. And so we scrambled to pull this webinar together in about a week to help make our subscribers and friends aware of the importance of the market capitulation and how to take full advantage. Simply, this is one of those rare moments when absolutely no one wants anything to do with gold stocks, even though gold bullion itself really hasn’t sold off all that much compared to the gold stocks, which are off by as much as 50%. The overarching purpose of the webinar, therefore, is to serve as a gut check and to help people focus on the opportunity. After all, the global demand for minerals is only going to continue to grow, and the role of precious metals is especially important given the complete lack of monetary and fiscal restraint on the part of the U.S. and other large governments. The role of gold and silver is certainly not over, which points to a huge opportunity because the tremendous apathy and capitulation in the gold share market has knocked even the best companies flat on their backs. TGR: The demand argument makes sense, but were the smart people in this group able to come up with the reason why the stocks are doing so poorly compared to the bullion? DG: We discussed the stocks in depth, starting with the macro-picture for precious metals, and then, by extension, why people want to own the stocks. The speakers had some great insights about why we’ve gotten to this point. Then they focused on what they see ahead for the sector and specific ways to profit as the market bounces back. TGR: One of the featured speakers is Doug Casey, chairman of Casey Research. When we interviewed him in January for “The World According to Doug Casey,” he said “speculation is capitalizing on politically caused distortions in the marketplace.” We’ve had years of quantitative easing, but none of the inflation he predicted. Is the government winning? Is that answered in the webinar? DG: I wouldn’t say we’ve had none of the inflation. The government does its very best to cover it up but we all know that prices have gone up considerably on a lot of things. Look at the basics—foodstuffs, energy and so forth. Are governments winning? No, they are just digging themselves and their respective economies a deeper and deeper hole. That said, you could certainly say that at this stage of the battle, people seem to have forgotten that there’s a connection between money printing and inflation. It is baffling because deconstructing the Great German Inflation and other inflations around the world, it was clear to everyone that money printing was the primary culprit. Yet people seem to have once again forgotten that connection. The faculty in this webinar address the questions of where the inflation is heading, why hasn’t it shown up and what can we expect when we see it. The consensus view among the faculty was that we’re looking at inflation rates in the high double digits and maybe worse within the foreseeable future, maybe not tomorrow, but it will come. Governments around the world seem to think that their economies are like washing machines that can be fixed with a bit of tinkering, but they’ll have serious trouble turning off the money printing machines. Social promises have been made, hundreds of millions of people now rely on governments for the bulk of their sustenance. Yet it’s important to remember that governments don’t actually make anything, except maybe wars. Where is the money going to come from for all these social programs? It’s going to be magically whipped up out of thin air essentially. That will have an effect on the purchasing power of the currency units already in circulation, and it will have a positive effect on the prices of tangibles, most importantly gold and silver. TGR: Participant Bill Bonner, who is the editor of The Diary of a Rogue Economist, also watches macrotrends. Does he see any end to the emergency-of-the-week theme playing out on the global stage? And does he have any suggestions for how investors can protect themselves from the fallout? DG: Bill completely understands the role that gold plays in preserving personal net worth, but doesn’t usually discuss gold shares per se. Even so, in our webinar he said something that really got my attention, “The time to buy these shares is when nobody wants to own them, when even you don’t want to own them.” That struck home with me because I’ve been investing in this market since the 1970s, and long ago I learned that the time you really want to back up the truck is when you have exactly the kind of bombed out markets that we have today. As Bill spoke, it really resonated because I, too, have been ducking calls from my broker, and I have a lot of respect for my broker. Worst of all, my broker is calling me offering me financings on great companies that come with five-year warrants, which is a very rare thing and only seen in periods of complete capitulation. But I didn’t want to take the guy’s calls because of the same mistake a lot of people are making at this point, which is just to assume that the market is dead forever when, in fact, that’s very much not the case. TGR: So when David’s scared, that’s the time to buy. Is that what you’re saying? DG: Well, not so much scared. I just didn’t want to hear about the sector anymore. Listening to this webinar inspired me to spend time looking at stocks of companies that I know have great projects, and great management and cash in the bank. Universally, these great companies have sold off by 50-60% or more. Yet, there is nothing wrong with these companies other than this panic out of the risk-on trades in the junior resource sector. That was a real wake up call. TGR: Webinar speaker John Mauldin, author of Thoughts from the Frontline, predicted, in a November interview with us, “John Mauldin’s Roadmap to Surviving the Fiscal Cliff,” that politicians would find a way around the fiscal cliff that was looming at that time, but he warned that the economy would be in for a bumpy ride. In this webinar, did he have any predictions for when or how things would get better? DG: John jokes that even as a relative pessimist, he looks like an optimist when in the company of the Casey Research team. John still thinks there is the possibility of a political solution to the economic crisis. If there is, I haven’t seen it, and nothing on the horizon looks like it’s going to happen as far as I can see. Despite his cautious optimism, John was absolutely in sync with the rest of the speakers’ opinions about the great contrarian opportunity in gold and the gold share market, an opportunity that most people will miss, but shouldn’t. TGR: Another speaker, International Speculator Editor Louis James, stressed the importance of thinking long term when we interviewed him last September for the article “How Investors Can Protect Themselves in a Politicized Economy.” He said the junior market was looking “bottomish” and it looked like a good time to buy. Will he be mentioning what companies he likes in the webinar? DG: He talks about a couple of companies he likes as examples. He’s also quite adamant about the criteria that people should use in deciding what precious metals shares belong in their portfolio and what shares people should be selling now. The reality is that a good number of these companies will not survive this downturn. If you’re sitting on a company with no cash in the bank, an only so-so project and average management, there’s a reasonable chance it’s going to go to $0 even though it may have already gone down by 50%. In the webinar, Louis covers the specific aspects of companies you want to own in your portfolio and the ones you should lose. It’s an important message because these things are, as Doug Casey likes to say, not family heirlooms but burning matches. And the ones that aren’t going to make it just aren’t going to make it. You have to come to that reality. But the good news is that by rotating into the certain winners you can claw back pretty quickly when the market sentiment shifts, as it most certainly will. TGR: Another one of the webinar speakers, Rick Rule, is a very popular expert with The Gold Reportreaders. When he spoke to our president, Karen Roche, last November for an article titled “Be a Risk Manager, Not a Reward Chaser,” he called gold “catastrophe insurance.” Does he have any specific advice for how investors should adjust their portfolios in a downturn? DG: I would say similar to Louis, his message is very clear. There are definitely companies that aren’t going to make it, and then there are companies that are going to make it and make it in a very big way. It was interesting because I’ve known Rick for a couple of decades now and I have seen him give a lot of presentations, but he was very vocal in pointing to an urgency in this market that most people are missing. Rick, Louis, Doug and all of the people on this webinar are really on the same page about this. Investors need a wakeup call. They need to really be paying attention at this moment because it’s one of those rare, once-in-a-generation opportunities to, as John Mauldin says, get in front of a bubble. We’ve seen this before. We saw this in July 1982, another classic capitulation with gold falling from over $800/oz in 1980 to below $350/oz. As you might imagine, the gold shares were completely sold off with the volume on the Canadian stock exchanges falling to next to nothing. But then there were a couple of discoveries in the Hemlo district of Canada, coinciding with a rally in gold, and the market skyrocketed. One of the companies involved in a Hemlo discovery, Golden Sceptre, went from a low of $0.41/share up to $31/share in about a year. Another, Goliath Gold, went from $0.45/share in March 1982 to $32/share in March 1983, an increase of over 7,000%. That sort of opportunity is pretty much only available following periods of market capitulation such as we are experiencing today. People have forsaken reason, and they don’t want to know about gold stocks. That alone should point the way to a classic contrarian opportunity where pretty much everybody who is going to sell has sold, leaving only one way to move—up—for the companies with the right combination of attributes to survive. TGR: So as painful as this has been for all of us over the last couple of years, after listening to these speakers, are you ready to say you welcome a down market for the opportunity it affords? DG: Absolutely. And as I said, it was a complete wakeup call for me. Until participating in the webinar, I had completely stopped paying attention to the sector. Now I am completely re-engaged and talking to my broker again. TGR: Thank you for taking the time to talk to us. DG: It was nice to be with you.last_img read more

New law cracks down on right to use cash

first_img New law cracks down on right to use cash The U.S. government is trying to restrict your access to cash. But not for the reason you think… According to leaked evidence it’s much, much worse. Insuring themselves against “black swan” events, but not investing with the hope of profiting from them, Fixed Income – Historically, bonds make up this asset class. At one time, bonds (AAA municipal bonds) represented as much as 40% of my net investible worth. My strategy was always to hold until maturity and buy them in “ladders,” replacing them when they matured. But I haven’t bought them since the rates dropped below 4.5% and have sold some I didn’t like much. Today, they represent about 5% of my net investible wealth. I also own an annuity and a life insurance product. These are not the typical insurance products. Most annuities and life insurance products are very expensive and very complicated. You have to be very careful with those. Editor’s Note: Last Tuesday, Mark appeared on a special live webinar to discuss his experience with using options (to date, he’s generated over $282,000 in instant cash payouts over the last three years). To watch the replay of this event—and learn in detail how this technique works—click here. Rental Real Estate – Next to business ventures, income-producing property investments have been the largest contributor to my wealth-building success. I invest for the income and see appreciation as a bonus. As with insurance products, real estate investing can be tricky for the inexperienced investor. Most mainstream real estate advice is bad. But if you do it properly—focusing on income—this asset class will do huge work for your portfolio. Editor’s Note: Can you get rich investing in stocks and bonds? Palm Beach Research Group founder Mark Ford has more insight into this question than most. Although he’s not an investment analyst, he’s worked in the financial publishing industry for over 30 years. He’s also built dozens of businesses from scratch…creating millions of dollars of wealth in the process. In short, Mark knows more about building wealth than just about anyone. In today’s Weekend Edition, Mark explains nine steps he is personally taking right now to grow and keep his money. By Mark Morgan Ford I am not an investment professional. I have never made any money managing other people’s money. I went from rags to riches the old-fashioned way: working hard and then investing my income as carefully as I could. Because I’d done well on my own, I never considered seeking financial advice. Then a funny thing happened. I woke up one day with the thought that I should have a “professional” manage some of my money. I interviewed two firms. One was a boutique business based in New York City that a friend recommended. The other was a private banking facility for one of the world’s largest brokerages. The boutique firm was happy to take $100,000 of my money to get started. The other company wanted a minimum of $10 million. They both had fancy offices and pretty marketing brochures. But such frills scare me. They make me think, “Gee, these guys must be charging their customers a lot to afford all this stuff.” My trepidations notwithstanding, I worked with both of them for about six months. I answered their questions about my tolerance for risk (little to none). I listened to their presentations. And then I did something that I bet few of their clients ever do. I started asking them questions. And I kept pushing them to explain why I should believe that they could help me become wealthier. What I got instead was clever circumlocution. A financially sophisticated version of what you’d expect from your teenage son if you pestered him about why he didn’t come home until four in the morning. Those discussions convinced me that these guys could not manage my money better than I had been managing it. To be fair, they certainly knew more about investment products than I did. But they didn’t know more about how to become wealthy. These guys were smart. They had graduate degrees from great schools. They spoke eloquently. They seemed so…so…inside the game. I wanted them to be better than me. I really did. But they really didn’t seem to care whether their services would make me richer or poorer. The contracts they wanted me to sign were going to put money in their pockets regardless. That didn’t feel right. In the end, I told both of my elite financial planners to take a hike. And I went back to managing my money myself. Seeing Only 20% of the Big Picture The investment advisory industry is a huge multibillion-dollar business based on hard work, clever thinking, and sophisticated algorithms. But also on one teensy-weensy lie. The lie is that you can grow wealthy investing in stocks and bonds. It’s not a big, black lie. But the unfortunate truth is the financial establishment rarely looks beyond stocks and bonds. And if you think about it, why would it want to? It makes its money by ushering you from one “hot” stock or “amazing” fund to the next. Wall Street wants you to think the stock (and sometimes the bond) markets are the only places you can make money. And because they know that you have heard that “diversification of assets” is good, they give you the illusion of diversification by having your stock portfolio invested in businesses that are “diversified” into manufacturing, retail, global trade, natural resources, etc. This is, as I said, an illusion. At the end of the day, it’s all invested in stocks or stock derivatives. The result? More risk and less potential wealth gain for you. So start by deconstructing the little lie. Building wealth involves much more than just investing in stocks and bonds. Most rich people get that way by consistently doing the following nine things: Giving top priority to increasing their net investible income, not maximizing returns, Options – Although my cardinal rule is not to invest in something I don’t understand, my colleague, Tom Dyson, found a way to trade options that I both understand and also believe in. Like real estate and insurance products, most options strategies are speculations. I’d advise against them. But the way Tom taught me to do it, selling puts on legacy-type stocks, has worked very well for me. In fact, over eight years of testing, it’s proven successful 96.2% of the time. If you’re interested in a free, three-part training series he’s currently running on this type of options trading, I recommend clicking here. Spending less as a percentage of net income as it grows so they can save more, Investing in safe real estate—i.e., income-producing properties, Recommended Links Jim Rickards Issues “Critical Warning #3″… Jim Rickards just issued a new critical market update. You need to check this out… Jim’s issued this kind of update only twice before in recent history… Both times were about massive changes in the markets. And this change is even BIGGER… See this very short video by clicking here. Investing in stocks and bonds with discipline—i.e., without expecting to get returns that are much higher than market averages, And keeping a substantial store of cash to be used when “cash becomes king.” As you can see, investing in stocks and bonds is only one of nine strategies you must follow to become rich, but that was the only one that the two money management firms I tried cared about. Direct Investments in Entrepreneurial Businesses – This is, by far, the investment class that has given me the best results. If you do this right, you can expect terrific, steady income and the potential for enormous growth. The trick here is to invest only in companies you understand and have some control over. Owning tangible, portable, and non-reportable assets as a reserve that can be tapped into at opportune moments, Cash – I call this a “Cash Opportunity Fund.” You keep a store of money you add to every year. That way, when the crash comes, you can use this fund to swoop in and buy a bunch of great assets at bargain prices. Understanding debt and using it occasionally and strategically to build wealth, — Chaos Hedges – This asset class is not, for me, an investment. It is, as the name implies, protection from times of turbulence—a market crash, bankruptcy, lawsuits, etc. In this class I include gold, silver, and platinum coins (bullion and one or two “rare” types). I bought all I needed when gold was trading at about $400 an ounce. It’s gone up and down since then but at today’s prices it looks good again. Collectibles – This is a category of investing that you will probably not be interested in, unless you want to enrich not just your net worth but your experience of living each and every day for the rest of your life. My preferred collectible is fine art and first-edition books, but you can invest in anything from baseball cards to vintage cars to surfboards. How to Ensure Financial Growth and Security So if you can’t reasonably expect to get rich with just stocks and bonds, what can you do? You can model your investing behavior on the behaviors that have been proven, time and time again, to actually work. I’m talking about asset allocation. Asset allocation is the process by which you spread your wealth across different sorts of investments. You might think that something so dull as asset allocation could not possibly be that important in acquiring wealth, but numerous studies have shown that it may be the most important factor. (These studies can be found here.) Because of an early financial disaster, I became an emotionally compulsive diversifier of practically every dollar I could save, putting some of it in bonds, some in stocks, some in cash, some in real estate, and so on. Over the years I have made hundreds of individual financial decisions—buy this, sell that. Some of them were quite good, a few of them were quite bad, and most of them were in-between. And yet, overall, my net worth had increased considerably and consistently, without any down years, for more than 30 years. I could see very clearly that this was not due to the particular buy/sell decisions that accounted for this good fortune. It was the general decisions about asset allocation that paid off. Since I discovered this, I have been telling my readers about my own asset allocation decisions every year. Not because I think my portfolio is the best possible exemplum of diversification, but just to illustrate my belief that one needs to go well beyond some combination of stocks, bonds, and cash to win at the wealth-building game. My yearly report is reasonably detailed, but the following will give you a bird’s eye view of what I do. Stocks – I have several stock portfolios: one that you might call “legacy” stocks, one that I call “performance stocks,” and a third group that includes what would conventionally be called “growth” and “speculative” stocks. The lion’s share (maybe 80% to 90%) of my stock money is in the legacy stocks: a handful of big, dividend-giving companies that I’m happy to keep on a “forever” basis. A smaller percentage is in dividend-giving companies with growth potential. And a tiny percentage are speculations—stocks I’m quite sure I’ll lose all my money on but I want to own them just for fun. – Investing directly in private enterprises and other “outside Wall Street” opportunities,last_img read more

In what would likely become the most restrictive a

first_imgIn what would likely become the most restrictive abortion ban in the country, the Alabama House Tuesday passed a bill that would make it a crime for doctors to perform abortions at any stage of a pregnancy, unless a woman’s life is threatened. The legislation is part of a broader anti-abortion strategy to prompt the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider the right to abortion. Republican state Rep. Terri Collins of Decatur, Ala. defended her “Human Life Protection Act” during, at times, contentious debate on the House floor. “This bill is focused on that baby that’s in the womb that is a person,” Collins said. “That baby, I believe, would choose life.” Democratic lawmakers walked out in protest before the final 74 to 3 vote. During debate, they questioned the motive for an abortion ban in a state that’s refused to expand Medicaid. “I do support life, but there are some people that just support birth they don’t support life,” said Democratic Rep. Merika Coleman of Birmingham, Ala. “Because after a child is born there are some things that need to happen. We need to make sure that child has adequate health care,” Coleman said.Other states, including neighboring Georgia and Mississippi, have passed laws that prohibit abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected. But Alabama’s ban would apply even earlier.”When a woman is pregnant, an abortion is no longer legal,” says Collins, explaining the bill. The bill criminalizes abortion, meaning doctors would face felony jail time up to 99 years if convicted. The only exceptions are for a serious health risk to the pregnant woman, or a lethal anomaly of the fetus. There are no exceptions for cases of rape or incest. A woman would not be held criminally liable for having an abortion.Collins says the bill follows a constitutional amendment approved by Alabama voters last year that recognizes the “rights of unborn children.” It defies the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision that protects a woman’s right to abortion.”This bill is simply about Roe v. Wade,” says Collins. “The decision that was made back in 1973 would not be the same decision that was decided upon today if you relooked at the issue.” Her bill cites abolition, the civil rights movement and women’s suffrage as justification for establishing the human rights of a fetus. Alabama is one of more than two dozen states seeking to restrict abortion rights this year, testing federal legal precedent that prevents states from banning abortion before the point at which a fetus could survive outside the womb. Alabama Pro-Life Coalition President Eric Johnston says there’s a reason there’s so much activity now.”The dynamic has changed,” Johnston says. “The judges have changed, a lot of changes over that time, and so I think we’re at the point where we need to take a bigger and a bolder step.” The bold move to outlaw nearly all abortions is drawing protests from abortion rights advocates. A coalition called Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity demonstrated outside the Alabama statehouse last month. “This bill is an awful piece of grandstanding,” said Amanda Reyes of Tuscaloosa, Ala. She’s president of the Yellowhammer Fund, a group that helps women pay for abortions. “If you make abortion illegal somewhere that doesn’t mean that abortion goes away,” says Reyes. “It just becomes more difficult and more dangerous to access.” The bill is expected to win final passage in the Republican majority Alabama Senate. The ACLU of Alabama says it will sue if the abortion ban becomes law. Executive Director Randall Marshall says the bill is unconstitutional. “There is simply nothing that Alabama can do to interfere with the right of access to abortion,” Marshall says. “That is a federal right and the Federal Constitution clearly trumps all state law.” With two Trump appointees now on the U.S. Supreme Court, anti-abortion forces are optimistic that judicial interpretation could be reversed. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

A note from the editor Please consider making a v

first_imgA note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS… Disabled activists and their allies have forced a council into a significant climbdown over its “discriminatory” plans for a memorial to victims of the Peterloo massacre.Manchester City Council (MCC) said this week that it had asked artist Jeremy Deller to examine how the memorial he designed can now be made “fully accessible”.The council-funded memorial was set to be completely inaccessible to many disabled people (pictured), even though Deller wanted it to be used as a platform for speakers and demonstrators, mirroring those who spoke during the protest in 1819 that led to the massacre*.The council had previously told Disability News Service (DNS) that it was unlikely that any “fundamental changes” would be made to the memorial, which is due to be unveiled to the public on 16 August, the 200th anniversary of the massacre.But there has now been an apparent climbdown following weeks of protests led by disabled activists.The council’s announcement follows a meeting between city councillors Luthfur Rahman (executive member for skills, culture and leisure) and Tracey Rawlins (lead member for disabled people), and representatives of disabled people’s groups.Mark Todd, a disabled access expert who started a Facebook page to protest at the design of the memorial – and has called it “a monument to discrimination” – said he was “really pleased” at the council’s apparent change of approach.He said that the “breadth and determination” of the campaign and the willingness to work with the council appeared to have paid off.And he said the campaign had built an “amazing coalition” that included disabled people, artists, celebrities, and citizens of Manchester “who all want a Peterloo Memorial that is accessible to everyone”.Among those who have supported the campaign are the musician and activist Billy Bragg, who said: “Surely something that symbolises the struggle for universal rights should be accessible to all.”Disabled comedian and activist Francesca Martinez said it was “extraordinary” that the memorial design had not been inclusive, while there has also been criticism from disabled actor-campaigners Cherylee Houston and Ali Briggs.Briggs said: “We all want a memorial, yes that’s true. We just don’t want one like this, that we can’t be proud of.”Todd said this week that he was “cautiously optimistic” following the council’s statement, but until there was a “fitting and accessible Peterloo Memorial”, the campaign and a weekly vigil near the site would continue.He said: “We are not ready to put away our placards just yet.”Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People (GMCDP), which has played a key role in the protests, also welcomed the announcement.But it warned that the council had not yet met its three demands – to stop work on the memorial while it was still low enough to include a ramp; to ensure the memorial was accessible; and to make sure there was no repeat of the council’s failure with future projects – and pointed out that building work on the inaccessible memorial was now nearly finished.Campaigners will meet next week with the council, Deller and the architect working on the project, and will then decide whether to review their demands.A GMCDP spokesperson said: “MCC’s decision to build the memorial to its full height and then explore access solutions afterwards, limits considerably what can be done to make it a platform everyone can use.“We do not know what MCC have in mind, if anything, and we acknowledge that a perfect solution may not be arrived at immediately. “What is needed most at this stage is the commitment to find a genuine accessible long-term solution, properly considered, fully consulted on and backed up with some teeth and a budget.”The council has faced weeks of anger from disabled people and allies that a memorial designed to remember those who marched for liberty and equality in the 19th century should apparently have been “designed and built with discrimination and inequality at its heart”.Now the council has said that it regrets that the design of the memorial “did not give enough consideration to access issues”.Cllr Rahman said: “Manchester City Council has a long and proud record around access issues, something which disabled access campaigners have acknowledged. “However, we recognise that the interpretation of the brief for the Peterloo Memorial, with an imaginative design involving a more interactive element than originally envisaged for a public artwork, did not give enough consideration to access issues and we regret this.“We recently met with representatives of disabled people’s groups to further discuss this issue and we have asked the artist and architect to look at how the monument in its current form can be modified to make it fully accessible.“We will share more details about where we are up to and the proposed way forward as soon as we are in a position to do so.“We are listening and doing all we can to resolve this satisfactorily.”Deller told DNS last night (Wednesday) that he was optimistic that a solution could be found to make the memorial accessible.*On 16 August 1819, paramilitary and military forces attacked more than 60,000 peaceful, pro-democracy and anti-poverty protesters in Manchester, which led to 18 deaths and an estimated 700 serious injuries, in what became known as the Peterloo Massacrelast_img read more

InFlight WiFi

first_img This story appears in the November 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » In-Flight Wi-Fi Add to Queue Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. –shares Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Mile-high productivity gets a boost from in-air Wi-Fi. Next Article Amanda C. Kooser Magazine Contributor Register Now » While we still can’t use our cell phones on airplanes, onboard internet is getting a lot of attention.In-air Wi-Fi is pretty much ready for prime time. It doesn’t have the interference or social issues that crop up around cell phone usage. International travelers will get the first crack at it. There have been Wi-Fi announcements and implementations from airlines like Singapore Airlines and German carrier Lufthansa. Connexion by Boeing is a leading provider in this area. Pricing can start as low as $8 for a 30-minute block. Check for availability on your next overseas flight.Look for in-flight Wi-Fi on U.S. airlines sometime next year. Boingo customers will benefit from a roaming agreement that allows access on Connexion-enabled flights. United Airlines and Verizon Airfone have tested their own in-flight Wi-Fi, due to go online next year as well. 1 min read Technology November 1, 2005last_img read more

KFC Has a New Nail Polish That Tastes Like Chicken Start Up

first_imgStart Up Your Day Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. 1 min read Enroll Now for $5 Lindsay Friedman Staff writer. Frequently covers franchise news and food trends. KFC Has a New Nail Polish That Tastes Like Chicken — Start Up Your Day Roundup Add to Queue Image credit: Settawat Udom | Shutterstock Looking for the latest headlines in small business, innovation and tech? Our Start Up Your Day recaps are posted every morning to keep you current.Planned. Tesla plans 500,000 cars for 2018. Inclusivity. Uber will bring its new accessible ride services to Chicago starting this month, according to The Chicago Tribune.Under the knife. This robot surgeon sewed up a pig’s insides.Don’t mess with mama. In honor of Mother’s Day this weekend, Facebook Messenger will adorn your chats with flowers.A new day. Burger King will launch a new breakfast sandwich, the Egg-Normous Burrito.  Finger-licking good. KFC seems to have taken its slogan seriously after releasing its own nail polish. It’s supposed to taste like chicken. May 5, 2016 –shares Next Article last_img read more

Larsen Toubro Infotech Eyes AI ML and Analytics Market with Lymbycs Acquisition

first_imgLarsen & Toubro Infotech Eyes AI ML and Analytics Market with Lymbyc’s Acquisition Sudipto Ghosh6 days agoJuly 17, 2019 AcquisitionAIanalyticsLTILymbycMarketing Technology NewsNewsSaasVirtual Analyst Previous ArticleSesame Software Partners with Snowflake on Integration/Data Warehouse SolutionNext ArticleEsker Partners, Invests in B/2BNOW in Support of SAP S/4HANA Cloud ERP Acquisition to enhance Larsen & Toubro Infotech ‘s Mosaic platform with Deep Learning, NLP, and Visualization capabilitiesLarsen & Toubro Infotech Ltd., a global technology Consulting and Digital Solutions company, is acquiring Lymbyc. Lymbyc is a specialist AI, Machine Learning, and Advanced Analytics company. The acquisition further strengthens LTI’s fast-growing Digital and Analytics offerings.Larsen & Toubro Infotech will Compete in AI-Based Cloud Computing MarketWith growing dependence on data, global enterprises need to be better at data discovery, agile analytics, and the ability to process large datasets. Lymbyc’s expertise in these spheres will enhance Larsen & Toubro Infotech’s Mosaic platform to provide differentiated analytics solutions in a SaaS model.At the time of this announcement, Sanjay Jalona, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, LTI, said —“We believe self-service capabilities for AI and advanced analytics will be the next wave of disruption in the marketplace, and Lymbyc brings this capability to our Mosaic platform. Leni by Lymbyc is an industry-agnostic platform that solves business user’s need for experience, speed, and comprehension. I welcome Lymbyc’s experienced management team and all its employees to the LTI family.”Satyakam Mohanty, Founder, and CEO, Lymbyc said, “As a strategic business partner of LTI during last year, we have seen first hand how LTI is leading data and digital transformation agenda for its clients. With AI becoming increasingly mainstream, we are excited to join hands with LTI and to help a larger and richer set of clients. Leni, our AI-based Virtual Analyst, is perfectly suited to deliver better value to business users and maximize their information and analytics investments.”Getting Leni to Work for Larsen & Toubro Infotech CustomersLymbyc is headquartered in Bengaluru, India. Since inception in 2012, the company has acquired customers in the USA, UK, Africa, and India. The company is well recognized for its unique capabilities in analytics and data-sciences space. Lymbyc was also recognized and featured in Gartner’s Market Guide for Data Analytics and Service Providers 2019.Marketing Technology News: Progress Named a Leader in the New 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Multiexperience Development PlatformsThe core of Lymbyc’s capabilities are centered around a proprietary product, Leni. Lymbyc offers two products:Leni as a serviceLeni as an APICurrently, Leni solves for the entire spectrum of descriptive to predictive Business Insights, leveraging Deep Learning, Natural Language Processing, Data Visualization, and Predictive Analytics. Leni is a Virtual Analyst that allows users to conversationally access information and insights.Leni ServiceMarketing Technology News: WebCEO, the Agency Oriented Marketing Platform, Launches a New Local SEO ModuleLTI and Lymbyc have been strategic partners for the last one year, and have collaborated to deliver unique solutions to several leading global enterprises.Lymbyc is the fifth acquisition by LTI since the company got listed in 2016. Earlier this year, the company acquired Ruletronics, a boutique Pega Consulting company, and N+P (NEILSEN+PARTNER), a Temenos Wealthsuite specialist.Marketing Technology News: Introducing Shutterstock Elements, Thousands of Cinema-Grade Video Effects for Filmmakerslast_img read more

AI could help spot Alzheimers early finds study

first_img Source:https://pubs.rsna.org/doi/10.1148/radiol.2018180958#tbl2 By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDNov 8 2018Artificial intelligence (AI) may soon be used to detect Alzheimer’s disease early in the course of disease say researchers. The results of the study were published in the latest issue of the journal Radiology.The researchers from University of California at San Francisco, conducted a small but significant study where they used a self-learning computer programme to look at the brain scans of participants. The computer programme was designed to detect the early signs of neurodegenerative disease – Alzheimer’s. These features were usually too minute and subtle for human eyes to spot them. Results revealed that the programme could detect signs of Alzheimer’s disease in 40 patients six years (average 75.8 months) before symptoms of the disease manifested themselves and the disease could be formally diagnosed.The team wrote, “There is wide recognition that deep learning may assist in addressing the increasing complexity and volume of imaging data, as well as the varying expertise of trained imaging physicians. The application of machine learning technology to complex patterns of findings, such as those found at functional PET imaging of the brain, is only beginning to be explored. We hypothesized that the deep learning algorithm could detect features or patterns that are not evident on standard clinical review of images and thereby improve the final diagnostic classification of individuals.”The “deep learning algorithm” developed by the team was trained by showing it 2109 F-FDG PET (or fluorine 18 (18F) fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography) scans from 1,002 patients. These PET scans can detect metabolic activities from all parts of the brain by showing uptake of a radioactive glucose compound that is administered by injection into the blood stream. The programme could detect changes in metabolic patterns of usage in the brain that could signal future development of Alzheimer’s. The algorithm trained itself by looking at these changes in all the scans that it was shown. Once it knew what it was looking for, it could detect all the early cases in the pilot study, the researchers explained. The pilot study was using 40 PET scans from 40 patients whose scans the algorithm had not encountered before. It predicted the early signs of the disease with 100 percent accuracy the team wrote. Dr Jae Ho Sohn, one of the co-authors of the study said, “We were very pleased with the algorithm’s performance. It was able to predict every single case that advanced to Alzheimer’s disease.”Related StoriesArtificial intelligence can help accurately predict acute kidney injury in burn patientsMercy Medical Center adds O-arm imaging system to improve spinal surgery resultsStudy provides new insight into longitudinal decline in brain network integrity associated with agingThe team explained that with such early detection, interventions and treatment could also begin early. This could not only slow down the progress of the disease but also halt the progression of degeneration.Dr Carol Routledge, from the charity Alzheimer’s Research UK explained that these neurodegenerative disorders usually begin up to two decades before the symptoms appear. This algorithm can help detect the disease early so treatment can start earlier before much damage is done she added. “This study highlights the potential of machine learning to assist with the early detection of diseases like Alzheimer’s, but the findings will need to be confirmed in much larger groups of people before we can properly assess the power of this approach,” she said.last_img read more