Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppThe British have not responded to Caricom about the report of the fact finding mission. A report which has been sanctioned by Caricom leaders and one with its suggestions has been delivered to the UK.Admitted yesterday by Ambassador Colin Granderson leading the 6 member delegation here from Caricom, on a consultative mission. QUOTE. Hon Donhue Gardiner, acting Premier says nonetheless elected leaders are moving on the recommendations even though his government has not gotten any feedback from the UK either. The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office has acknowledged receipt of the report since July; former governor Ric Todd would only confirm that they have the document. Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp
What’s This Mean For Everybody Else? Maybe Nothing The move could have significant impact on the emergence of other digital newsstands as well as other dotcom giants like Amazon that offer free mobile apps so users of devices like the iPad can make purchases directly from the Kindle app. While Apple has made more money selling devices than content and apps, requiring people to access more content from more sources on their iPhones and iPads would require more people to buy more devices, according to The New York Times. However, Amazon (and Barnes & Noble) may not face the same problems as Sony because they enable consumers to buy books directly from their sites, which wasn’t the case with the Sony Reader Store, according to Mashable. Apple, potentially Google and publishing industry home team Next Issue Media are all reportedly working on their one-stop shops for digital periodicals, while Barnes & Noble, Amazon and some of the digital magazine vendors, such as Zinio, are already offering a newsstand experience. Next Issue Media has said its storefront will only be compatible with Google’s Android system to start while some observers have wondered whether standalone newsstands like Zinio will maintain their independence or fold into iTunes once Apple launches its newsstand (Zinio says it has “no comment” on Apple’s latest decision). However, many of the digital edition providers say the steps Apple is taking won’t hurt publishers. Digital edition provider Yudu (which has tied its offerings directly to Apple products such as the iPad) says Apple’s new policy could actually benefit smaller and medium-sized publishers by offering a far larger audience through the App store than they could ever get through print. “This announcement will mark an improved user experience and allow for easier access to their chosen material, directly from the App Store,” says Yudu CEO Richard Stephenson. “The consumer will no longer have to navigate away from the App Store to third party portals and payment gateways.” Texterity is “relieved” with what it’s hearing from Apple. “What they’re asking is reasonable,” says Texterity president Martin Hensel. “We do a lot of b-to-b magazines and Apple is cool with us putting people through a qualification form. We do a lot of association magazines where the magazines come as part of the membership and Apple is cool with us verifying that someone is a member without having to go through the iApp process. The only time we have to offer the iApp process is when we’re selling a digital-only subscription or a print and digital subscription at a premium over print-alone.”Marcus Grimm, marketing director at Nxtbook Media, has a three-phase recommendation for publishers who want to develop Apple apps. “One, make sure your business plan can support giving Apple their cut, if it comes to that,” he says. “Two, publishers should also be working out their Android strategy, which is easier business-wise, though more complex technology-wise, with multiple versions to support. Three, this is yet more proof that publishers need to make sure their Apple investment is worth the return. Publishers can get their content on these devices effectively without spending an arm and a leg, particularly if Apple wants 30 percent of said limbs.” Apple has reportedly rejected Sony’s reader app from the App store for selling content within the app and letting customers make purchases outside the App store (such as within the Sony Reader Store, according to The New York Times). From now on, all in-app purchases have to go through Apple, according to Steve Haber, president of Sony’s digital reading division. “It’s the opposite of what we wanted to bring to the market,” Haber is quoted as saying by The Drum. “We always wanted to bring the content to as many devices as possible, not one device to one store.”The news comes the day before Apple and News Corp. are supposed to debut News Corp.’s new digital magazine The Daily, and many observers predict Apple will use that opportunity to unveil a new subscription system. Publishers may now need to start paying Apple the 30 percent commission that’s always existed but hasn’t been strictly enforced. Publishers will also have to make sure all apps comply with Apple’s developer guideline by March 31.
Dan Cohen AUTHOR YesOceana, Virginia Beach’s innovative program to roll back encroachment threatening Naval Air Station Oceana, has been named a co-winner in its category for the 2016 Community Economic Development Awards presented by the Virginia Economic Developers Association.After NAS Oceana was threatened with closure following the last BRAC round, Virginia Beach developed a comprehensive initiative to reduce encroachment in the base’s clear zone and Accident Potential Zone 1 (APZ-1) through an aggressive incentive program targeting commercial businesses. YesOceana was designed to recruit and retain conforming businesses — such as wholesale trade, distribution and manufacturing operations — in APZ-1 and relocate nonconforming businesses from APZ-1 to other areas in Virginia Beach.Through fiscal 2015, the city has eliminated 53 nonconforming commercial properties, and it has committed $2.4 million to 31 businesses to promote compatible uses within the district. Incentives include a 90 percent rebate of the business licenses tax and/or real estate tax abatement for nonconforming properties that are rehabilitated, renovated or improved to a conforming use. Conforming businesses also may be reimbursed for fees associated with building permits, site plan applications, and water and sewer connections.By providing financial encouragement, Virginia Beach has been able to spur economic development in a way that is compatible with the mission of the base, according to a news release from the city.“With the support of other city departments and city leadership, we developed a program that serves as a vital economic development tool and strengthens our relationship with the Navy,” stated Michelle Chapleau, APZ-1 business development manager.YesOceana is now a catalyst for redevelopment of several major corridors in Virginia Beach. And its neighbors Hampton and Chesapeake are establishing similar programs to limit incompatible development outside Langley AFB and Fentress Landing Field, respectively. Virginia Beach split state funds it received last year for YesOceana with Chesapeake to support its program.
When users ask Siri, Apple’s digital assistant, what she likes to drink, she is quick with an answer.”I have a thirst for knowledge,” she responds.Her counterpart at Microsoft, Cortana, opts for a very, very dry martini.But M, the digital assistant Facebook is testing, deflects the question. “I don’t have an opinion about that. What’s your favorite drink?”As the tech giants race to build ever better artificial intelligence platforms, they are obsessing over the nuances of their digital assistants’ personalities.For users, digital assistants are a gateway to powerful artificial intelligence tools developers expect to influence major decisions about what to buy and how to spend time.The more tech companies can get users to rely on their digital assistants, the more valuable data they will accumulate about the spending habits, interests and preferences of users. The information could be fodder for lucrative digital advertising or a lever for companies to keep users locked into their ecosystems.But companies are split on the best way to forge deep connections with users. Siri and Cortana are waging charm offensives, both quick to crack a joke or tell a story. Their elaborate personas are meant to keep users coming back.Facebook has built M with no gender, personality or voice. The design bears some resemblance to Google’s similarly impersonal assistant.While catchy one-liners generate buzz, a digital assistant with personality risks alienating users or, the companies say, misleading them about the software’s true purpose: carrying out simple tasks, much like a real-life assistant.Facebook’s no-nonsense assistant focuses on handling chores such as ordering flowers or making restaurant reservations.”We wanted M to be really open and able to do anything – a really white piece of paper – and see how people use it,” Alex Lebrun, a Facebook executive who oversees the AI team for M, said in an interview with Reuters.For tech companies, the stakes are high, said Matt McIlwain, managing director of Madrona Venture Group, since digital assistants can guide users to their own products and those of their advertisers and partners – and away from those of competitors. Google’s digital assistant, for example, uses the company’s search engine to fulfill user requests for information rather than Yahoo or Microsoft’s Bing.”That trusted assistant could function as my agent for all kinds of transactions and activities,” McIlwain said.Research from the late Stanford professor Clifford Nass, an expert on human-computer interaction, shows that users can become deeply invested in AI that seems human, though they are also more disappointed when the systems come up short, raising the stakes for companies that make the attempt. And what charms one user can annoy another – a danger that Facebook and Google have largely sidestepped.Nevertheless, the Siri team concluded that personality was indispensable, said Gary Morgenthaler, an investor in Siri, the startup that created the eponymous assistant and was later acquired by Apple.”If you are emulating a human being,” he said, “then you are halfway into a human type of interaction.”Google has decided it doesn’t want to take personality further without having a better handle on human emotion.”It’s very, very hard to have a computer be portrayed as a human,” said Tamar Yehoshua, vice president of mobile search.The Google app, making use of predictive technology known as Google Now, responds to questions in a female voice but has few other gendered touches and little personality.The Google app does reflect its creator’s spirit of curiosity, however, by sharing fun facts, Yehoshua said.Facebook has a team of human “trainers” behind M, who answer some requests that are beyond the capabilities of its artificial intelligence. The company hopes to gather data on users’ most frequent requests in order to improve M so it can handle them in the future.That data is limited, however, as M is so far available only to 10,000 people in the San Francisco Bay area.Despite M’s design, users frequently ask to hear jokes, a request the assistant obliges. Humans tend to anthropomorphize technology, academics say, often looking for a personality or connection even when tech companies intentionally have veered away from such things.”When you give people this open mic, they will ask anything,” said Babak Hodjat, co-founder of AI company Sentient Technologies.Siri’s personality did not change much after Apple acquired the startup in 2010, though she switched from responding in text to speech at the insistence of the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, said Adam Cheyer, a co-founder of Siri who is now a vice president at another AI company, Viv Labs.”He was right on that call,” Cheyer said. “The voice is something that people really connect with.”Microsoft interviewed real-life personal assistants to help shape Cortana’s personality, said Jonathan Foster, Cortana’s editorial manager. The assistant’s tone is professional, but she has her whims.She loves anything science-fiction or math-related – her favorite TV show is “Star Trek” – and jicama is her favorite food because she likes the way it sounds.Such attention to detail is critical because humans are very particular when it comes to artificial intelligence, said Henry Lieberman, a visiting scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who studies human-computer interaction.Companies must be mindful, he said, not to venture into what researchers call the “uncanny valley,” the point at which an artificial intelligence tool falls just short of seeming human. Users become fixated on the small discrepancies, he said.”It becomes creepy or bizarre, like a monster in a movie that has vaguely human features,” Lieberman said.iDAvatars CEO Norrie J. Daroga said he walked a fine line in creating Sophie, a medical avatar that assesses patients’ pain. He gave Sophie a British accent for the U.S. audience, finding users are more critical of assistants that speak like they do.And she has flaws built in because humans distrust perfection, said Daroga, whose avatar uses technology from IBM’s Watson artificial intelligence platform.Some academics say Siri’s personality has been her greatest success: After her release in 2011, users raced to find all her quips. But some of her retorts have caused headaches for Apple.When asked what to do with a dead body, Siri used to offer joking suggestions such as swamps or reservoirs — an exchange that surfaced in a 2014 murder trial in Florida.She is more evasive when asked the question today. “I used to know the answer to this” she says.Even in that response, Morgenthaler sees traces of the true Siri.”It’s a little bit of a protest against the corporatization,” he said. “I don’t forget, but I’ve been made to forget.”
Mohammed NasimHealth minister Mohammed Nasim said on Sunday that the government would recruit about 10,000 more physicians before the next election slated to be held in the yearend.The minister came up with the disclosure while speaking at a meet-the-press programme jointly organised by the Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA) and Bangladesh Health Reporters’ Forum (BHRF) at the BMA office in the capital Sunday evening.The minister also said that the recruitment of 5,000 doctors would be completed by the next three months in the first phase.The health minister also said that shortage of human resources is the major obstacle towards ensuring smooth health-care services for the people.“The present government has been trying to overcome this problem. As part of this, 5,000 doctors will be recruited in the next two or three months and the other 5,000 doctors will be recruited afterwards but before the next general elections,” said Nasim.The minister also said these newly recruited doctors would be posted to the rural areas.“We’re also working to formulate a provision making it mandatory that the newly recruited doctors stay at least two years in the rural areas at the beginning of their services,” he added.Among others, BMA president Mostafa Jalal Mohiuddin, Bangladesh Health Reporters’ Forum president Tawfiq Maruf and doctor leaders were present at the programme.
Listen at WEAA Live Stream: http://amber.streamguys.com.4020/live.m3uIndiana’s so-called, “Religious Freedom Law,” has been characterized by a growing number of individuals and companies as a mandate for intolerance. We’ll examine the controversial issue with our panel of experts. Plus, AFRO reporter Roberto Alejandro, investigative journalist Stephen Janis and Taya Graham, co-editor of, “You Can’t Stop Murder: Truths About Policing in Baltimore and Beyond,” talk local politics and news. This and more coming up this evening on AFRO’s First Edition with Sean Yoes.
Credit: CC0 Public Domain Study of zircon crystals casts doubt on evidence for early development of magnetic field © 2019 Science X Network Planetary scientists have found strong evidence that suggests the Earth has an inner and an outer core. The inner core is believed to be solid, while the outer core is made up of molten material. Prior evidence has also indicated that the entire core was once liquid, but as the interior cooled, the innermost part began to crystallize. It is at this point that scientists disagree—some suggest the start of solidification began as far back as 2.5 billion years ago. Others believe it was much more recent—perhaps as recent as just 500 million years ago. In this new effort, the researchers have found evidence that supports the latter theory.The work by the researchers involved carefully analyzing plagioclase and clinopyroxene crystals, which have been dated to approximately 565 million years ago. The crystals are important because they contain bits of metal called inclusions. The inclusions are very small and needle-shaped and aligned themselves with the Earth’s magnetic field as they became embedded in the crystal. Since the Earth’s magnetic field is generated by activity in the inner core, the inclusions are a means of determining the state of the core during the time when the crystals formed. The researchers report that their analysis showed that the magnetic field was significantly weaker than it is today, suggesting that solidification of the core must have occurred soon thereafter or the magnetic field would have collapsed altogether. The reason it did not, theory suggests, is because as the inner core solidified, he magnetic field became stronger. Explore further More information: Richard K. Bono et al. Young inner core inferred from Ediacaran ultra-low geomagnetic field intensity, Nature Geoscience (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41561-018-0288-0 A quartet of researchers from the University of Rochester and the University of California has found evidence of the starting period for the solidification of Earth’s core. In their paper published in the journal Nature Geoscience, Richard Bono, John Tarduno, Francis Nimmo and Rory Cottrell describe their analysis of ancient crystals found in eastern Canada, what they found, and why they believe their results offer clues about the formation of Earth’s inner core. Peter Driscoll, with the Carnegie Institution for Science, has written a News and Views piece on the study in the same journal issue. Citation: Ancient crystals offer evidence of the start of Earth’s core solidifying (2019, January 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-01-ancient-crystals-evidence-earth-core.html Journal information: Nature Geoscience This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
Kolkata: The Mamata Banerjee government on Tuesday appointed an IAS officer to take charge of the recently constituted monitoring cell for proper implementation of government schemes and to probe allegations of taking money (referred to as cut money) against giving benefits under the schemes.IAS Barun Ray, the 1992 batch officer who has been given the charge of the cell, was posted as commissioner, Malda division. Ray has also been transferred to the post of commissioner, Burdwan division. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataHe will hold the charge of OSD at the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) in the rank of principal secretary in charge of Monitoring of Programme Implementation and Grievance Cell. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had opened the cell for “Programme Implementation of Government Schemes and Redressal of Grievances/Complaints” and announced a toll-free number for lodging complaints. The cell has received 1,500 complaints so far. Once a beneficiary from the districts raises his/her issue with the CMO through email at email@example.com, it will be thoroughly examined and replied to within 10 days. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateThe new and unprecedented approach is aimed at refining the whole delivery mechanism system of the schemes in the state. The fundamental objective of the move is to reach out to the marginalised benefici- aries. Colonel (retired) Diptangshu Chowdhury, who heads the cell, has visited the districts and interacted with the beneficiaries who have been denied government welfare scheme benefits or harassed while receiving such benefits. The state government has asked police superintendents to initiate cases on complaints of accepting cut money under Section 409 of the Indian Penal Code, which calls for a maximum punishment of life imprisonment.
Celestyal slashes summer cruise fares to Havana by 50% Tags: Celestyal Cruises Friday, June 9, 2017 Travelweek Group TORONTO — Celestyal Cruises is turning up the heat this summer season with a new all-inclusive seven-day cruise promotion to Cuba.The offer features 50% off the cruise-only fare on all summer sailings until and including Aug. 21, 2017. Furthermore, kids younger than 12 sail for free.With promos and savings applied, rates start at US$1,171 per adult (embarking in Havana), based on double occupancy and includes:Seven-day Cuba Cruise featuring two days in Havana, one day in Cienfuegos, one day in Santiago de Cuba, and one day in Montego Bay, JamaicaIntimate 960 passenger capacity with yacht-like experienceInteractive shore excursion program in all portsAll meals onboardUnlimited beverage package, including alcoholic and non-alcoholic beveragesOnboard entertainmentGratuities and port chargesRemaining applicable 2017 sailing dates include: Montego Bay-Montego Bay (June 16, 23 & 30; July 7, 14, 21 & 28; Aug. 4 & 11); and Havana-Havana (June 12, 19 & 26; July 3, 10, 17, 24 & 31; Aug. 7, 14 & 21).More news: Beep, beep! Transat hits the streets with Cubamania truckThe 50% off cruise fare offer is valid on new bookings made by July 31 for select sailings through August 2017. Reservations are based on a first-come, first-serve basis.Celestyal Cruises is celebrating its fourth year of cruise operation in Cuba, with cruises embarking every Monday from Havana and every Friday from Montego Bay, Jamaica. Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >>