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NBC may launch Netflixlike streaming service in 2019 says report

first_img Digital Media Tech Industry Internet Services Post a comment NBC Universal CEO Steve Burke is also executive vice president of the Comcast division.  Alexander Tamargo/Telemundo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images NBC Universal may launch its own on-demand video platform next year.CEO Steve Burke, who heads the Comcast division, unveiled in a holiday greeting to employees that a streaming service may come soon, according to Bloomberg’s report on Tuesday. The message was reportedly written in the rhyming style of Dr. Seuss.”While you all go off to relax, swim or ski,” Burke reportedly wrote. “Maybe, just maybe, next year we will announce our plan for OTT.”OTT means “over-the-top” services that stream videos online, like Netflix. NBC Universal didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Traditional cable TV giants are racing to compete with Netflix, which in October unveiled that the company had accumulated over 137.1 million subscribers worldwide. US subscribers nearly doubled what Netflix had predicted.Disney plans to launch its own streaming service, called Disney+, in 2019, which would become the new home for films from Walt Disney Studios, Pixar and other studios under its umbrella.AT&T is also brewing its own on-demand streaming service. The carrier’s WarnerMedia in November said the company planned to offer a three-tier video subscription service in the fourth quarter of next year. CNET’s Holiday Gift Guide: The place to find the best tech gifts for 2018.Best Netflix series: There’s no shortage of original Netflix series to binge. Tags NBC 0 Share your voicelast_img read more

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Vijay Mallya brutally humiliated at The Oval in London booed with Mallya

first_imgVijay Mallya, son Siddharth MallyaTwitterIndian businessman Vijay Mallya found himself in a terrible situation when he walked out of the Kennington Oval in London after watching India and Australia World Cup match on Sunday.In a video that has been doing the rounds of social media, Mallya can be seen surrounded by a bunch of Indians who couldn’t stop booing the beleaguered businessman for leaving India on March 2, 2016 after defaulting on loans amounting to Rs 9,000 crore.Chants like “Mallya Mera Paisa De”, “Chor Hai Chor Hai” and “Gali Gali Me Shor Hai, Vijay Mallya Chor Hai” resounded in Mallya’s ears as he started walking towards his car after the match. He did turn back and responded to a few people with a “Thank You.” At one point, a shout of “Be a man, apologise to your country” is heard, to which his response is inaudible. However, the viral video divided people on Instagram. While a majority of people said that Vijay Mallyadeserved this kind of treatment wherever he goes, a certain section felt that it was a shameful act by the people to humiliate someone like this.Mallya has repeatedly denied fleeing the country, saying he is ready to pay back the money he owed to the Indian banks. India had in 2017 filed for Mallya’s extradition, which he contested. He is out on bail.A consortium of 13 banks, led by the State Bank of India (SBI), has initiated loan recovery proceedings against him. The proceedings are on before a special court in Mumbai under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act.The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had also moved the Special Prevention of Money-Laundering Act Court last year to get Mallya declared a “fugitive economic offender” and confiscate his properties, estimated at more than Rs 12,000 crore, making it the first such case of its kind under the new law.Take a look. Vijay Mallya trolledInstagram Vijay Mallya trolledInstagram Vijay Mallya trolledInstagram Vijay Mallya trolledInstagram (With IANS Inputs)last_img read more

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36 killed in China road crash

first_imgMap showing Shaanxi province in China where a bus crashed Thursday night leaving at least 36 people killed. AFP At least 36 people were killed and 13 injured when a packed bus slammed into a tunnel wall on an expressway in northern China, state media said Friday.The coach crashed in Qinling tunnel in Shaanxi province on Thursday night, according to Xinhua news agency, which cited local authorities.The bus had departed from Chengdu in southwest Sichuan province en route to the central city of Luoyang.The injured have been rushed to hospital, Xinhua said. According to Sina news website, the bus had a 51-passenger capacity and was carrying 49 people, including two children.Sichuan province is already reeling from another tragedy as 20 people were killed and hundreds more injured in an earthquake that struck the region on Tuesday night.Deadly road accidents are common in China, where traffic regulations are often flouted or go unenforced by police.The country’s frequently overcrowded long-distance buses are particularly prone to fatalities.There were more than 180,000 traffic accidents and 58,000 deaths in 2015, authorities said in December.Traffic law violations caused almost 90 percent of the road accidents where people died or were injured in 2015, with the total number of such infractions reaching an astonishing 442 million.Last month, 11 people died and nine were injured when a bus carrying 19 people collided with a lorry on a national highway in northern Hebei province.Ten people were killed and 38 injured in March when a bus collided with a cement truck in the southwestern province of Yunnan.At least 18 people were killed when a minibus plunged into a lake in the central city of Wuhan in December.Last November, a pile-up on an expressway in the northern province of Shanxi killed 17 people and damaged 56 vehicles.And in July last year, a coach crashed through a highway guard rail and plunged into a canal near the northern city of Tianjin, killing 26.last_img read more

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Salaries In Houston Growing Slower Than In Rest Of Country

first_img Listen X 00:00 /00:43 Florian Martin/Houston Public MediaHouston skyline from south To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:center_img From March 2017 through March of this year, Houstonians’ compensations grew by 2.1 percent. That includes wages or salaries and benefits in the private sector.That’s a half-percentage point improvement from the same time a year ago, but still lags the rest of the country.Nationwide, compensation rose by 2.8 percent.Cheryl Abbot, regional economist with the Bureau of Labor Statistics in Dallas, is not exactly sure why. But she doubts the remaining effects from the oil downturn can be blamed.“Oil has pretty well recovered,” she said. “And most companies have brought back on all the people they may have let go.”Compensations grew similarly slow in Dallas and other southern metro areas.Abbot said salaries in Houston grew faster than the national average after the Great Recession but came down during the oil slump. Sharelast_img read more

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For the Homeless Winter Can be Life or Death

first_imgAfter being let in to the shelter at 3 p.m., men chose to sit in the silent dayroom. (Photos by Maya Allen)Doors open at 3 p.m. daily for scores of men to secure a bed for the night at Central Union Mission, a homeless shelter in Northwest Washington D.C.One by one, the men, young and old from all different walks of life, slowly trickled in recently through the open doors of the brick building on Massachusetts Avenue.  There are 192 spots available for the homeless, and every day they fill quickly.A few of the men were coming from work with no place to sleep for the night, but most were coming from the streets, seeking temporary refuge from the cold weather.It is winter, and for hundreds of thousands of homeless men and women across the Washington region and the nation, finding shelter, particularly at night, can be the difference between life and death.  Spend the night on the street, and they may not wake up the next morning.Jennifer Paul is the development director of Thrive D.C., an organization that provides emergency services, meals and a place for the homeless to come out of the cold during the day. She knows the seriousness of this risk, which has proven to be deadly.“When the temperature drops, people who are in shelter are encouraged to stay there,” Paul said.According to media reports, at least seven homeless people froze to death last winter in Washington.  One, who was well known on Capitol Hill, died just a few blocks away from the White House.   Another was found frozen to death in January in Oxen Hill, Md.Every night in America, more than 600,000 people are homeless, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  Nearly 7,000 of those people, the report said, live in Washington, which has the highest rate of homelessness among major cities.D.C. is one of three states that have a mandatory shelter law during hypothermia season, which opened Nov. 1.  When the temperature drops below 32 degrees, government officials are required to provide emergency shelter for the homeless including individuals and families.A staff counselor walks inside Central Union Mission’s building. The mission offers a residential program for men to help them successfully transition into society.The city has faced hurdles in recent years with the surge of the homeless requesting shelter. Advocates and government officials are actively working to keep even more individuals and families out of the cold and into the warmth of shelters and affordable housing this year.In the midst of these freezing temperatures, the city opens  what it calls low barrier emergency shelters to house more people. Normal hours are from 7a.m. to 7 p.m. On extremely cold weather days, the shelters are open 24 hours a day until the temperatures rise above freezing.The city also opens additional overflow shelters for persons in various recreation centers around the city. If homeless people do not have the means to make it to one of the regular shelters, they are welcome in the overflow shelters.At Central Union Mission, the men stood in line, patiently awaiting their turn. Each raised his hands while a staff member searched him with a metal detector for contraband or outside food.Some retreated to the quiet dayroom where no talking is permitted. A few of the men closed their eyes while others intently watched the muted television, scripted with subtitles. A silent sadness filled the room.Others preceded downstairs to the noisy dayroom where they talked and joked. Some watched the television, while others received haircuts from the shelter’s in-house barbers.“The mission has always been to help the homeless, and we’ve been doing that for 130 years now,” said Rev. James Lewis, senior director of the mission and graduate of Howard University School of Divinity. This is his 14th year serving with the mission.In 1884, Lewis said, the mission was a place of refuge for the homeless men roaming the streets of Pennsylvania Avenue.  Many were Civil War veterans with no place to call home.During the Great Depression of the 1920s and 30s, it was a children’s emergency home for families to leave their children when they didn’t have the means to take care of them anymore. It is the oldest social service agency in the D.C., he said.Since the District’s temperatures have begun to drop below freezing and the winter season is approaching, the mission’s beds have been full every night, Lewis said.“They don’t even have to leave when they wake up,” Lewis said.  “They are free to go in and out all day.  We don’t want to enable homelessness, but we treat every one that walks in here as our guest.”Erik Salmi, the director of communications for Catholic Charities D.C., an organization that provides housing and shelter programs, works closely with different sites across the District to provide the best options for them during the winter season.“Counting all of our shelters around the District, each night during the winter season, we provide more than 1800 beds for the homeless,” she said.George Jones, program manager for the Nativity Shelter for Women and for all hypothermia shelters across the District, said housing the homeless during the winter is a yearlong process.“As a matter of fact, all summer long they’re planning for the winter,” Jones said. “The first thing they estimate is how many individuals and families they are going to have to house, and then they determine what sites they are going to use along with the transportation.”last_img read more

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Guilford Associations Family Day at Sherwood Gardens

first_imgThe Y in Central Maryland and the Baltimore School of Music are joining the Guilford Association for its Family Day at Sherwood Gardens on September 16. The event will kick off at 10:00 a.m. with a classical music concert featuring faculty from the Baltimore School of Music. Following the concert, guests are invited to enjoy nature-based activities led by Rangers from the Patuxent Wildlife Refuge, explore Sherwood Gardens on a tour led by Master Gardeners and learn about the garden’s design, history and plants. Older children can participate in the Sherwood Gardens Junior Ranger program by completing a landscape architect activity guide, and younger children can create bird feeders. At 12:00 p.m., an award ceremony will begin for Project Olmsted, a summer-long exhibition of flower beds designed in the tradition of the esteemed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. Y Achievers are among the groups that designed and planted flower beds, and they are eligible for awards. This is a free event. More information can be found at www.ymaryland.orglast_img read more

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Pinch interface can link displays of multiple screens w Video

first_img Samsung tablet concept shows a see-through, bendable future (w/ video) Citation: Pinch interface can link displays of multiple screens (w/ Video) (2012, November 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-11-interface-link-multiple-screens-video.html Explore further © 2012 Phys.org (Phys.org)—A research group from Tokyo gives new meaning to the word pinch—newer than a notion of gripping two pieces of skin, or throwing a little salt into a stew, or, of course, referring to a multitouch gesture for touchscreens, but not only that. They have worked up a Pinch interface that puts the user into another display environment where screens serve as visual-display tiles, working together. Even if your smart device screens are of different sizes, the Pinch interface allows them to join forces, resulting in one single display, like a slick, if out of joint, tile puzzle.center_img Pinch is an interface that connects the displays from multiple touch devices and it is under development by a research group at the Tokyo University of Technology. When the user places a thumb and index finger on two adjacent screens and pinches, the screens link up. The screens can be lined up freely, vertical or horizontal. The connected devices share each other’s position and screen size via Wi-Fi. Devices with different-sized screens, such as smartphones and tablets, can go together to form a display interface. According to Takashi Ohta, Associate Professor at Tokyo University of Technology, who appeared in a video demo, “This Pinch interface we’ve developed is used to create applications that make devices react when they’ve both been pinched, so they work together. In the case of a graphics application, when the devices recognize they’ve been pinched, they can show the whole picture as if it’s on one screen.”He said that Pinch can be the foundation of a musical experience, where you connect the different devices you have horizontally, with the result that “you could keep playing music for a long time.” Ohta sees Pinch as enabling “fun” communications, where people gather, place their devices next to one another, and communicate ideas and images in novel ways. Other avenues, too, could include mobile music, advertising, and photo-sharing experiences.The Pinch team said it was offering Pinch to developers, hoping they could “do something with it.”In 2010, Ohta co-wrote a paper that cast some light on the present research. In that paper, titled “Automatic configuration of display ordering for multi-display environments,” Ohta and Jun Tanaka said, “We designed and built a system that configures the information of how displays are arranged as a multi-display environment. The system automatically matches the physical location of displays and network addresses. It uses a web camera for capturing a real-time video to observe each display to flash its screens one by one. The timing and relative locations of the flashing screens are recognized using an image processing technique. Furthermore, the correspondence of the displays and the network addresses can be deduced from these data.” The team concluded, based on their results, that the “system works perfectly, with various configurations of display dispositions.” This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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Body of man found in drainage channel in Sonarpur

first_imgKolkata: The body of an unidentified middle-aged man was found in a drainage channel at Sonarpur in South 24-Parganas on Sunday morning. Police said locals who went out on a morning walk noticed the body and informed the police. Policemen from the local police station went to the spot. After preliminary investigation, police found injury marks on his body.Police have initiated a probe in this connection and they are trying to identify the man. They have spoken to the locals to know whether they had seen the man earlier in the area. They are also trying to ascertain whether there is any foul play behind the incident or he received the injuries when he fell in the drainage channel. Police have contacted adjacent police stations to get the identity of the man.last_img read more

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TMobile May Soon Offer Plans Just for Data and Text Messaging

first_img Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. 1 min read Is it still a phone plan if you don’t make any actual phone calls?T-Mobile’s answer may be yes, if reports of the company coming out with a plan for just data and unlimited texting prove to be true. No minutes for voice calls would be included.Related: Sound Off: Should Distracted Walkers Be Fined or Jailed?Based on a leaked image obtained by TmoNews, the option would roll out sometime today and feature six new “Simple choice” plans aimed at folks who solely use the Internet and texting on their devices.Related: Think Before You PlanRates would start at $20 for 2GB, $35 for 6GB and go all the way up to 22GB for $95. However, the plan does have some limitations since it can only be used for GSM devices or Blackberry-related tech that can use a smartphone rate plan.  Enroll Now for Free March 30, 2016 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.last_img read more

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Building VR experiences with React VR 20 How to create maze thats

first_imgIn today’s tutorial, we will examine the functionality required to build a simple maze. There are a few ways we could build a maze. The most straightforward way would be to fire up our 3D modeler package (say, Blender) and create a labyrinth out of polygons. This would work fine and could be very detailed.However, it would also be very boring. Why? The first time we get through the maze will be exciting, but after a few tries, you’ll know the way through. When we construct VR experiences, you usually want people to visit often and have fun every time.This tutorial is an excerpt from a book written by John Gwinner titled Getting Started with React VR. In this book, you will learn how to create amazing 360 and virtual reality content that runs directly in your browsers.A modeled labyrinth would be boring. Life is too short to do boring things. So, we want to generate a Maze randomly. This way, you can change the Maze every time so that it’ll be fresh and different. The way to do that is through random numbers to ensure that the Maze doesn’t shift around us, so we want to actually do it with pseudo-random numbers. To start doing that, we’ll need a basic application created. Please go to your VR directory and create an application called ‘WalkInAMaze’:react-vr init WalkInAMazeAlmost random–pseudo random number generatorsTo have a chance of replaying value or being able to compare scores between people, we really need a pseudo-random number generator. The basic JavaScript Math.random() is not a pseudo-random generator; it really gives you a totally random number every time. We need a pseudo-random number generator that takes a seed value. If you give the same seed to the random number generator, it will generate the same sequence of random numbers. (They aren’t completely random but are very close.) Random number generators are a complex topic; for example, they are used in cryptography, and if your random number generator isn’t completely random, someone could break your code.We aren’t so worried about that, we just want repeatability. Although the UI for this may be a bit beyond the scope of this book, creating the Maze in a way that clicking on Refresh won’t generate a totally different Maze is really a good thing and will avoid frustration on the part of the user. This will also allow two users to compare scores; we could persist a board number for the Maze and show this. This may be out of scope for our book; however, having a predictable Maze will help immensely during development. If it wasn’t for this, you might get lost while working on your world. (Well, probably not, but it makes testing easier.)Including library code from other projectsUp to this point, I’ve shown you how to create components in React VR (or React). JavaScript interestingly has a historical issue with include. With C++, Java, or C#, you can include a file in another file or make a reference to a file in a project. After doing that, everything in those other files, such as functions, classes, and global properties (variables), are then usable from the file that you’ve issued the include statement in.With a browser, the concept of “including” JavaScript is a little different. With Node.js, we use package.json to indicate what packages we need. To bring those packages into our code, we will use the following syntax in your .js files:var MersenneTwister = require(‘mersenne-twister’);Then, instead of using Math.random(), we will create a new random number generator and pass a seed, as follows: var rng = new MersenneTwister(this.props.Seed);From this point on, you just call rng.random() instead of Math.random().We can just use npm install and the require statement for properly formatted packages. Much of this can be done for you by executing the npm command:npm install mersenne-twister –saveRemember, the –save command to update our manifest in the project. While we are at it, we can install another package we’ll need later:npm install react-vr-gaze-button –saveNow that we have a good random number generator, let’s use it to complicate our world.The Maze render()How do we build a Maze? I wanted to develop some code that dynamically generates the Maze; anyone could model it in a package, but a VR world should be living. Having code that can dynamically build Maze in any size (to a point) will allow a repeat playing of your world.There are a number of JavaScript packages out there for printing mazes. I took one that seemed to be everywhere, in the public domain, on GitHub and modified it for HTML. This app consists of two parts: Maze.html and makeMaze.JS. Neither is React, but it is JavaScript. It works fairly well, although the numbers don’t really represent exactly how wide it is.First, I made sure that only one x was displaying, both vertically and horizontally. This will not print well (lines are usually taller than wide), but we are building a virtually real Maze, not a paper Maze.The Maze that we generate with the files at Maze.html (localhost:8081/vr/maze.html) and the JavaScript file—makeMaze.js—will now look like this:x1xxxxxxxx x xxxx x x xx x x xx xxxxx xx x x xx x x x xx x 2xxxxxxxxxIt is a little hard to read, but you can count the squares vs. xs. Don’t worry, it’s going to look a lot fancier. Now that we have the HTML version of a Maze working, we’ll start building the hedges.This is a slightly larger piece of code than I expected, so I broke it into pieces and loaded the Maze object onto GitHub rather than pasting the entire code here, as it’s long. You can find a link for the source at: http://bit.ly/VR_Chap11Adding the floors and type checkingOne of the things that look odd with a 360 Pano background, as we’ve talked about before, is that you can seem to “float” against the ground. One fix, other than fixing the original image, is to simply add a floor. This is what we did with the Space Gallery, and it looks pretty good as we were assuming we were floating in space anyway.For this version, let’s import a ground square. We could use a large square that would encompass the entire Maze; we’d then have to resize it if the size of the Maze changes. I decided to use a smaller cube and alter it so that it’s “underneath” every cell of the Maze. This would allow us some leeway in the future to rotate the squares for worn paths, water traps, or whatever.To make the floor, we will use a simple cube object that I altered slightly and is UV mapped. I used Blender for this. We also import a Hedge model, and a Gem, which will represent where we can teleport to. Inside ‘Maze.js‘ we added the following code:import Hedge from ‘./Hedge.js’;import Floor from ‘./Hedge.js’;import Gem from ‘./Gem.js’;Then, inside the Maze.js we could instantiate our floor with the code:Notice that we don’t use ‘vr/components/Hedge.js‘ when we do the import; we’re inside Maze.js. However, in index.vr.js to include the Maze, we do need:import Maze from ‘./vr/components/Maze.js’;It’s slightly more complicated though. In our code, the Maze builds the data structures when props have changed; when moving, if the maze needs rendering again, it simply loops through the data structure and builds a collection (mazeHedges) with all of the floors, teleport targets, and hedges in it. Given this, to create the floors, the line in Maze.js is actually: mazeHedges.push();Here is where I ran into two big problems, and I’ll show you what happened so that you can avoid these issues. Initially, I was bashing my head against the wall trying to figure out why my floors looked like hedges. This one is pretty easy—we imported Floor from the Hedge.js file. The floors will look like hedges (did you notice this in my preceding code? If so, I did this on purpose as a learning experience. Honest).This is an easy fix. Make sure that you code import Floor from ‘./floor.js’; note that Floor not type-checked. (It is, after all, JavaScript.) I thought this was odd, as the hedge.js file exports a Hedge object, not a Floor object, but be aware you can rename the objects as you import them.The second problem I had was more of a simple goof that is easy to occur if you aren’t really thinking in React. You may run into this. JavaScript is a lovely language, but sometimes I miss a strongly typed language. Here is what I did:Inside the maze.js file, I had code like this:for (var j = 0; j After some debugging, I found out that the value of j was going from 0 to 42. Why did it get 42 instead of 6? The reason was simple. We need to fully understand JavaScript to program complex apps. The mistake was in initializing SizeX to be ‘4’ ; this makes it a string variable. When calculating j from 0 (an integer), React/JavaScript takes 2, adds it to a string of ‘4’, and gets the 42 string, then converts it to an integer and assigns this to j.When this is done, very weird things happened.When we were building the Space Gallery, we could easily use the ‘5.1’ values for the input to the box:Then, later use the transform statement below inside the class: transform: [ { translate: [ this.props.MyX, -1.7, this.props.MyZ] } ]React/JavaScript will put the string values into This.Props.MyX, then realize it needs an integer, and then quietly do the conversion. However, when you get more complicated objects, such as our Maze generation, you won’t get away with this.Remember that your code isn’t “really” JavaScript. It’s processed. At the heart, this processing is fairly simple, but the implications can be a killer.Pay attention to what you code. With a loosely typed language such as JavaScript, with React on top, any mistakes you make will be quietly converted to something you didn’t intend.You are the programmer. Program correctly.So, back to the Maze. The Hedge and Floor are straightforward copies of the initial Gem code. Let’s take a look at our starting Gem, although note it gets a lot more complicated later (and in your source files):import React, { Component } from ‘react’;import { asset, Box, Model, Text, View} from ‘react-vr’;export default class Gem extends Component {constructor() {super();this.state = {Height: -3 };}render() {return ();}}CopyThe Hedge and Floor are essentially the same thing. (We could have made a prop be the file loaded, but we want a different behavior for the Gem, so we will edit this file extensively.)To run this sample, first, we should have created a directory as you have before, called WalkInAMaze. Once you do this, download the files from the Git source for this part of the article (http://bit.ly/VR_Chap11). Once you’ve created the app, copied the files, and fired it up, (go to the WalkInAMaze directory and type npm start), and you should see something like this once you look around – except, there is a bug. This is what the maze should look like (if you use the file  ‘MazeHedges2DoubleSided.gltf‘ in Hedge.js, in the statement):>Now, how did we get those neat-looking hedges in the game? (OK, they are pretty low poly, but it is still pushing it.) One of the nice things about the pace of improvement on web standards is their new features. Instead of just .obj file format, React VR now has the capability to load glTF files.Using the glTF file format for modelsglTF files are a new file format that works pretty naturally with WebGL. There are exporters for many different CAD packages. The reason I like glTF files is that getting a proper export is fairly straightforward. Lightwave OBJ files are an industry standard, but in the case of React, not all of the options are imported. One major one is transparency. The OBJ file format allows that, but at of the time of writing this book, it wasn’t an option. Many other graphics shaders that modern hardware can handle can’t be described with the OBJ file format.This is why glTF files are the next best alternative for WebVR. It is a modern and evolving format, and work is being done to enhance the capabilities and make a fairly good match between what WebGL can display and what glTF can export.This is however on interacting with the world, so I’ll give a brief mention on how to export glTF files and provide the objects, especially the Hedge, as glTF models.The nice thing with glTF from the modeling side is that if you use their material specifications, for example, for Blender, then you don’t have to worry that the export won’t be quite right. Today’s physically Based Rendering (PBR) tends to use the metallic/roughness model, and these import better than trying to figure out how to convert PBR materials into the OBJ file’s specular lighting model. Here is the metallic-looking Gem that I’m using as the gaze point:Using the glTF Metallic Roughness model, we can assign the texture maps that programs, such as Substance Designer, calculate and import easily. The resulting figures look metallic where they are supposed to be metallic and dull where the paint still holds on.I didn’t use Ambient Occlusion here, as this is a very convex model; something with more surface depressions would look fantastic with Ambient Occlusion. It would also look great with architectural models, for example, furniture.To convert your models, there is user documentation at http://bit.ly/glTFExporting. You will need to download and install the Blender glTF exporter. Or, you can just download the files I have already converted. If you do the export, in brief, you do the following steps:Download the files from http://bit.ly/gLTFFiles. You will need the gltf2_Principled.blend file, assuming that you are on a newer version of Blender.In Blender, open your file, then link to the new materials. Go to File->Link, then choose the gltf2_Principled.blend file. Once you do that, drill into “NodeTree” and choose either glTF Metallic Roughness (for metal), or glTF specular glossiness for other materials.Choose the object you are going to export; make sure that you choose the Cycles renderer.Open the Node Editor in a window. Scroll down to the bottom of the Node Editor window, and make sure that the box Use Nodes is checked.Add the node via the nodal menu, Add->Group->glTF Specular Glossiness or Metallic Roughness.Once the node is added, go to Add->Texture->Image texture. Add as many image textures as you have image maps, then wire them up. You should end up with something similar to this diagram.To export the models, I recommend that you disable camera export and combine the buffers unless you think you will be exporting several models that share geometry or materials. The Export options I used are as follows:Now, to include the exported glTF object, use the component as you would with an OBJ file, except you have no MTL file. The materials are all described inside the .glTF file. To include the exported glTF object, you just put the filename as a gltf2 prop in the : To find out more about these options and processes, you can go to the glTF export web site. This site also includes tutorials on major CAD packages and the all-important glTF shaders (for example, the Blender model I showed earlier).I have loaded several .OBJ files and .glTF files so you can experiment with different combinations of low poly and transparency. When glTF support was added in React VR version 2.0.0, I was very excited as transparency maps are very important for a lot of VR models, especially vegetation; just like our hedges. However, it turns out there is a bug in WebGL or three.js that does not render the transparency properly. As a result, I have gone with a low polygon version in the files on the GitHub site; the pictures, above, were with the file MazeHedges2DoubleSided.gltf in the Hedges.js file (in vr/components).If you get 404 errors, check the paths in the glTF file. It depends on which exporter you use—if you are working with Blender, the gltf2 exporter from the Khronos group calculates the path correctly, but the one from Kupoman has options, and you could export the wrong paths.We discussed important mechanics of props, state, and events. We also discussed how to create a maze using pseudo-random number generators to make sure that our props and state didn’t change chaotically.To know more about how to create, move around in, and make worlds react to us in a Virtual Reality world, including basic teleport mechanics, do check out this book Getting Started with React VR. Read More:Google Daydream powered Lenovo Mirage solo hits the marketGoogle open sources Seurat to bring high precision graphics to Mobile VROculus Go, the first stand alone VR headset arrives!last_img read more

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Tackle trolls with Machine Learning bots Filtering out inappropriate content just got

first_imgThe most feared online entities in the present day are trolls. Trolls, a fearsome bunch of fake or pseudo online profiles, tend to attack online users, mostly celebrities, sports person or political profiles using a wide range of methods. One of these methods is to post obscene or NSFW (Not Safe For Work) content on your profile or website where User Generated Content (USG) is allowed. This can create unnecessary attention and cause legal troubles for you too. The traditional way out is to get a moderator (or a team of them). Let all the USGs pass through this moderation system. This is a sustainable solution for a small platform. But if you are running a large scale app, say a publishing app where you publish one hundred stories a day, and the success of these stories depend on the user interaction with them, then this model of manual moderation becomes unsustainable. More the number of USGs, more is the turn-around time, larger the moderation team size. This results in escalating costs, for a purpose that’s not contributing to your business growth in any manner. That’s where Machine Learning could help. Machine Learning algorithms that can scan images and content for possible abusive or adult content is a better solution that manual moderation. Tech giants like Microsoft, Google, Amazon have a ready solution for this. These companies have created APIs which are commercially available for developers. You can incorporate these APIs in your application to weed out the filth served by the trolls. The different APIs available for this purpose are Microsoft moderation, Google Vision, AWS Rekognition & Clarifai. Dataturks have made a comparative study on using these APIs on one particular dataset to measure their efficiency. They used a YACVID dataset with 180 images, manually labelled 90 of these images as nude and the rest as non-nude. The dataset was then fed to the 4 APIs mentioned above, their efficiency was tested based on the following parameters. True Positive (TP): Given a safe photo, the API correctly says so False Positive (FP): Given an explicit photo but the API incorrectly classifies it as safe. False negative (FN): Given a safe photo but the API is not able to detect so and True negative(TN): Given an explicit photo and the API correctly says so. TP and TN are two cases which meant the system behaved correctly. An FP meant that the app was vulnerable to attacks from trolls, FN meant the efficiency of the systems were low and hence not practically viable. 10% of the cases would be such that the API can’t decide whether its explicit or not. Those would be sent for manual moderation. This would bring down the maintenance cost of the moderation team. The results that they received are shown below: Source: Dataturks As it is evident from the above table, the best standalone API is Google vision with a 99% accuracy and 94% recall value. Recall value implies that if the same images are repeated, it can recognize them with 94% precision. The best results however were received with the combination of Microsoft and Google. The comparison of the response times are mentioned below: Source: dataturks The response time might have been affected with the fact that all the images accessed by the APIs were stored in Amazon S3. Hence AWS API might have had an unfair advantage on the response time. The timings were noted for 180 image calls per API. The cost is the lowest for AWS Rekognition – $1 for 1000 calls to the API. It’s $1.2 for Clarifai, $1.5 for both Microsoft and Google. The one notable drawback of the Amazon API was that the images had to be stored as S3 objects, or converted into that. All the other APIs accepted any web links as possible source of images. What this study says is that the power of filtering out negative and explicit content in your app is much easier now. You might still have to have a small team of moderators, but their jobs will be made a lot easier with the ML models implemented in these APIs. Machine Learning is paving the way for us to be safe from the increasing menace of Trolls, a threat to free speech and open sharing of ideas which were the founding stones of internet and the world wide web as a whole. Will this discourage Trolls from continuing their slandering or will it create a counter system to bypass the APIs and checks? We can only know in time. Read Next Facebook launches a 6-part Machine Learning video series Google’s new facial recognition patent uses your social network to identify you! Microsoft’s Brad Smith calls for facial recognition technology to be regulatedlast_img read more

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European Union ambassadors ride their bikes through San José to send a

first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rica boasts clean energy — and bad car pollution PHOTO REPORT: University of Costa Rica celebrates World Environment Day One of Sea Shepherd’s missions in Costa Rica: Protecting whales To conserve the Amazon, the forest must become an economic ‘asset’ Ambassadors in Costa Rica from the European Union cycled on a new bike path along part of San José’s 4th and 6th avenues to encourage residents to leave their vehicles at home. The “cleteada” ended at the Legislative Assembly, where diplomats met with Costa Rican lawmakers to discuss the Paris Climate Conference COP 21 to be held in Paris, France, in December. “We are here to talk with Costa Rican lawmakers and show that it is possible to use the bicycle, a heathy and no-emissions vehicle, in the city. In Holland, we know that it is a slow process. but right now there are more bicycles than people,” Dutch Ambassador Mette Gonggrijp said. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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Victor Arcos pushes on the lever that allows the c

first_imgVictor Arcos pushes on the lever that allows the concrete to pour from the bucket. June 27, 2001Today construction poured some of the last walls of Phase V’s 1st floor with the rented formwork. While we will be returning most of it at the end of this month, we will continue using about 1/3 of it to complete the first floor over the course of the next month or two. Here resident Ray Shong helps guide the crane bucket into place.[Photos and text by Ivan Fritz] Tasuku Matsuyama and Takashige Koga help the concrete pour from the cement truck into the crane bucket.last_img read more

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Alexandra Forslund Swedish free and pay TV broadca

first_imgAlexandra ForslundSwedish free and pay TV broadcaster TV4 Group has named Alexandra Forslund as project manager for news. Forslund, who previously worked for news site Expressen.se, and has also worked for newspapers Aftonbladet and Norrköping, will join TV4 in the autumn.News programming director Viveka Hansson said Forslund had many years of experience in digital development and was “custom made” for the job.last_img

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Platinum was in rally mode almost from the moment

first_img Platinum was in rally mode almost from the moment that trading began at the 6 p.m. New York open on Monday evening, hitting its interim high minutes after Zurich opened.  From there it got sold down until about 20 minutes before the Comex open—and then away it went to the upside once again, hitting its high tick about 10:45 a.m. EST.  After that it chopped sideways into the close.  Platinum finished the Tuesday session at $1,187 spot, up $12 from Monday’s close. Here’s the six-month U.S. dollar index to put this week’s movements into some sort of perspective. The silver equities put in a carbon-copy performance, except for the fact that at their high tick, they were up over 4%.  The downside from there was the same, complete with the mystery not-for-profit seller between 2:20 and 3:00 p.m. EST.  Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed down 0.99%. We’ve seen many instances in the last several months where big intraday gains have all but disappeared by the close or, like yesterday, down on the day.  It doesn’t look like free-market trading to me—but you’re entitled to your own opinion on that. The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that 246 gold and 2 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Friday.  The big short/issuer was HSBC USA with 234 contracts—and the only long/stopper of note was JPMorgan out of its in-house (proprietary) trading account with 242 contracts.  The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here. The CME Preliminary Report for the Tuesday trading session showed that December gold open interest declined by 41 contracts—and is now down to 545 contracts minus, of course, the 246 contracts due to be delivery on Friday.  Silver open interest for December dropped by 4 contracts—and is now down to 31 contracts, minus the two in the previous paragraph. After a 96,000 troy ounce deposit in GLD last Friday, an authorized participant removed a very chunky 374,652 troy ounces yesterday—almost 12 metric tonnes.  That’s a lot.  To go along with that big withdrawal in GLD, there was even more gargantuan withdrawal from SLV.  This time an authorized participant removed 5,842,153 troy ounces.  There has been no price activity during the last five trading days that would warrant withdrawals of this size in either GLD or SLV.  Withdrawals maybe, but nothing that would justify these amounts.  I would guess that that the metal withdrawn was more desperately needed elsewhere. The good folks over at Switzerland’s Zürcher Kantonalbank updated their Web site with the changes in their gold and silver ETFs as of the close of trading on Friday, December 19—and here is what they had to report:  Their gold ETF sold 39,647 troy ounces, which is a pretty decent amount for this ETF.  In silver, that ETF declined by 65,418 troy ounces. There was a small sales report from the U.S. Mint yesterday.  They sold 1,000 troy ounces of gold eagles—1,000 one-ounce 24k Gold Buffaloes—and another 55,000 Silver Eagles. Monday was a real yawner over at the Comex-approved depositories.  In gold, only 21,379 troy ounces were reported received—all at Canada’s Scotiabank—and nothing was shipped out.  In silver, nothing was reported received—and only 25,001 troy ounces were shipped out—all out of Brink’s, Inc. I have the usual number of stories for a midweek column—and I hope you have time over the next few days to read the ones that interest you. There is the matter of extraordinary sales of Silver Eagles from the U.S. Mint. Since April 2011, the U.S. Mint has produced and sold 140 million Silver Eagles, more than in any similar period of time, in a price environment that can only be termed putrid and in which sales of Gold Eagles were notably lower. I would estimate that JPMorgan purchased close to half of the 140 million Silver Eagles sold since April 2011. According to very reliable sources on the retail front, investment demand has been lower over this time, as retail buyers do not buy strongly into a declining price environment in any investment asset. Yet we know for a fact that there has been extraordinary buying of Silver Eagles, even while Gold Eagle sales cooled off notably, so someone had to be buying [them]. If there is one thing that JPMorgan is expert at, given that it commands an army of lobbyists and has more government officials in its back pocket than any other entity on the face of the earth, it is the exploitation of U.S. law and regulations. JPMorgan knew that [the] law dictated that the Mint must produce enough Silver (and Gold) Eagles to meet demand. That law was never intended to allow a single big buyer to demand the extraordinary amount of Silver Eagles that JPMorgan desired to buy, but that’s the purpose behind the exploitation of the law. The Mint sells Silver Eagles at the prevailing price of silver on the day of the sale. In essence, the Comex price of silver is the price of silver. By controlling the price of COMEX silver, JPMorgan sets the price at which it will buy Silver Eagles. It’s the perfect crime – JPMorgan sets the price of Comex silver and then demands as many coins as the Mint and its suppliers can produce, even if that means producing the coins on a 24/7 basis. Hey, that’s the law. And remember when JPMorgan increased its Comex short position in the summer, assuring that prices were about to drop and what occurred as a result? Sales of Silver Eagles nosedived temporarily and only resumed after prices were brought lower by this crooked bank. – Silver analyst Ted Butler:  20 December 2014 Not much happened yesterday in the precious metal markets—even though I was ready for any possible scenario.  And as I mentioned at the top of this column, all the excellent gains [and then some] in the silver and gold equities vanished before the trading day was done, which is a scenario we’ve seen on more occasions that I care to remember during the last few months. The only six-month chart I have is the one for natural gas, as it set a new intraday low for this move down. The dollar index finished the Monday trading session at 89.79—and when it opened on Monday evening, it began to slide a bit, with the 89.65 low coming a minute or two after 9 a.m. GMT on their Tuesday morning.  The rally that commenced at the point, ended at its 90.14 high a minute or so before the London p.m. gold fix.  After that it chopped sideways in a very tight range—and finished the Tuesday session at 90.07—up another 28 basis points. As I type this paragraph, the London open is five minutes away.  Precious metal prices are doing precisely nothing.  Gold volume isn’t quite 10,000 contracts as of yet—and silver’s volume is barely at 2,000 contracts.  The dollar index is down 10 basis points.  Absolutely nothing to see here. And as I send this out the door at 5:11 a.m. EST, I see that not much has changed since I reported a couple of hours ago.  Volumes are a bit higher, but inconsequential—and the dollar index is now down 18 basis points and back below the 90.00 mark. I’m not expecting much to happen between now and the weekend, as most traders will be on holidays—and I expect New York to close early today. Before stepping out the door myself, I thought I’d leave you with this very traditional 16th century English Christmas carol.  Here’s the Lithuanian male vocal group “Quorum” singing the ” Coventry Carol” a cappella style, which is the way it was originally performed.  The link is here—and you’ll never hear a better recording of it than this. Enjoy! Season’s Greetings—and have a wonderful Christmas. I’ll see you on Saturday—and Friday maybe. Palladium didn’t do much, chopping higher in a five dollar range—and closed at $812—up $3 on the day. Except for a dime’s worth of up/down action in the early going in Far East trading on their Tuesday morning, the silver price didn’t do a lot until 1 p.m. in London.  At that point there was a vicious 2% down/up move that got hammered flat almost immediately—and just minutes before the Comex open.  After that, the price didn’t do a lot, but did rally into positive territory in the last 30 minutes of trading before the 5:15 p.m. EST close of electronic trading. The low and high ticks were reported as $15.895 and $15.56 in the March contract. Silver finished the Tuesday session at $15.79 spot, up 11 cents from Monday’s close. Season’s Greetings—and have a wonderful Christmas The gold price started out the Tuesday session the same as it did on Monday, with the high tick coming just before the London open—and then drifted lower.  There was no surprise in New York trading yesterday—and the low tick came at 3:15 p.m. EST.  from there it rallied about $5 into the close. The high and low ticks are barely worth the effort to look, but the CME recorded them as $1,184.90 and $1,172.40 in the February contract. Gold closed in New York yesterday at $1,176.90 spot, up a whole 20 cents from Monday.  Volume, net of December and January was 111,000 contracts. The gold stocks opened unchanged—and then rallied strongly, hitting their highs around 12:20 p.m. EST—and up over 3%.  From that point they began to slide, but starting shortly after 2:15 p.m. relentless and continuous selling pressure appeared—and by 3:00 p.m. all the gold stocks were down on the day—and from there they chopped sideways into the close.  The HUI finished the Tuesday session down 1.18%. The agreement with Sumitomo on the Fourth of July project is a great compliment to our recent agreement with Newmont Mining on the Wood Hills South project. We also have the Arabia, Golden Shears, and some generative efforts being funded through our joint venture business model. We have enough capital in the bank to last two more years and no debt. The share structure remains at 33.5 million fully diluted. We are very well positioned to have a major win with an incredible share structure. Renaissance Gold has proven through the joint venture business model what exploration success with a tight share structure can do. Renaissance is the spinout of AuEx Ventures that sold in 2010 and made just shy of 100x their first private placement. It takes technical strength and fiscal conservatism to generate meaningful share holder returns in the high-risk exploration business. Please visit our website for more information.last_img read more

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11 MustRead Newsletters for Entrepreneurs

first_img Axios FutureWhat it is: A daily newsletter from Axios on developments in today’s most buzzworthy topics, from automation to blockchain to the gig economyWhy we love it: “All of Axios’s newsletters are designed for on-the-go trendsetters with limited attention spans. Everything you need to know about the latest news is encapsulated within the email (although there are links to more info if you’ve got the time). Axios Future goes out in the evenings, so it’s a nice way to recap the day.” — Liz Webber, insights editorMorning BrewWhat it is: A roundup of the day’s business and finance news, told with a strong mix of humor and market savvy.Why we love it: “I’ll be honest — I’m a business writer and editor, but I’m often so busy that I miss some of the day’s major stories. Then this email rolls into my inbox sometime past 6 a.m. every morning, and I feel instantly caught up. I’m consistently impressed with how they crunch complex stories down into quick-hit takeaways, with a strong sense of how the information is most useful (along with some strong puns and gifs).” — Jason Feifer, editor in chiefCB InsightsWhat it is: A free newsletter that covers VC funding, M&A, new patents and other bellwethers of tech industry shifts — and makes them relatable through mentions of vampires, March Madness and other cultural touchstones (about four days/week).Why we love it: “You read a lot about AI, blockchain, VR and emerging tech from the perspective of an analyst spewing anecdotes. CB Insights, on the other hand, has the data to back up its claims, which it presents in an entertaining style. No seriously, you don’t glaze over: It’s anything but dry. The company’s newsletter offers a mix of report summaries, stats and infographics and curated articles, and it’s available for free to a consumer audience about four times per week (and more frequently to enterprise customers who subscribe to full access to CBI’s research). CB Insights co-founder and CEO Anand Sanwal signs all of his letters, ‘I love you,’ and he’s not afraid to share his sense of humor. Case in point: The Oct. 9 newsletter began, ‘Today in Weird Isht That Teens Do,’ then went on to describe a new Instagram phenomenon.” — Lydia Belanger, associate editorRelated: 10 Books Every Aspiring Millionaire Must ReadCultureBanxWhat it is: Business, finance and tech news and its impact on people of color. Why we love it: “Offers great insights and a point of view you don’t always get from other news sources. For instance, in a story about the battle between Apple, Netflix and Amazon for streaming dominance, you’ll learn that African Americans are having an increasing influence on these platforms’ content because, as the writer explains, ‘Black people stream videos more frequently on all devices than the total U.S. population, according to Nielsen.'” — Dan Bova, digital editorial directorMy Sweet Dumb BrainWhat it is: Every week journalist Katie Hawkins-Gaar explores big topics around mental health, including grief, anxiety and depression, impostor syndrome and professional jealousy, and most of all, how to remember to be kind to yourself. Why we love it: “It’s like getting a letter from a friend that has been there and gets it. Hawkins-Gaar’s honest and deeply felt essays and useful tips and resources provide a framework to talk about things that are often so daunting to be open about, even with the people that you trust — especially if you feel like you have to have it all together, as so many entrepreneurs do.” — Nina Zipkin, staff writerRelated: 5 Books Billionaire Bill Gates RecommendsAutoweek Daily DriveWhat it is: Autoweek’s daily newsletter breaks down the top auto-related stories of the day, from new vehicle launches and reviews to technology and industry news.Why we love it: “Who wouldn’t love pics of the coolest new cars on the planet delivered to their inbox every morning? But it’s more than just shiny Ferraris and Lamborghinis. As cars and tech continue to shape the future of travel and commerce, the auto-obsessed experts at Autoweek condense the day’s biggest news into quick, easy-to-read stories. What’s that wily Elon Musk up to now? Be the first to know.” — Patrick Carone, special projects directorWall Street Journal What’s NewsWhat it is: The Wall Street Journal’s daily newsletter brings together political, business and cultural news in a digestible format.Why we love it: “The Wall Street Journal is a journalistic institution for a reason: it breaks a lot of news. If you want to learn about the latest in tech, business and politics, you may as well go straight to the source. The newsletter also collects interesting stories from other publications as well, and also features a story that happened that day in years past. While the newsletter is free, the Wall Street Journal’s website has a paywall.” — Stephen Bronner, news directorScienceWhat it is: Science magazine’s daily newsletter highlighting the latest news and trends in tech, space exploration, medical advances, climate research and more.Why we love it: “Did you know that Jupiter’s moon Europa has a subterranean ocean that might have extraterrestrial life swimming around in it, but that landing a NASA explorer there is problematic because the surface is covered in giant blades of spaceship-destroying ice? I didn’t until I started reading this newsletter. While I have no plans of getting into the space exploration biz, this kind of stuff gets me so inspired. Whether I’m learning about stars being ripped in half by black holes or new lifeforms being discovered at the depths of our oceans, this newsletter’s bite-size news briefs and amazing photos make me want to think bigger. And also? I’m counting on the editors to give me a heads up if a planet-killing asteroid heading our way and with that, permission to order extra bacon on my breakfast sandwich.” — Dan Bova, digital editorial directorRelated: How Frequently Should You Be Sending Out Your Email Newsletter?Hot PodWhat it is: A deep dive into the business of podcasting, from news to reported stories about trends and major changes.Why we love it: “I’m obsessed with podcasts — as a listener, a creator of two of them, and as a guy making his living in media. Podcasting is still emerging in every way: economically, creatively, technologically. And Nick Quah’s Hot Pod newsletter is the most insightful and informative look into the industry I’ve seen. This past week, for example, he led off with a deep dive into the weird manipulations that seem to be taking place on the iTunes charts. He had news of Spotify opening up its platform to more podcast creators, which instantly sent me into strategizing mode (only one of my shows is currently on there). And lots more. For anyone curious about how this industry works, how to make money in it, and where it’s going next, Hot Pod is the must-read.” — Jason Feifer, editor in chiefMorning Media NewsfeedWhat it is: AdWeek’s daily newsletter highlighting the latest news in media (print, digital, broadcast, telecommunications and business). Why we love it: “As a journalist, it’s vital for me to stay up to date on key trends in my industry — who’s hiring, who’s firing and which headlines have generated unprecedented amounts of buzz. But it’s equally relevant for any well-versed entrepreneur or high-ranking businessperson. The newsletter rounds up coverage from a host of outlets, covering everything from Elon Musk’s likely replacement as Tesla’s chairman to Snap Inc.’s launch of 12 original shows. (And that infamous Trump Administration op-ed? A morning heads-up on that was included, too.) For me, this weekday email does what I believe any successful newsletter should: ensure you’re never caught off-guard at the water cooler — or, more accurately, the coffeemaker — when someone brings up a pivotal piece of news.” — Hayden Field, associate editorEntrepreneurWhat it is: A daily feed of the top content on Entrereneur.com, as well as special deals on events and exclusive programs.Why we love it: “OK, fine, maybe I’m biased here, but this newsletter does an amazing job of highlighting the many voices, opinions and philosophies of our network of hundreds of contributors and staffers. There is a lot happening in the entrepreneurial world, and whether you are just getting started or have been at it since the day you were old enough to have a newspaper route, this gives you a fantastic overview of what’s going on out there.” — Dan Bova, digital editorial director Newsletters Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Next Article 11 Must-Read Newsletters for Entrepreneurs Image credit: BrAt_PiKaChU Entrepreneur Staff –shares October 12, 2018 Add to Queue Entrepreneur Staff Entrepreneur magazine and digital editors share their picks. 8 min read Register Now »last_img read more

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New hope for children with aggressive form of cancer

first_img Source:https://www.southampton.ac.uk/news/2018/10/trans-atlantic-trial.page Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 10 2018Children with an aggressive form of cancer are being given new hope in a world-first trans-Atlantic clinical trial that will test a new three-part treatment. The study, involving doctors and cancer scientists in Southampton, America and Germany, will boost the body’s immune system to kill off neuroblastoma, one of the most common childhood cancers.The Phase 1 trial is funded by UK charities Solving Kids’ Cancer (Europe), JACK and US charities Solving Kids’ Cancer and Band of Parents. It will be one of many to be conducted at the University of Southampton’s Centre for Cancer Immunology, which is the UK’s first and only centre dedicated to cancer immunology research. The centre recently opened at University Hospital Southampton, thanks to the University’s £25m fundraising campaign.Neuroblastoma affects around 100 children – mostly under the age of five – in the UK every year and develops from immature nerve cells. It usually starts as a tumour in the abdomen or chest, however, in many children, it spreads to other places in the body such as the bones and bone marrow.In those cases, less than half of patients are cured despite intensive treatment which includes surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and stem cell transplants.More recently, a form of immunotherapy known as anti-GD2, which uses antibodies to lock onto cancer cells so the immune system can find, fight and destroy them, has shown the potential to improve survival rates.This new study, led by Dr Juliet Gray, Associate Professor of Paediatric Oncology at the University of Southampton, involves combining mIBG, a special form of targeted radiotherapy which delivers radioactive iodine directly to neuroblastoma cells, with two different antibody therapies for the first time.One of these therapies, Nivolumab, has shown exciting results in adult cancers. It blocks a harmful protein called PD-1 and gives patients’ own immune cells a boost so that they can be set free to kill tumour cells.The researchers will give Nivolumab alongside the currently-used anti-GD2 to target specific cancer cells while protecting normal healthy cells.Related StoriesNew protein target for deadly ovarian cancerHow cell-free DNA can be targeted to prevent spread of tumorsSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyThe trial will be run from four centres – the University of Southampton’s Centre for Cancer Immunology, UCH, Madison Children’s Hospital, Wisconsin, and the University of Greifswald, Germany. It is also the first trial to be sponsored by University Hospital Southampton NHS Trust.”Immunotherapy with anti-GD2 has been shown to increase the number of children with neuroblastoma who stay in remission and has become a standard component of treatment – but sadly a large number of children still relapse and die from their disease,” explained University of Southampton’s Dr Gray who is also a consultant paediatric oncologist at Southampton Children’s Hospital.”Work in the laboratory has shown that combining these types of antibodies with radiotherapy is potentially a very powerful way of eradicating neuroblastoma tumours and these three different therapies appear to work together to generate strong, protective immunity to the tumour.”She added: “This trans-Atlantic trial will be the first time they have been tested together and we are hopeful the combination of treatments will substantially improve the cure rate of children with this form of cancer.”Stephen Richards, CEO of Solving Kids’ Cancer (Europe), said: “Cutting-edge clinical trials offer real hope for children with high-risk neuroblastoma and their families. The numbers of children affected are small, so funding collaborative international research is the only way we will improve survival rates and find a cure for this devastating disease.”The researchers plan to give an initial course of mIBG-targeted radiotherapy followed by Nivolumab and anti-GD2 over a period of six months. Although the initial stages of the treatment process will require children to be in hospital, it is hoped that the therapy will be well tolerated and will eventually be delivered largely on an outpatient basis.The trial’s objective is to ensure the combination is safe to deliver to children with neuroblastoma in order to develop further studies to compare it with current treatments.last_img read more

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Prenatal maternal depression has important consequences for infant temperament study shows

first_img Source:https://newsroom.wiley.com/press-release/infant-mental-health-journal/maternal-depression-and-natural-disaster-related-stress-d Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 6 2019A new Infant Mental Health Journal study demonstrates that prenatal maternal depression has important consequences for infant temperament. Furthermore, the negative impact of prenatal maternal depression appeared to be magnified when pregnant women lived through Superstorm Sandy.The study analyzed data on 310 mother-child dyads, with 64 percent of women being pregnant prior to Sandy and 36 percent being pregnant during Sandy. Compared with other infants, infants born to women with prenatal depression were more likely to experience greater distress, greater fear, lower smiling and laughter, lower high- and low-pleasure seeking, lower soothability, slower falling reactivity, lower cuddliness, and greater sadness at six months of age. These effects were amplified when women were pregnant during Superstorm Sandy.”The fetal period is one of the most critical periods for neurodevelopment. Prenatal stress, especially during this critical period of fetal development, may render the developing brain more vulnerable to additional stressors such as maternal depression,” said lead author Dr. Yoko Nomura, of Queens College, the Advanced Research Science Center at The Graduate Center, CUNY and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “Natural disasters may increase in frequency and magnitude, but we can attempt to alleviate the negative impacts on offspring if we identify high risk pregnant mothers with depression and offer them interventions to make them more resilient.”last_img read more

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TMobiles magenta semitruck hits the road to showcase 5G technology

first_img Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: T-Mobile’s magenta semitruck hits the road to showcase 5G technology (2018, August 11) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-08-t-mobile-magenta-semitruck-road-showcase.html ©2018 The Seattle Times Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. T-Mobile’s next magenta-heavy, super-visible campaign won’t be encouraging customers to switch to the company’s cellphone service. Instead, the Bellevue, Wash., carrier plans to take a decked-out semitruck around the country to showcase its ideas for the next generation of wireless connectivity, 5G, and how it envisions people and businesses making use of it.center_img Credit: CC0 Public Domain Nokia to help with T-Mobile superfast telecom network The truck is an extension of the company’s Tech Experience lab, now sprawling throughout the second floor of T-Mobile’s wireless development lab in Bellevue, a few miles north of its Factoria headquarters.Inside that Bellevue showcase, an employee bounces a soccer ball (guess what color) in front of a line of cellphones. Half the phones are set up on the 4G LTE network, the current standard for phones, and the other half are simulating the upcoming 5G technology. Mirrored in the line of phones, the image of the ball follows reality a fraction of a second later on the 5G phones. The LTE phones quickly catch up, but it’s noticeably later.”5G has more speed, more capacity,” said Karri Kuoppamaki, the company’s vice president overseeing 5G strategy.Another demo shows normal labels on wine bottles transforming into talking T-Mobile executives when an app is scanned over them. On a balcony adjacent to the lab, an LTE-connected drone soars into the air, a small demonstration of a larger test the company is conducting with FAA approval in Reno.The lab is not open to the public, rather it’s designed for business partners, researchers and students to get a sense of how 5G and other wireless technology works and their possibilities.Most of the flashy demos inside the Tech Experience lab don’t exist in the wild yet, and won’t until next year at the earliest. T-Mobile, like its two larger competitors, is building out infrastructure and testing 5G connections in select cities so some capabilities will be ready when phones equipped to handle the next generation of wireless service are released next year.T-Mobile, which has about 6,800 employees in the Puget Sound area, made a deal earlier this year to merge with the fourth-largest wireless carrier, Sprint. The pact is winding its way through U.S. regulatory approvals.Throughout the deal process, the companies’ third attempt to merge, T-Mobile has emphasized that the two will have much stronger 5G technology as a combined entity, rather than separately.T-Mobile plans to make 5G available in a limited capacity in about 30 cities next year using spectrum it won in a federal auction last year. It has pledged to bring the technology nationwide in 2020.U.S. carriers have big plans for 5G—seamless virtual reality on phones, video downloads in seconds, maybe even remote surgical procedures one day. It’s getting closer, but executives remain rooted in reality.Everything will one day be connected, T-Mobile Chief Technology Officer Neville Ray said in an email, but it won’t all happen next year.”Consumers will first begin to experience 5G when devices become available in 2019, but again, just like LTE, it will evolve and change over time,” he wrote. “Some of the visionary 5G experiences we showcase in the Tech Experience and on the truck are likely next decade.”T-Mobile has taken its truck on the road, with its first stop in Philadelphia.last_img read more

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