Syncrude to pay 275 million to settle charges in Alberta blue heron

first_imgThe company says in a release that bird deterrents used on tailings ponds weren’t in place for smaller bodies of water.It says those ponds are now included in its waterfowl protection plan.In 2010, Syncrude was fined $3 million after more than 1,600 ducks died when they landed on a tailings pond.That same year, more than 550 birds had to be killed when an early winter storm forced them to land on waste ponds belonging to Syncrude and Suncor Energy. FORT MCMURRAY, A.B. – Syncrude has agreed to plead guilty and pay $2.75 million in fines over the deaths of 31 great blue herons at an Alberta oilsands mine.The birds were found dead or dying in 2015 at an abandoned sump pond at Syncrude’s Mildred Lake mine north of Fort McMurray.Syncrude subsequently faced charges of failing to properly store a hazardous substance under Alberta legislation as well as federal charges under the Migratory Birds Act.last_img read more

Dalai Lama criticises Lankan monks

The Dalai Lama has implored Buddhist monks in Myanmar and Sri Lanka to put an end to a series of recent attacks on Muslims in their countries, the Associated Press reported today.The Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader spoke Tuesday night about religious violence when asked questions following a speech he delivered to 15,000 people at the University of Maryland. He condemned all killing being carried out in the name of religion and then turned to his own religion. He said Buddhists, including monks, were responsible for recent violence against Muslims in Myanmar and Sri Lanka. Myanmar has been wracked by sectarian violence that has displaced tens of thousands over the past year, while Sri Lankan Buddhist groups have recently attacked Muslim businesses. read more

US consumer spending up just 01 per cent despite income gain

US consumer spending up just 0.1 per cent despite income gain In this Tuesday, May 23, 2017, photo, employees assist a customer, at left, with a computer at Best Buy in Cary, N.C. On Friday, June 30, 2017, the Commerce Department issues its May report on consumer spending. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome) by Paul Wiseman, The Associated Press Posted Jun 30, 2017 6:35 am MDT Last Updated Jun 30, 2017 at 9:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email WASHINGTON – Americans enjoyed a healthy increase in income last month but didn’t spend much of the gain.The Commerce Department said Friday that personal income rose 0.4 per cent in May, up from a 0.3 increase in April. But consumer spending rose just 0.1 per cent last month after climbing 0.4 per cent in both March and April.After-tax income rose 0.6 per cent, the biggest gain since December 2012. The gap between the May increase in income and the increase in spending drove the U.S. savings rate to 5.5 per cent, the highest since last September.Economists monitor consumer spending closely because it accounts for about 70 per cent of U.S. economic activity. Despite the modest rise in May, analysts remain confident that consumers picked up their spending overall this quarter and will be eager to spend their savings and higher incomes this summer.“Real disposable personal income has risen a whopping 4.7% (annualized) over the past three months, the strongest growth in nearly two years,” James Marple, senior economist at TD Economics, said in a research note. “This should continue to underpin healthy consumer spending through the second half of the year.”Consumers got off to a slow start earlier this year. From January through March, consumer spending rose at lacklustre 1.1 per cent annual pace, the slowest since the second quarter of 2013 and one reason the economy grew at an annual pace of just 1.4 per cent the first three months of 2017.President Donald Trump has pledged to push annual economic growth past 3 per cent, but most economists are skeptical given America’s aging workforce and disappointing gains in productivity — output per hour worked.The Federal Reserve’s favoured measure of inflation fell 0.1 per cent from April and rose 1.4 per cent from a year earlier. That was the smallest annual increase since last November and fell below the Fed’s 2 per cent target.Still, the Fed is confident enough in the economy’s health that it raised short-term interest rates this month and signalled that it expects another hike sometime this year. read more

Inmarsat and Knight Piésold join forces for remote tailings dam monitoring

first_imgInmarsat says it will partner with Knight Piésold UK to deliver highly accurate tailings dam monitoring, analysis and real-time management capabilities for the mining industry.The collaboration agreement with Knight Piésold, a member of the international geotechnical, tailings management and engineering consulting group, will combine Inmarsat’s satellite-enabled Internet of Things (IoT) solution, with Knight Piésold’s leading consultancy, Inmarsat said. “This will enable smarter decision making, improved safety standards and will support regulatory compliance; offering a new approach to the way tailings dams are currently audited and managed,” it added.This pact comes only weeks after the tragic breach to the tailings dam at the Vale-owned Feijão mine in Brumadinho, Brazil, and a number of mining companies have published data on how they monitor these facilities.Inmarsat said: “Mine tailing audits are typically carried out at infrequent intervals, with employees and third-party consultants making long distance trips to collect data and audit the status of the dam.“The solution makes data available between site visits to any accredited users, anywhere in the world. This means that current, on-site auditing practices can now be supplemented with a remote, customisable, ‘daily management cycle’, with auditor recommendations and real-time decision-making now available to on-site engineers.”Inmarsat’s solution collects data from a range of industry standard sensors via edge connectivity such as Long Range Wide Area Network, before it is transferred across Inmarsat’s L-band satellite network to a single cloud dashboard. This enables mining companies and national regulators to gain a comprehensive view of the status of their dams with granular metrics such as pond elevation, piezometric pressures, inclinometer readings and weather conditions displayed in one place, no matter where the mine is located, according to the company. The solution is also highly versatile and features sensor-agnostic capabilities, so it will work with both existing sensors and new devices, Inmarsat said.Richard Elmer, Regional Manager for Knight Piésold UK, said: “The current tailings auditing and management business consists of semi-annual or annual site visits with recommendations based on these visits. Instrumentation data is often collected on-site and mining companies are largely reliant on human activity for the collection, storage and analysis of the data.“Our collaboration with Inmarsat provides our clients access to the latest and best available technology for real time data collection and analysis. We see this as a game changing improvement in how companies monitor their current tailings storage facilities and we are proud to be at the forefront of this latest industry innovation.”Paul Gudonis, President of Inmarsat Enterprise, said: “We have been working with Knight Piésold’s UK practice since 2017 to develop an approach to tailings dam monitoring that supports smarter, safer and more regulated mining practices. Following successful trials, we are pleased to be able to bring what we believe to be a truly disruptive solution to market. We know that the industry is committed to zero harm and, by teaming with Knight Piésold to launch this tailings dam solution, this is another step towards achieving complete health, safety and operational success in the mining sector.”last_img read more

HSE will sanction hospitals that dont comply with doctors hours

first_imgTHE IMO WILL begin balloting junior doctors in the coming days, recommending that their members vote yes to recommendations set out by the Labour Relations Commission.If the ballot is accepted, it will see an end to a long-running industrial relations dispute that saw non consultant hospital doctors strike over working hours.The IMO’s Assistant Director of Industrial Relations Eric Young said that the LRC proposals addressed key issues and promised to end the current working regime, which sees doctors putting in shifts of over 24 hours.The proposals include new and innovative ways to ensure that hospitals are encouraged to comply with the agreement by means of a pre-emptive sanction. Under the proposal, the HSE will withhold €15m from hospitals budgets which they will then be able to draw down only when they have demonstrated compliance with the new working hours agreement.Young described the sanction regime as “robust and credible” and said it “will meet our members concerns that the HSE will deliver on this agreement and not allow individual hospitals to evade responsibility on this issue.”The proposals also address various other issues of concern to the NCHD Committee.These include a deadline for the ending of shifts in excess of 24 hours and full compliance with the European Working Time Directive (EWTD) respectively, as well as new arrangements in respect of health and safety and a review of the current NCHD career structure to reduce the number of NCHDs emigrating to work abroad.Read: IMO recommends junior doctors say ‘yes’ to LRC proposalslast_img read more

Eurogroup agrees on rescue plan

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou has expressed satisfaction at the financial plan approved by his 15 eurozone counterparts in Brussels on Thursday, which offers Greece a financial safety net if it finds itself unable to borrow money on the international money markets.“Europe has taken a step forward… Europe and Greece will emerge stronger from this crisis,” Papandreou told reporters in Brussels on Thursday, describing the decision as “an indisputable success.”European leaders agreed on Thursday night to support the French-German rescue plan for the Greek economy. The two countries had announced shortly before the Eurogroup meeting that they had come to a compromise solution regarding the aid package that would be established to help Greece. Under the terms of the EU agreement signed off on Thursday Greece is entitled to access financial aid from the euro zone and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) if its austerity measures fail to re-balance the country’s economy. The rescue plan is based primarily on bilateral loans and is supplemented by IMF assistance. It would provide individual loans from other euro zone countries and funding from the International Monetary Fund, in order to rescue Greece if the country found itself unable to borrow or pay its debts.However, the short text outlining the rescue package — which is short on details — specifies it can only be used as a last resort and requires unanimous agreement of all euro-zone members.The Greek Prime Minister, George Papandreou expressed his satisfaction with the developments stressing the fact that the sacrifices of the Greek people are producing results adding that this decision signifies an important moment for Europe. “The struggles and sacrifices of the Greek people are bearing fruit. The policy of responsibility is being vindicated. We are safe,” Mr Papandreou immediately after the conclusion of the meeting of European leaders. “The European Union came across a tremendous challenge and raised itself to the occasion,” he added.Commenting on the how the Greek government handled the situation, the Greek Prime Minister said: “We moved with prudence, caution, and decisiveness. We [the government] are on a march with the Greek people. We convinced [them] that they are dealing with a credible Greece that has a plan for its [future] course.”He reassured reporters that no additional measures would be introduced, remarking that the wage freezes, tax increases and cuts to civil servants’ benefits voted through the Greek Parliament earlier this month “were already enough.”The reaction by the political opposition was less welcoming. “This is a time for reflection, not celebration,” Antonis Samaras, the leader of the conservative main opposition New Democracy said in a statement, saying his party has “serious reservations” about the eurozone plan. “So they want Greece to reach the point of bankruptcy before they help us?” the statement said.Samaras called for the immediate measures to boost the market “so that the recession will not deepen and become permanent,” stressing that if no action was taken new and more serious measures will need to be taken to decrease the deficit.The Communist Party (KKE) predicted that the involvement of the IMF would oblige Greece to take more “measures that hurt the people.” “The participation of the IMF reveals the weakness of the EU,” a KKE statement said. The leader of the Coalition of the Radical left Alexis Tsipras, also claimed that the plan does not fundamentally change anything as it still leaves the Greek economy subject to ‘profiteering’. Mr Tsipras said that the European Union plan, if used, will lead to an International Monetary Fund (IMF) intervention which, for Greek citizens, will have even greater consequences for their well being than the austerity measures announced over the last few months.last_img read more

R2 le nouveau robot de la Nasa à découvrir en images

first_imgR2, le nouveau robot de la Nasa à découvrir en imagesÉtats-Unis – L’Agence spatiale américaine a mis au point et présenté son nouveau robot, Robonaut 2 alias R2, qui devrait prochainement rejoindre la Station spatiale internationale (ISS).En partenariat avec General Motors (alors que la Nasa avait précédemment fait appel à la Darpa, l’agence américaine pour les projets de recherche avancée de défense), l’administration spatiale américaine a mis au point un nouveau robot. R2 pèse 136 kilos et possède une envergure de 2,4 mètres lorsqu’il déploie ses bras. Le robot ressemble fortement à un astronaute en combinaison, et a d’ailleurs vocation à réellement assister les occupants de l’ISS dans leurs missions. À lire aussiApollo 11 : À quoi la conquête spatiale ressemblera-t-elle dans 50 ans ?R2 est ainsi capable d’utiliser ordinateurs et outils ainsi que d’évoluer en extérieur. Si la date de son envoi sur l’ISS n’est pas encore confirmée, Nicolaus Radford, l’un des chefs de ce projet, n’hésite pas à vanter les capacités du robot en affirmant : “Il est aussi utile qu’une infirmière dans une salle d’opération”. R2 dispose également d’un site internet, d’un compte Twitter ainsi que d’une page Facebook, et cela dans le but d’intéresser le grand public au travail effectué actuellement dans l’espace. Découvrir R2 en images : 11 août 2010 à 13:06 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Les smartphones affecteraient le fonctionnement du cerveau

first_imgLes smartphones affecteraient le fonctionnement du cerveauGrâce aux neurosciences, il est possible de comprendre comment nos structures cérébrales réagissent aux informations abstraites dont nous les abreuvons à partir de nos smartphones. Une étude s’est intéressée à l’attraction de ces appareils et de leurs conséquences sur l’organisme. Le besoin quasi compulsif d’utiliser son smartphone est alimenté par un petit groupe de structures cérébrales formant le “circuit de récompense” du cerveau, rapporte Le Figaro. Jouant un rôle de premier plan dans la motivation et le plaisir autant que dans les phénomènes d’addiction, les neurones de ce circuit réagissent dès que se profile une récompense, d’où son nom, pour encourager les actions susceptibles de l’obtenir.S’il motive des actions physiologiques normales telles que boire quand nous avons soif, ce circuit semble également réagir à la perspective d’une information jugée importante. C’est notamment le cas avec les SMS ou les mails. Ainsi, l’action consistant à aller chercher une information potentiellement importante est donc encouragée par ce circuit neuronal. Le cerveau a littéralement “soif” d’information, au point de causer parfois un phénomène d’addiction.Pour l’heure, il n’est pas possible de savoir si les smartphones agissent de façon durable et profonde sur l’organisation cérébrale (certains pensent à l’apparition de zones spécifiquement dédiées à leur usage), en revanche, ces joujoux technologiques “mettent le cerveau dans une situation permanente de multitâche pour laquelle il n’est pas conçu”, explique le directeur de recherche du Centre de recherche en neurosciences de Lyon, Jean-Philippe Lachaux. La façon dont nous utilisons notre cerveau et notre attention est donc en train de changer.Des informations hors contexte reçues via les smartphones À lire aussiÀ quel âge faut-il offrir à son enfant son premier smartphone ? La science répondPour prendre un exemple, si l’on pense à nager devant une piscine, on n’y pense pas forcément au cours d’une réunion de travail. Avec les smartphones, plusieurs types d’informations s’entrechoquent, se superposent. Ainsi, au bord de la piscine, on reçoit via son téléphone des informations complètement hors contexte : des mails du bureau, des photos d’un ami à la montagne, les images d’un thriller… Du coup, le cerveau ne sait plus exactement quelle est l’information à privilégier.De plus, le cerveau fait en sorte de se concentrer sur les éléments pertinents correspondant à la situation dans laquelle nous nous trouvons. Les phases d’écoute et de réceptivité accrues à ce qui nous entoure ou à ce que nous ressentons, elles, sont donc vécues au cours de moments “creux” au cours desquels nous ne sommes pas particulièrement occupés. Avec les smartphones, nous sommes continuellement sollicités et ses blancs sont beaucoup plus rares. Selon les chercheurs, il serait donc bon de pouvoir “décrocher” de temps en temps et de limiter l’utilisation des smartphones pour pouvoir “se recentrer”.Le 4 octobre 2011 à 16:13 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Press Talk Piecing the story together

first_imgGetting a story before it’s a story is a lot like putting a puzzle together.The puzzle pieces are all bits of information. Alone, the pieces mean little or nothing. But together they paint a solid picture.This is one of the many skills our reporters have. So when you see a story before you’d expect to see that story … well, a reporter was likely behind it all.I do this “before” thing on occasion myself. And, frankly, as a columnist I have more leeway than reporters because writing opinion allows me to speculate once I’ve seen the pieces.But make no mistake, Columbian reporters are the heavy lifters here. They just let me play once in a while.o o oMore than three months ago, I wrote a column that — in part — said David Madore was almost certain to run for county commissioner.A few days ago, Madore announced he would run for county commissioner.When I wrote that column, I took a little heat for it.Respected local conservative blogger Lew Waters — my buddy — wasn’t quite buying it back then.He suggested Madore was just “playing” with me. That Madore was just “trying to make Lou sweat.”A commenter on my column wondered if I was “just fishing.”And others asked back in December if they had missed a Madore announcement.o o oSo how were the pieces put together? Surely, if I was wrong, there would have been more than a few folks — lying in the weeds — ready to call me an idiot.No question, if Madore hadn’t run, I would have had to wipe a little omelet off my face.The key to this view that Madore would run came after his now-opponent — Commissioner Marc Boldt — “voted” against an entertainment tax that would have put the construction of a new baseball stadium here on the fast track.Now, the “no” vote wasn’t the tip. The idea that virtually everyone thought he was going to vote “yes” was the tip.So why did Boldt, at the last minute, change his mind?Voting for a tax, any tax, wouldn’t go over well in his mostly conservative district. And, politically speaking, it would not be good for his upcoming re-election bid.last_img read more

Lok Sabha Phase 7 Election 2019 Who are the key candidates in

first_img Close IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:01/1:43Loaded: 0%0:01Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-1:42?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading … PM Modi files nomination seeking re-election from temple town Varanasicenter_img Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seeking a second time from Varanasi; ex-BJP rebel Shatrughan Sinha is contesting from Patna Sahib constituency where he had won elections in 2014 by defeating a Congress nominee.Polling in the seventh phase of the Lok Sabha elections 2019 began at 7 am on Sunday, May 19, across 59 parliamentary constituencies. Phase 7 polling will determine the fate of 912 candidates.Voting will take place in 13 seats each in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, 9 seats in West Bengal, 8 seats each in Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, 4 seats in Himachal Pradesh and 3 seats in Jharkhand; one in the Union Territory of Chandigarh.Ahead of the last phase of the national elections, International Business Times explains who the key candidates to watch for are:The seventh phase will witness key battles in the Bharatiya Janata Party stronghold of Varanasi and Gorakhpur. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seeking a second time from Varanasi, which is among the 13 seats in Uttar Pradesh. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will fight from his bastion Gorakhpur, which is also voting today (May 19).Check the LIVE Updates of the Phase 7 Lok Saha Elections 2019 here.Among the other heavy weight candidates in Phase 7 national elections are, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, BJP lawmaker and veteran actress Kirron Kher, actor-turned-politician and Congress leader Shatrughan Sinha, Union Minister and SAD leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal and BJP nominee Sunny Deol.Other prominent leaders include former Punjab Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, RJD leader Misa Bharti who is daughter of former Bihar chief minister Lalu Yadav, Union Minister and BJP leader Ram Kripal Yadav, former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar and Bhojpuri actor-turned politician Ravi Kishan who is BJP candidate from Gorakhpur.Election to 542 Lok Sabha parliamentary constituencies is being conducted in seven phases between April 11 and May 19. Phase 7 will be the last and final phase of polling. Polling in Vellore Lok Sabha seat in Tamil Nadu has been cancelled following excess use of money power. The counting of votes and the results will be declared on May 23.last_img read more

MovieBob Reviews IT COMES AT NIGHT

first_img MovieBob Reviews: ‘Shadow’MovieBob Reviews: ‘The Curse of La Llorona’ Stay on target Is It Comes At Night Good?Yes – though it may not be what many people are expecting.What does that mean?It looks like (and is being promoted as) as post-apocalyptic thriller in the vein of The Walking Dead or The Last of Us. But it’s actually more of a psychological horror film that at first seems to be a well-made but otherwise boilerplate entry in that genre which pretty quickly reveals itself as something like a deliberate deconstruction of the form. a movie about survivalists (post-apocalyptic or otherwise) where the overriding theme is “You’re probably doomed no matter how well you prepare” and may even be said to go as far as “The guys most obsessed with control and order might be the people you should be most afraid of in that situation.”What Happens?The story takes place an unspecified amount of time into the future where an unnamed, barely-understood viral plague (it appears to be airborne, turns your eyes black and requires the afflicted to be immediately killed and burned) looks to have knocked modern U.S. civilization back down to the frontier/pioneer days. Our main characters are a family consisting of Carmen Ejogo (the mom), Kelvin Harrison Jr (the teenaged son) and Joel Edgerton as the requisite hard-headed no-nonsense micromanaging beardo dad figure who is the designated hero of basically every damn movie like this. Their mostly orderly lives are upended when they opt to take in and work together with another family consisting of a younger couple and their toddler son; which at first seems like a smart arrangement but slowly begins to deteriorate into increasingly uneasy mistrust.Is that really all?Without indulging in spoilers… yes, that’s basically it. It’s a “social order gradually breaking down in isolation” story where the inciting incident is The Apocalypse, but nothing flashy or particularly “new” is happening apart from the conceit of seeing what happens when two standard-issue No-Nonsense Post-Apocalyptic Survival Dads have to go beard-to-beard over increasingly contentious tough decisions.So why does the title make it sound like a monster movie?Because it’s sort of a “deconstruction” of the genre; i.e. it’s using the familiar visuals and filmmaking “language” from post-apocalyptic zombie/monster/killer to tell an otherwise more grounded story. Again, without spoiling: The characters are essentially using the day-to-day chores of survival and preparation not just to stay alive but as psychological distraction – occupying their minds with tasks and schedules, so they don’t go mad from the omnipresent knowledge that they’re living through the End of The World. A plot point is that several of them, despite this, have trouble with insomnia and sleepwalking. It eventually becomes clear that what ‘Comes at Night’ refers not to an entity but to the nightmares, paranoia and dark thoughts that plague them in the hours when there’s nothing else to think about. The horror of their situation becomes more oppressive… and more prone to instigating disruptive potentially tragic actions.Any flaws?It’s pretty short, which is typically a welcome change of pace these days. But once you’ve grasped the basic arc of what’s going on, the characters apart from the teenaged son and the two dads don’t really have much time to establish character depth to hold full interest outside of waiting for the impending poor decision making to rear its head. The lack of almost any “showy” genre elements will probably make it feel slight to some, and the overall effect is more like a slightly longer episode of an anthology TV series like Tales From The Crypt or The Twilight Zone than something more explicitly “cinematic.Is it worth seeing?If you like slow-burning psychological horror that’s built around inevitability rather than twists or jump-scares, yes – though don’t expect anything particularly thrilling (and certainly not uplifting: This is about as bleak as these things get.)last_img read more

How This Company Found the Solution for Its Sites Missing Links

first_img 3 min read internet marketing 101: If you want a customer to click a link, it better damn work. That’s harder than it sounds. With users all over the world using different browsers and devices, international companies can accidentally route people to the wrong websites or, worse, nowhere at all. That’s what happened to Mark Leathem, VP of corporate marketing at HyperX, the Fountain Valley, Calif.–based maker of gaming headphones. The company advertises on sites and on social media around the world, but its links to local online retailers were often sending visitors to the wrong stores — losing it nearly 75 percent of potential traffic. “We were letting down customers,” says Leathem. “And the lousy links made us look like we didn’t care.” The FixLast year, on a work trip to Seattle, Leathem was introduced to Geniuslink. It has a service designed explicitly to fix and streamline links. “At that point, I didn’t have anything to lose,” Leathem says, so he gave it a shot. Geniuslink’s team went through every HyperX link, country by country and retailer by retailer, and within 24 hours had them automatically routing potential customers by device, operating system and country. Geniuslink also tracked how many people who clicked the links actually bought headphones, helping HyperX understand its customers and which products and marketing channels worked best. The ResultsLeathem was impressed and signed up for a monthly subscription fee: $10 for every 10,000 clicks made on Geniuslink-optimized links. HyperX’s customer conversion rates have tripled — and that makes the service a “total steal,” Leathem says, especially compared to more expensive competing services. Equally important to Leathem: Geniuslink has allowed him to distribute sales leads evenly to a select number of retailers, predetermining what percentage of overall traffic goes to each vendor based on inventory, price or other factors. “We’re paying less money, and our conversions are better than ever,” Leathem says.Second OpinionA service like Geniuslink can clean up a big mess, but companies can avoid this kind of trouble in the first place. “Too often, I see marketers who don’t have enough of a technology background forget to tell the IT team building out a website what they want from a link and what they need that link to do,” says Chris Neumann, CEO of CROmetrics, a web optimization company in San Francisco. “Half the battle is setting up [a link] the right way, and the key to that is communicating and engineering it properly from the beginning.”   Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now This story appears in the April 2016 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. March 29, 2016 Enroll Now for Freelast_img read more

Traffic stats for your Easter journey

first_imgWebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite Click to receive news links via WhatsApp. Or  for the latest news, visit our webpage or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Join us there! The last thing you want is to be stuck in traffic while on the road this Easter weekend, so check out these latest traffic stats and plan your trip accordingly:Mooi Plaza: North – 1115South – 1780Tugela Plaza: North – 581South – 1208Wilge Plaza: North – 481South – 880Dear Hoek Plaza: North – 545South – 1154As we’ve said before, stay safe and enjoy the journey!last_img read more

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first_imgVideo Player is loading.Sudhen Desai explains how deep learning might assist pediatric imagingPlay VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 8:21Loaded: 1.95%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -8:21 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button. Shimadzu FluoroSpeed X1 Walkaround AHRA 2019Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:25Loaded: 11.42%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:25 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button. August 7, 2014 — Doctors are gleaning important information from the most common imaging exam, the chest X-ray, by using sophisticated software that improves X-ray images captured by the equipment they already have or are in the process of purchasing. Riverain Technologies revenues increased 34 percent year-over-year through the first half of 2014, based on strong adoption of the company’s ClearRead software solutions. This was particularly true among academic medical centers and community and VA hospitals throughout the Midwest.Riverain’s ClearRead bone suppression technology helps radiologists detect lung nodules and other serious medical conditions by transforming a traditional chest X-ray into a soft tissue image without the ribs and clavicle bones. These structures commonly obscure abnormalities. There are no additional tests or radiation exposure for patients, and no imaging machines or hardware for the hospital to buy or house to achieve the soft tissue image. “Most of the growth in adoption is being driven by radiologists’ recognition that bone suppression is very useful and there’s little to no downside to it,” said Heber MacMahon, M.B., BCh, professor of radiology and director of thoracic imaging at the University of Chicago Medical Center.Getting More Out of X-raysHistorically, no-bone, soft tissue, images were only possible by exposing patients to higher radiation levels using expensive imaging equipment. The boost in clarity and performance of the X-ray is beneficial for patients given that X-ray is the most readily available and widely used imaging test. Many lung cancers are first spotted on X-ray images taken for other reasons, such as to diagnose other medical conditions, including heart problems, collapsed lung, pneumonia, broken ribs and emphysema.Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States, claiming more lives every year than breast, colon and prostate cancers combined, according to the American Cancer Society.“It’s nice to get more out of what we deliver,” said Ella Kazerooni, M.D., past president of the Society of Thoracic Radiology, and professor and director, division cardiothoracic radiology, and associate chair for clinical affairs at the University of Michigan (U-M) Health System. “The software is easy to install, easy to train to, and, frankly it provides immediate clinical value.”The software is sold directly to medical centers, to enhance X-ray images captured by the machines they already have, and by major manufacturers including Siemens Healthcare and Philips Healthcare as a value-added extension to new X-ray equipment.University of Chicago Medical Center, U-M Health System, Southern Ohio Medical Center, Riverside Medical Center in Kankakee, Ill., and the Hines VA Hospital in Hines, Ill., are some of the institutions that purchased ClearRead software. University of Chicago did so after serving as a research site and validating the strength of Riverain’s ClearRead Bone Suppression and computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) software, ClearRead +Detect, in improving the diagnostic potential of conventional X-ray images.“As long as we’re going to continue to do millions of chest X-rays around the world, with this software we’re going to pick up more cancers sooner and we’re going to miss less cancers,” said MacMahon, who is a member of Riverain’s medical advisory board.ClearRead +Confirm Improves Clarity of Lines, Tubes and Saves TimeIn addition to purchasing ClearRead Bone Suppression and ClearRead + Detect software, which marks suspected lung nodules on an X-ray image, U-M Health System physicians are moving forward with purchase of ClearRead +Confirm software based on a clinical evaluation of the software.ClearRead +Confirm identifies and highlights lines and tubes on portable chest X-ray images, reducing reading time by approximately 19 percent without compromising radiologist accuracy or confidence.“Referring physicians working in our intensive care units can see lines and tubes much more clearly without having to make adjustments to each image, line-by-line and case by case,” Kazerooni said. “They’re bypassing the standard X-ray image and going directly to the Riverain-processed images. This speaks to how highly they regard the software.”The benefit of ClearRead +Confirm for patients, Kazerooni added, is that “It gives us greater confidence about the devices we’re putting in place so that we’re sure they’re functioning optimally.”ClearRead software enhances the expert skills of radiologists to improve patient outcomes using standard chest X-ray, without additional radiation dose or procedures for patients. Riverain ClearRead software solutions include ClearRead Bone Suppression, +Detect, +Confirm and +Compare, which reveals density changes between current and prior chest X-ray images.For more information: FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 Videos | Radiographic Fluoroscopy (RF) | August 09, 2019 VIDEO: Demonstration of the Shimadzu FluoroSpeed X1 Radiographic Fluoroscopy System Shimadzu displayed the FluoroSpeed X1 conventional radiographic fluoroscopy (RF) system at the Association for Medica read more Videos | Artificial Intelligence | July 03, 2019 VIDEO: Artificial Intelligence May Assist in Pediatric Imaging Sudhen Desai, M.D., FSIR, read more Feature | Information Technology | June 27, 2019 | By Greg Freiherr Smart Algorithm Extracts Data from Radiology Reports Radiology reports may contain information essential to figuring out a patient’s condition. read more News | August 07, 2014 Leading Medical Centers Adopting ClearRead Software to Improve X-ray Images Riverain Technologies revenues up 34 percent News | Radiation Dose Management | July 18, 2019 Low Doses of Radiation Promote Cancer-capable Cells Low doses of radiation equivalent to three computed tomography (CT) scans, which are considered safe, give cancer-… read more Advances in long-length digital radiography are creating opportunities for visualization during spinal surgery, as well as pre- and post-operatively. Image courtesy of Fujifilm Medical Systemscenter_img Feature | Digital Radiography (DR) | July 19, 2019 | By Greg Freiherr DR Advances Promote Imaging of Whole Spine Recent advances in… read more Technology | Radiographic Fluoroscopy (RF) | August 09, 2019 Shimadzu Medical Systems Receives FDA 510(k) for FluoroSpeed X1 RF System Shimadzu Medical Systems USA, a subsidiary of Shimadzu Corp., announced they have received U.S. Food and Drug… read more News | Digital Radiography (DR) | June 28, 2019 Springfield Clinic Deploys 17 Carestream Digital X-ray Systems Springfield Clinic implemented 14 Carestream DRX-Evolu read more News | Digital Radiography (DR) | July 23, 2019 Konica Minolta and Shimadzu to Co-market Dynamic Digital Radiography in the U.S. Konica Minolta Healthcare Americas Inc. along with Shimadzu Medical Systems USA announced a collaborative agreement to… read more Related Content Technology | Digital Radiography (DR) | July 25, 2019 Samsung Announces New iQuia Premium Digital Radiography Platform Samsung has announced iQuia, a new digital radiography (DR) platform of premium products and technologies that improves… read more News | Radiology Business | June 26, 2019 Konica Minolta Healthcare and the Emory Healthcare Innovation Hub Partner to Drive Innovation in Healthcare Konica Minolta Healthcare Americas, Inc. read morelast_img read more

Top 5 tools for reinforcement learning

first_imgAfter deep learning, reinforcement Learning (RL), the hottest branch of Artificial Intelligence that is finding speedy adoption in tech-driven companies. Simply put, reinforcement learning is all about algorithms tracking previous actions or behaviour and providing optimized decisions using trial-and-error principle. Read How Reinforcement Learning works to know more. It might sound theoretical but gigantic firms like Google and Uber have tested out this exceptional mechanism and have been highly successful in cutting edge applied robotics fields such as self driving vehicles. Other top giants including Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft have centralized their innovations around deep reinforcement learning across Automotive, Supply Chain, Networking, Finance and Robotics. With such humongous achievement, reinforcement learning libraries has caught the Artificial Intelligence developer communities’ eye and have gained prime interest for training agents and reinforcing the behavior of the trained agents. In fact, researchers believe in the tremendous potential of reinforcement learning to address unsolved real world challenges like material discovery, space exploration, drug discovery etc and build much smarter artificial intelligence solutions. In this article, we will have a look at the most promising open source tools and libraries to start building your reinforcement learning projects on. OpenAI Gym OpenAI Gym, the most popular environment for developing and comparing reinforcement learning models, is completely compatible with high computational libraries like TensorFlow. The Python based rich AI simulation environment offers support for training agents on classic games like Atari as well as for other branches of science like robotics and physics such as Gazebo simulator and MuJoCo simulator. The Gym environment also offers APIs which facilitate feeding observations along with rewards back to agents. OpenAI has also recently released a new platform, Gym Retro made up of 58 varied and specific scenarios from Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and Sonic 3 games. Reinforcement learning enthusiasts and AI game developers can register for this competition. Read: How to build a cartpole game using OpenAI Gym TensorFlow This is an another well-known open-source library by Google followed by more than 95,000 developers everyday in areas of natural language processing, intelligent chatbots, robotics, and more. The TensorFlow community has developed an extended version called TensorLayer providing popular RL modules that can be easily customized and assembled for tackling real-world machine learning challenges. The TensorFlow community allows for the framework development in most popular languages such as Python, C, Java, JavaScript and Go. Google & its TensorFlow team are in the process of coming up with a Swift-compatible version to enable machine learning  on Apple environment. Read How to implement Reinforcement Learning with TensorFlow Keras Keras presents simplicity in implementing neural networks with just a few lines of codes with faster execution. It provides senior developers and principal scientists with a high-level interface to high tensor computation framework, TensorFlow and centralizes on the model architecture. So, if you have any existing RL models written in TensorFlow, just pick the Keras framework and you can transfer the learning to the related machine learning problem. DeepMind Lab DeepMind Lab is a Google 3D platform with customization for agent-based AI research. It is utilized to understand how self-sufficient artificial agents learn complicated tasks in large, partially observed environments. With the victory of its AlphaGo program against go players, in early 2016, DeepMind captured the public’s attention. With its three hubs spread across London, Canada and France, the DeepMind team is focussing on core AI fundamentals which includes building a single AI system backed by state-of-the-art methods and distributional reinforcement learning. To know more about how DeepMind Lab works, read How Google’s DeepMind is creating images with artificial intelligence. Pytorch Pytorch, open sourced by Facebook, is another well-known deep learning library adopted by many reinforcement learning researchers. It was recent preferred almost unanimously by top 10 finishers in Kaggle competition. With dynamic neural networks and strong GPU acceleration, Rl practitioners use it extensively to conduct experiments on implementing policy-based agent and to create new adventures. One crazy research project is Playing GridWorld, where Pytorch unchained its capabilities with renowned RL algorithms like policy gradient and simplified Actor-Critic method. Summing It Up There you have it, the top tools and libraries for reinforcement learning. The list doesn’t end here, as there is a lot of work happening in developing platforms and libraries for scaling reinforcement learning. Frameworks like RL4J, RLlib are already in development and very soon would be full-fledged available for developers to simulate their models in their preferred coding language.last_img read more

Yes or no What Greeces landmark vote might bring

first_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility The difference between men and women when it comes to pain That is unlikely to be agreed on overnight, meaning the harsh controls on money withdrawals and transfers may remain in place for longer than anticipated. The Greek government had to put those limits when a run on the banks started last weekend and the European Central Bank refused to increase the emergency credit it allows the banks to draw on.Varoufakis says banks will reopen Tuesday whatever the referendum’s outcome. That’s unlikely to happen unless the ECB agrees to increase the credit to Greek banks. And the ECB would be under huge pressure not to do so until Greece has a new, comprehensive financial rescue package.An additional difficulty is that Greece’s creditors are singing from different hymn sheets. The International Monetary Fund has said it will not get involved in a third bailout unless it includes substantive debt relief for Greece. The Europeans, on the other hand, have ruled out debt relief until Greece makes its reforms.“A new agreement will likely take time and the ultimate outcome may require even greater fiscal and structural commitments than the existing proposal,” said George Saravelos, a strategist at Deutsche Bank. “The extent to which there is a sufficient political shift in Greece to allow this to materialize remains the key source of uncertainty.” LONDON (AP) — On his 10-year trip home, the Greek hero Odysseus at one point had to steer his ship and crew down a narrow stretch of water menaced on opposite sides by two sea monsters, Scylla and Charybdis.The Greek people are in similar dire straits as they prepare to vote on a future in which they face two painful prospects: the slow grind of years more of austerity cuts or the country’s potentially catastrophic exit from the euro. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies In such a case, printing a new currency may be the only option available, which almost everyone thinks will be a short-term disaster for the Greek economy.“A ‘no’ will result in Grexit with an uncertain future and high costs to Greek society, at least initially,” said Guntram Wolff, director of think-tank Bruegel.Odysseus got through his ordeal, but Scylla the monster ate six of his men — not a great thought for Greeks seeking to navigate the straits of bankruptcy and national pride.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The question is whether their vote on Sunday can help them escape either. “Yes” to more budget cuts in exchange for a financial aid package for the country? Or reject it in the hope it will not lead the country out of the euro?The referendum question makes no reference to Greece’s future in the currency union. It is on a set of proposals that European creditors say they have withdrawn following the failure to forge a deal with Greece before an end-June deadline.For the radical left-led Greek government, the proposals were unacceptable. It’s urging a “no” vote and says that will have no impact on Greece’s euro status.Proponents of a “yes” vote, including a parade of former prime ministers and the main opposition party, say backing the government will jeopardize Greece’s place in the euro. Instead, they argue that by voting “yes” Greece would get a new deal quickly to shore up the economy.In fact, what might happen in each case is unclear. Analysts in the world’s biggest investment banks are putting percentage probabilities to outcomes, such as Greece’s exit from the euro, but no one knows for sure. Comments   Share   Quick workouts for men Mesa family survives lightning strike to home ___IF THEY SAY ‘OXI’Despite the Greek government’s assertion that a “no” vote will not lead to a euro exit, most people agree it would open up more uncertain outcomes, especially if the ECB calls time on the life-support measures to Greece’s banks.A number of European politicians, including Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the top eurozone official, have said a “no” vote would jeopardize Greece’s place in the euro.Others, such as the leaders of France and Italy, appear to be holding the door ajar for further talks. Even Wolfgang Schaeuble, the tough-talking German finance minister, has said the country could stay in the euro in the event of a “no” vote.But investors are likely to be worried in case of a “no” vote amid fears it increases the chance of a Greek exit from the euro, or Grexit. Markets will open first in Asia.The word ‘Grexit’ has dominated the past months of negotiations on Greece. But the country will not return to the drachma as soon as Monday. Rather, the risk increases the longer there is a deadlock in talks. Without a deal and without money, Greece will default on more of its debt repayments and will not be able to afford the day-to-day spending on salaries and pensions. The banks will run dry, even with the cash withdrawal limits. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall A commuter exits from a bus, as a banner with the word ”Yes” at a bus stop, sprayed over “No” by supporters of the No vote referring to the upcoming in Athens, Friday, July 3, 2015. The brief but intense campaign in Greece’s critical bailout referendum ends Friday, with simultaneous rallies in Athens supporting “yes” and “no” answers to a murky question in what an opinion poll suggests could be a very close vote. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis) Sponsored Stories Top Stories Here’s a look at the events that each vote might trigger.___IF THE PEOPLE SAY ‘NAI’A “yes” vote backing the reform proposals creditors had made would likely see Greece turn immediately to talks on a new rescue package. Whether that leads to a swift deal that might allow Greece to reopen its banks and restore a semblance of normality to the life of citizens and tourists is another question.Much would likely depend on what happens on the political front.The government has said it will respect the verdict.Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has said he’ll resign in the event of a “yes” vote and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has hinted as much. If the government does not collapse, it could try to build a new coalition with other parties, Varoufakis hinted.It’s not clear, however, if that would involve new elections. That would take time and without financial assistance, Greece would surely go bankrupt.Greece is no longer in a bailout program since its previous package expired Tuesday. So it would have to negotiate a new one with its creditors that involves more money for the government and the banks and new economic measures. 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breacheslast_img read more

Three Officers Join MBA Leadership

first_img Share Three Officers Join MBA Leadership Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Bankers Association Movers & Shakers Processing Service Providers 2012-10-23 Esther Cho The “”Mortgage Bankers Association””: (MBA) swore in three officers at the association’s 99th Annual Convention & Expo in Chicago, MBA announced Monday. [IMAGE] Debra W. Still, CMB (Certified Mortgage Banker), is now MBA’s 2013 chairman. E. J. Burke became the chairman-elect, and Bill Cosgrove, CMB, was elected as vice chairman. All three officers are slated for a 2012-2013 membership year.[COLUMN_BREAK]Still will lead the association’s efforts by collaborating within the industry and with policymakers to restore the real estate market. Still, who is the president and CEO of Pulte Mortgage LLC, has been an active member of MBA for more than 10 years and has served as chairman-elect of the MBA since October 2012.Burke served as MBA’s vice chair since October 2011 and was the chair of MBA’s Commercial Real Estate/Multifamily Finance Board of Governors (COMBOG). Burke is currently the executive VP and group head of KeyBank Real Estate Capital and Corporate Banking Services and has been in the mortgage industry for more than three decadesCosgrove, CMB, is a longtime member of MBA’s board. He is the president and CEO of Union National Mortgage Company. During the 2009-2010 election cycle, Cosgrove served as chairman of MORPAC, the industry’s political action committee, and raised more than $1 million to bolster MBA’s advocacy efforts.center_img in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing October 23, 2012 374 Views last_img read more

Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires

first_img Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The game is well in the past, but people can’t stop talking about Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer.Dogged by the “he can’t win the big game” label for most of his pro career, Palmer did nothing to kill that narrative in the Cardinals’ NFC Championship Game loss to the Carolina Panthers.Palmer committed six turnovers, including four interceptions, in a 49-15 loss last Sunday in Charlotte. Nobody seems to know the reason for the shoddy performance, so it’s easy to go back to that whole “playoff choking” thing. And like most, Clayton realizes Palmer’s play wasn’t the only reason for the Cardinals’ 34-point beatdown at the hands of the Panthers.“I was stunned,” Clayton said. “I never expected that. I really didn’t. I thought that Arizona would go in there and win. I thought that they were the most complete team that Carolina would face and they would take advantage of that.“Unfortunately, that did not happen.” – / 69 LISTEN: John Clayton, ESPN NFL insider Arizona Cardinals’ Carson Palmer throws during the first half the NFL football NFC Championship game against the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone) ESPN’s John Clayton is among those that doesn’t necessarily understand it, noting that Palmer just looked different than he did in the past two regular seasons.“Maybe it’s the finger,” Clayton told Doug and Wolf Friday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “I know there was a nasty bounce-back from (head coach) Bruce Arians when you mentioned the finger, but whatever it is, Carson did not look like Carson.“Those two games — he didn’t do great in the Green Bay game, but he won and he had a horrible game in the championship game. What you kind of wonder is how much the pressure of the playoffs or whatever that affects him. But that’s the thing, you don’t see the same Carson in the playoffs.”It’s still a small sample size.In his first playoff game in 2006, Palmer, then a member of the Cincinnati Bengals, suffered a devastating knee injury on the second snap of a 31-17 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Four years later, he completed only 50 percent of his passes with a touchdown and an interception in a 24-14 loss to the New York Jets.That game and two snaps represented all of his postseason experience before this season. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and sellingcenter_img 0 Comments   Share   The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories Your browser does not support the audio element. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

White Sulphur Springs West Virginia – Reported by

first_imgWhite Sulphur Springs, West Virginia – Reported by Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazineThe Greenbrier, a classic American resort in the foothills of West Virginia’s Allegheny Mountains, will be host this fall to The Greenbrier Champions Tennis Classic, featuring a historic match between tennis legends Pete Sampras and John McEnroe.“Building on the success of the star-studded The Greenbrier Classic, an official PGA TOUR FedEx Cup event, we are thrilled to be able to bring the biggest names in tennis to our extraordinary facilities at The Greenbrier this fall,” said Jim Justice, chairman and owner of The Greenbrier.“I am really looking forward to my first visit to The Greenbrier. I’ve heard such great things about the resort, the history of the place and the Old White Golf Course,” said Pete Sampras. “And it’s always a pleasure to get on the court with John. It’s sure to be an entertaining match in a beautiful setting.”The Greenbrier has been welcoming guests since 1778. Known as America’s resort, it encompasses 6,750 acres of undulating landscape that includes four golf courses and championship indoor and outdoor tennis facilities, including five outdoor clay courts and five indoor courts.“I am looking forward to experiencing The Greenbrier for the first time and the challenge of playing against one of the greatest tennis champions of all time, Pete Sampras,” said John McEnroe. “I know Pete will be ready for me, so I will be working very hard to be able to bring my best tennis. Hopefully the people of West Virginia and the entire Greenbrier area will come out, support the event and have a great experience.”On September 22, 2012, The Greenbrier will host this new tennis classic featuring two of the greatest living American tennis stars that together hold 21 career Grand Slam men’s singles titles. The one-day event will include a Pro-Am and a marquee match-up between McEnroe and Sampras.www.greenbrier.comlast_img read more

Once a fixture of Cyprus life

first_imgBy Annette ChrysostomouFrom the peddlars who sold the tickets to the glamorous Irene Charalambidou who announced the winning numbers every Saturday night on TV, the state lottery was once a fixture of Cyprus life.For decades it was one of the few highly regulated forms of gambling allowed and was therefore immensely popular.In recent years, sales have plummeted due to competition from Greek gambling giant, Opap, and online gambling companies, while the soon-to-be-established casino will seize even more players.Government’s plans to privatise the lottery will pose yet another challenge if they are ever carried out.The Cyprus state lottery was initially introduced by the British in 1958 but just three draws took place before it was suspended. The first draw was on February 15 and the second in April. However, Eoka, fighting for the end of British rule, was quick to call on the Cypriot public to sabotage the lottery because all proceeds were going to the British government at the time. People stopped buying tickets and after the third draw, the operation ceased.A British woman from Akrotiri collecting the top prize, 5,000 pounds in 1966Soon after the independence in 1960, the new government revived the lottery based on legislation drawn up by the British. From August 1961 a draw took place once a month consisting of 80,000 tickets at 250 mills (1/4 of a Cyprus pound) each.“The winning ticket was CYP 5,000, a huge amount in the 1960s,” head of the state lottery Marios Constantinou told the Sunday Mail.At the time there were only street vendors, whereas now many tickets are sold in kiosks.“The main purpose at the time the lottery was introduced was to help beggars and disabled people who couldn’t do any other jobs,” Constantinou explained. “In those days, there were no social benefits and it was a way for the government to support them.”This is still the case, up to a point. While pensions, a minimum wage and other state benefits are mandatory, according to the lottery director there are still needy people who need the cash from selling tickets. Most, however, are now sold in kiosks.The law stipulates that the government is not allowed to sell tickets, thus they are sold via 20 agents such as the disabled association after deducting a 10 per cent commission. The agents pay for the tickets up front and sell them to the public through the approximately 500 sub-agents such as street vendors and kiosks, retaining about 2 to 3 per cent of the commission for their expenses and profit, while the other 7 or 8 per cent go to the vendors who have to do the work.For the traditional draw numbers lottery, 50,000 tickets are issued at €2 each, with a top prize of €50,000. As people tend to buy more tickets at Easter and Christmas, when they are in holiday mode and have more money, two extraordinary draws are held each year with 100,000 tickets each.The lottery machines at the state lottery offices. The public can go and watch the drawScratch cards were introduced in 1979 and there are now six types of instant lottery tickets, standard, mini, super mega, bingo and gold with top prizes ranging from €5,000 to €400,000.Competition from Opap and other international companies is fierce and while the chances of winning are lower, the advertising suggests differently.“If you listen carefully, they are often talking about winners in Greece or even Spain,” one lottery player said. “There are so many people playing, so how can you win?”But some Cypriots February this year a Cypriot from Limassol did win over €16m on the Opap lottery, Joker, the highest amount ever collected by a single winner. Following 16 consecutive jackpots on Joker, the Limassol resident guessed the 5+1 numbers correctly, winning some €16.4m by paying just €3.The previous record was €19.2m shared by two lucky winners. In November 2014, Joker again paid €18.4m to two winners.The changes over the years are not all about monetary benefits but are also of a social nature.“There are definitely fewer sales than years ago. Now anybody goes on the internet and only he knows how often he plays, how much he wins or loses,” kiosk owner Michalis Yiangou, 50, said.“When I was in the army we used to buy tickets and compare the numbers and have a laugh,” Christos Christou, 45, said. “It is different when you go into a betting shop. There you stay longer and you are likely to pay back what you have won.”“Years ago every Saturday night everybody would sit and watch the popular show Efharisto Savvadovrado (Pleasant Saturday evening) with Irene Charalambidou. The big moment was the moment of the lottery,” Yianna Christodoulou remembers.“Back then you got tickets for 50 cents. Now the money is bigger as we have Opap and Joker and others but it is still not any easier to win.”Irene Charalambidou announcing the winning numbers on Pleasant Staruday Evening in the late 1980s“I only played because there was this handicapped man selling tickets whom I wanted to support. When he retired I lost interest,” Nicos Ioannou, 63, commented.It was a personal matter for the sellers, too.“My grandfather was a ticket seller and used to spread out the tickets on the bed in the evening. He knew exactly which of his clients wanted how many and what numbers. In the morning he used to go around and give them personally to each client,” George Psyllides recalls. “My uncles were trying to convince him to buy a kiosk and work from there. But he wanted to walk.”While the private companies are big payers, they provide few benefits for society. The state lottery is different.“The net profit from the lottery operations, 37 per cent of the ticket money is transferred to the consolidated fund and used for development projects by the government,” Constantinou said.Yet, the government wants to privatise the state lottery, hoping to make more profit.It is unlikely that they will, as the net profits from Opap, which is a huge organisation, are not more than those of the state organisation, which, due to the government’s plans to sell has been unable to expand or advertise for the past four years.Potential buyers will also have in mind that there will soon be a huge casino in Cyprus, which means more will have to share the pie of Cypriot players.The finance ministry on August sent to parliament the bill on the privatisation of the state lottery, aiming at transferring operations to a private investor for 15 years under the supervision of the National Betting Authority.The bill, which was approved by the cabinet, provides for the granting of exclusive rights to a private investor. It also regulates the organisation, operation, and supervision of national lottery games forbids unauthorised lotteries and imposes restrictions on prize competitions.However, this is just a first step. In order to make changes, parliament still has to approve and the European Commission must consent to any changes.The history of lotteryPlaying lotto probably originated in China. The first recorded signs of a lottery are keno slips from the Chinese Han Dynasty between 205 and 187 BC. These lotteries are believed to have helped to finance major government projects like the Great Wall of China.Just like in Cyprus, one purpose of lotteries involving money was to help the poor in Europe in the past. When they started in medieval times money was also raised for public works such as town fortifications. They were a popular form of taxation in countries like the Netherlands, where lotteries caught on early.In France the first lottery draw was in 1539 and in England in 1569. Though the idea was quickly abandoned in France, it remained popular in England and later in America where they were introduced at the time when the country was an English colony.Recently, on January 13, 2016, three winners from the USA won the world’s largest jackpot, $1,586 billion pretax. Europe’s largest jackpot was won by a ticker holder from Scotland who won €185 million on July 12, 2011.You May LikeLuxury Crossover SUV I Search AdsThese SUVs Are The Cream Of The Crop. Search For 2019 Luxury Crossover SUV DealsLuxury Crossover SUV I Search AdsUndoGundry MD ProPlant Complete Shake SupplementCalling All Carnivores! There Is One Protein That Can Restart Your Body’s Fat Burner, And No, It’s Not FishGundry MD ProPlant Complete Shake SupplementUndoYahoo SearchThese SUVs Are The Cream Of The Crop. 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