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first_img Sponsor Advertisement Freegold Ventures Limited is a North American gold exploration company with three gold projects in Alaska. Current projects include Golden Summit, Vinasale and Rob. Both Vinasale and Golden Summit host NI 43-101 Compliant Resource Calculations. An updated NI 43-101 resource was calculated on Golden Summit in October 2012 and using 0.3 g/t cutoff  the current resource is 73,580,000 tonnes grading 0.67 g/t Au for total of 1,576,000 contained ounces in the indicated category, and 223,300,000 tonnes grading 0.62 g/t Au for a total of 4,437,000 contained ounces in the inferred category. In addition to the Golden Summit Project the Vinasale also hosts a NI 43-101 resource calculation which was updated in March 2013. Indicated resources are 3.41 million tonnes averaging 1.48 g/t Au for 162,000 ounces, and Inferred resources are 53.25 million tonnes averaging 1.05 g/t Au for 1,799,000 ounces of gold utilizing a cutoff value of 0.5 grams/tonne (g/t) as a possible open pit cutoff. Please send us an email for more information, ir@freegoldventures.com It’s a certainty that the miners won’t say a word in protest. As I mentioned in The Wrap in Friday’s column, the price action and volume in Far East trading on their Friday was dead right up until the London open.  That’s when things changed and, in hindsight, for the worst. The high-frequency traders spun prices lower on several occasions during the Europe and U.S. trading day, and bought up all the longs that the tech funds and small traders were prepared to puke up as sell stops were hit.  It was the same old, same old, and I’ll have more on this later. Anyway, by the time gold was done for the day, it closed at $1,325.60 spot, down $39.50 from Thursday’s close.  Not surprisingly, net volume was immense at around 196,000 contracts. The CME’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 1 gold and ten silver contracts were posted for delivery on Tuesday within the Comex-approved depositories.  The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here. Hard on the heels of the Thursday deposit into GLD, was an even larger withdrawal by an authorized participant on Friday, as 57,932 troy ounces were removed.  And as of 10:32 p.m. EDT yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV. For the third day in a row, there was no sales report from the U.S. Mint.  Month-to-date the mint has sold 9,000 ounces of gold eagles; 5,500 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes and 1,850,000 silver eagles.  Based on these figures, the silver/gold sales ratio works out to 127 to 1. Once again there was almost no activity at the Comex-approved depositories in either gold or silver on Thursday.  In gold, they reported receiving 6,799 troy ounces, and didn’t ship any out.  In silver, they didn’t report receiving any either, but they did ship 41,506 troy ounces of the stuff out the door to parts unknown. As expected, the Commitment of Traders Report showed improvements in the Commercial net short positions of both silver and gold, although I must admit that I was expecting a bigger improvement in silver than what was shown.  However, it is what it is. In silver, the Commercial net short position declined by only 6.2 million ounces, and is now down to 111.3 million ounces. Ted Butler says that JPMorgan’s short-side corner is a hair under 15% of the entire Comex futures market in silver on a net basis; which means that all the market-neutral spread trades have been subtracted from the total open interest; and in troy ounces, JPMorgan is short about 105 million ounces of the stuff.  On its own, this amount represents almost 100% of the entire Commercial net short position in that metal.  That’s outrageous! In gold, the improvement in the Commercial net short position, was 1.49 million ounces, which is a pretty big number, and substantially larger than the improvement we saw the week prior.  The Commercial net short position in gold is now down to 6.53 million ounces. Ted says that JPMorgan Chase only added about 2,000 contracts to their long position, and their long-side corner in the gold market is a bit under 19% of the entire Comex futures market on a net basis.  In troy ounces, JPMorgan’s long-side corner in gold works out to around 6 million troy ounces. The other stand-out feature of this COT Report in gold was the fact that the lion’s share of the improvement in the Commercial net short position were Ted Butler’s raptors [some of the 53 small traders in the Commercial category other than the Big 8] buying every long contract that the traders in the Non-Commercial and Nonreportable category were dumping, or buying the long side of every contract that these same traders were going short. And while on the subject of going short, the raptors tricked the Non-Commercial and Nonreportable [small] traders into piling in on the short side during the reporting week, and according to yesterday’s COT Report, they added 12,400 contracts to their short positions, or 1.24 million ounces.  [Then they all got blown out of these same short positions during Wednesday’s big rally, as the raptors rang the cash register again.] I know that Ted will have much more about this in his weekly report to his paying subscribers later today, andand I’m looking forward to his comments. Needless to say, the dramatic price action over the last three trading days has changed things a lot, andand we won’t know by how much, or in which direction, until next Friday’s COT Report.  All should be know to us by then, unless we have a big rally on either Monday or Tuesday that will mask whatever changes there were. As I said in this space last week, it seems like I/we are always waiting for next week’s report. Since yesterday was the 20th of the month, and it fell on a weekday, The Central Bank of the Russian Federation updated its website with its August data.  It showed that they purchased 400,000 troy ounces of gold last month, and their total [official] holdings are now 32.6 million ounces, which is a hair over 1,000 tonnes.  Below is Nick Laird’s most excellent chart that has been updated to show the change. It was more or less the same story in platinum and palladium as well, as their respective charts are almost identical to gold’s. But silver really got smashed, as the price got hammered for about 3% by the HFT boys in the space of about 30 minutes during mid-morning trading in New York.  The smallish rally from there ran into more high-frequency traders shortly after, and they kept up the price pressure until well after the 1:30 p.m. EDT Comex close. Silver finished the Friday session at $21.80 spot, which was down $1.285 on the day.  Although silver didn’t close precisely on its low tick, it came close.  Net volume was a monstrous 62,500 contracts.center_img I took an axe to the list of stories I had for today’s column, and I believe that I have them down to a manageable number. Invariably, JPMorgan has bombed the gold and silver market sure enough, but not by selling many thousands of contracts; but by first selling relatively few or pretending to sell many (spoofing) contracts in order to scare and induce others into selling many contracts so that the crooks at JPM can buy. Always, always, always, is it true that JPM and the commercials are net buyers on the big down days; and always is it true that the only reason for the big down days is to allow JPMorgan to buy at distressed prices. JPMorgan is perhaps the most crooked financial institution ever, but you must acknowledge that they are sophisticated crooks. They don’t stick up 7-Elevens; they conduct sophisticated financial fraud against other supposedly sophisticated market participants. – Silver analyst Ted Butler — 14 September 2013 Today’s “blast from the past” is by an American music icon, and it won a Grammy Award for Record of the Year when it was released in 1976.  I never get tired of listening to it, and  I hope you enjoy it.  The link is here. Today’s classical “blast from the past” is a Chopin waltz in the hands of the gifted Chinese virtuoso pianist Lang Lang.  People either love him or hate him.  I’m ambivalent, but I wouldn’t pay to see him.  However, his mastery of the keyboard is undeniable.  The link is here. To sum up yesterday’s price action, I only need quote the last paragraph of The Wrap from yesterday: “With today being Friday, I have no idea what price activity lies in store for us in New York this morning, but using the price “action” of the last two days as a guide, it will be far removed from what a free market would dictate, so be ready for anything.“ And that’s pretty much how it turned out. The Ted Butler quote above is one that I posted in my Tuesday column, but I thought it worth resurrecting for today’s missive, as it speaks to yesterday’s price action perfectly as well.  The raptors [which now includes JPMorgan] set prices lower through high-frequency trading algorithms and force long holders puke up their long positions as sell stops are hit, or go short; and the Commercials wait with open arms to buy every long that shows up, and ringing the cash register each time they do it. They don’t even try to hide anymore, as there is no adult supervision in sight, either from within the CFTC or the CME Group.  And it’s a certainty that the miners won’t say a word in protest as their industry, their companies and their shareholders get raped once again.  There are no men of principle running any of them. How did it come to this? I’m done for the day, and the week. See you on Tuesday. For the day, the high-frequency traders closed gold down 2.89%, silver down 5.57%, platinum down 2.06%, and palladium 1.91%.  Not even rhodium was spared, as it was bid down 2.50%. Of course the dollar index did zip.  It closed late Thursday afternoon in New York at 80.34, and then traded almost ruler flat until half-past lunchtime in London.  At that point it chopped a few basis points higher and closed on Friday afternoon at 80.44, up a whole ten basis points on the day. The gold stocks got crushed, and barely finished off their lows.  The HUI closed down 6.28%, andand has now given back all of its gains from Wednesday. The silver equities only did marginally better, as Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed down 5.04%.  The ISSI has given back a large chunk of its Wednesday gains as well.last_img read more

In February scientists started releasing genetica

first_imgIn February, scientists started releasing genetically engineered mosquitoes in a high-security laboratory in Terni, Italy.NPR was the only news organization allowed into the lab to witness the first releases. Correspondent Rob Stein reported on the start of the experiment: “Scientists Release Controversial Genetically Modified Mosquitoes In High-Security Lab.”The engineered insects carry a genetic mutation that is lethal to its species. And that could turn out to be a potent weapon in the war against malaria. But as with all genetic modifications, there’s a deep concern about unintended consequences.We asked readers to share their questions about this GMO mosquito experiment. Nearly 300 questions were submitted, on topics ranging from its potential impact on the food chain to alternative solutions like developing a malaria vaccine.Here are some of the most frequently asked questions, answered by Rob Stein.What happens to all the other species in the food chain, like bats and birds, that depend on mosquitoes as a food source? And what about their role as pollinators? – Deborah KrollMosquitoes do play an important role in the food chain. Bats eat them. So do birds, as well as fish, frogs and other animals.But there are hundreds of mosquito species. So many that scientists think dramatically suppressing, or even completely removing, just one would not significantly impact the food chain. Many other mosquito species would still available for these animals to eat.Mosquitoes are also pollinators. But, again, the idea is that other mosquito species and other insects would be unaffected — and so would remain in the environment to fill that role in the ecosystem.Scientists say research conducted so far indicates that the targeted mosquito, Anopheles gambiae, is not a “keystone” species – meaning its disappearance would not have a significant negative ecological effect. But these are all important questions that scientists involved in the Target Malaria project, which is developing the new kind of modified mosquitoes, say they are studying intensively and still need to understand better before any release is considered. Critics say ecosystems are too complicated to ever know for sure.If the altered females can’t lay eggs, how does the mutation spread? – Doug WheelerThe female mosquitoes only become infertile when they inherit two copies of the mutation that has been introduced into the mosquitoes using the gene-editing technique CRISPR and a sequence of DNA known as the “gene drive.” That enables the females to spread a mutation in the gene to future generations of offspring and mate with unmodified counterparts. The thinking is that local populations of this species of mosquito would eventually crash, or drastically reduce, once enough of the females have inherited two copies of the mutation, rendering the populations unable to sustain themselves. In tests in small cages in London, unmodified mosquito populations crashed within seven to 11 generations, which took about six months.Wouldn’t it be better to spend all this time and money developing a vaccine against malaria? – AnonymousScientists have spent decades trying to develop an effective vaccine against malaria. But the life cycle of the malaria parasite has made success elusive. The one vaccine that has been developed is only partially effective. So while work continues to develop better vaccines, many scientists think that other approaches are urgently needed, especially since malaria still takes a major toll every year — an estimated 212 million cases and 429,000 deaths. And efforts to reduce malaria using other approaches, such as treated bed nets, appear to have plateaued in some places.What are some of the leading arguments opposing this approach? – Manuel (no last name given)There are two. The first is that “gene drives” are too dangerous because ecosystems are so complicated that it’s impossible to predict what would happen if an organism engineered with a gene drive was ever let loose in the wild. The concern is that these genetically modified organisms could have myriad unintended and unpredictable consequences.One fear, for example, is that dramatically suppressing or even eradicating one mosquito species could create a niche in the ecosystem that would allow another species to move in carrying other, possibly even more dangerous health problems, such as other insect-borne diseases.The other argument critics make is that there are other, less worrisome alternatives that could be used to fight malaria, such as improving water systems and sewage systems so that they don’t serve as breeding grounds for mosquitoes. The scientists argue that the gene-drive modified mosquitoes approach is actually much more targeted than the approach that has been traditionally used – large-scale use of pesticides, which does much more extensive ecological damage than removing a single species of mosquito.Who is facilitating public discussions in African villages? Is it a neutral third party? – AnonymousTarget Malaria says it has an extensive outreach program that has been underway for some time to develop this program in close consultation with the national governments and local community leaders in places where any future releases may occur. This includes Burkina Faso, Uganda and Mali.Project organizers say they are working intensively to educate people in those places about this technology, and that releases would only occur if it’s clear that the local populace has been truly informed about the benefits and risks, and there is a broad consensus that this would be acceptable.Critics, however, question whether the program is really getting true informed consent, saying local residents appear not to have been well informed and have deep reservations about the project.Can the mutation spread to more than one species of mosquito? – Stephen FriesThe scientists involved in the Target Malaria project say there generally is no “gene flow” between the different species that spread malaria in Africa and other species of mosquitoes that are not transmitting malaria. In Africa, malaria is transmitted by three main species that all belong to the Anopheles family.Within this family, there can be “very occasional matings” and therefore the passing of genes between Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles coluzzii when they are in the same location, says Ruth Mueller, an entomologist who runs the lab testing the mosquitoes. But since both species transmit malaria, this gene flow could be “considered a benefit” because it could suppress those mosquitoes as well. Most of the other Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes rarely mate with other species, and some species never meet, so gene flow is generally “very low or zero in the wild,” Mueller adds. But the plan is to study this question further.Do you suppose this GMO experiment could be replicated with other natural pests like ticks, fleas and some invasive species? – Noelle MarasheskiScientists are very interested in using this approach to fight other problems caused by insects and other creatures. Scientists at the University of California, Davis, for example, are working to use CRISPR and gene drives to fight a species of fruit flies that is a major problem for the farmers growing crops like berries, as well as other species of mosquitoes that spread other diseases, such as Zika.Other scientists are working on developing a related approach to fight Lyme disease, carried by ticks and possibly to fight invasive rodents that are damaging fragile island ecosystems in New Zealand, Hawaii and elsewhere.Thank you to everyone who participated in our callout. Follow Rob Stein on Twitter at @robsteinnews to keep up with his coverage of this topic and more. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

A local authority has employed the outsourcing gia

first_imgA local authority has employed the outsourcing giant Capita to clear a backlog of annual reviews of its service-users’ care packages, in an apparent attempt to cut costs and help fill a hole in its budget.The “pilot project” has so far resulted in an average cut of seven per cent in disabled people’s support packages.One service-user who contacted Disability News Service said that Capita was “blitzing” all of the disabled people receiving support through direct payments, on behalf of Southampton City Council (SCC).The Capita employee who carried out the assessment admitted cutting the direct payments packages of more than half of the disabled people they had assessed so far and said that the aim of the exercise was to cut costs.The service-user* said they were particularly concerned that the review was being carried out by a company with an appalling record of assessing disabled people for their eligibility for the disability benefit personal independence payment, on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions.The service-user said: “I was understandably nervous about my assessment, given the reason it was being done and by whom.“At least there is an appeals process for benefits. I’m not sure what you can do if care hours are cut on the say-so of a Capita assessor.”Earlier this year, the Labour-run council was forced to backtrack on controversial plans to force disabled people with high-cost support packages out of their own homes and into residential and nursing institutions.It had announced plans to review the personal budgets of every disabled person with a package of more than £500 a week, and consider if it would be cheaper to fund them for extra care housing, or nursing or residential care.But it was forced to scrap the plans after opposition from disabled people, including Spectrum Centre for Independent Living, a user-led organisation which campaigns and provides services in Southampton, and Disabled People Against Cuts.Ian Loynes (pictured), chief executive of Spectrum, said that service-users in Southampton, like those in many other authorities, had “not been receiving annual reviews regularly for a long time”, although some reviews had been taking place before the latest Capita programme began.He said he believed that “virtually all” local authorities were now carrying out similar cost-cutting programmes, because of reduced funding from central government.He said: “We do have intermittent reports both in Hampshire and Southampton that [council] care managers are starting a review meeting with the user with a ‘we have to save money’ message, which is completely unacceptable, and when we have challenged this with direct evidence, the senior managers claim it was just an isolated incident and should not be happening.“Whether it is isolated bad practice or likely to be routine depends on my changing levels of cynicism.”But he said Spectrum probably only heard of a minority of such cases.Sue Bott, deputy chief executive of Disability Rights UK, said: “It seems extraordinary that Southampton council, who understandably are facing difficulties in balancing their social care budgets, would further compound the problem by spending money on outsourcing the backlog of annual care package reviews. “If their sole intention is to cut the cost of care packages then, once again, they are skating on thin legal ice. “Starting a review with the words ‘we have to save money’ is unhelpful and contrary to statutory guidance. “Rather there should be a genuine conversation about what is needed to live a good life and whether the current package achieves that.”A council spokesman said that SCC had a “long-term strategic partnership with Capita”, which included “working together on projects to improve and transform services as part of our drive to deliver a modern, sustainable council”. He said: “Through this partnership, the council has contracted Capita to deliver a pilot project to address an existing backlog of reviews in adult social care.  “We are committed to carrying out timely and thorough adult social care reviews, to make sure that people have the support they need to live safe, healthy and independent lives, as far as possible, and to comply with the Care Act 2014.“As part of the pilot, social workers are visiting people who have not had their support plans reviewed during the last year.“Some of these people receive direct payments, some receive services commissioned by the council and some are living in residential and nursing placements.“Learning from the pilot will help us decide whether this is the best way of making sure that we keep on top of reviews and people have the support that they need.“Some of the care and support packages have increased, while some have reduced following a review, as people’s needs have changed or they are now able to maintain their independence in alternative ways, such as through care technology. “The overall reduction in care and support payments so far following these reviews has been less than 10 per cent.”The council spokesman later confirmed that the average reduction so far was about seven per cent.*The service-user has asked not to be namedlast_img read more

Many march for love in New Zealand as mosques reopen

first_img Reuters Reuters Reuters Reuters Reuters Reuters Reuters Reuters SharePrint 1 of 9 <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> Reuters About 3,000 people walked through Christchurch in a ‘march for love’ early on Saturday, honouring the 50 worshippers massacred in the New Zealand city a week ago, as the mosques where the shooting took place reopened for prayers.Carrying placards with signs such as, “He wanted to divide us, he only made us stronger”, “Muslims welcome, racists not”, and “Kia Kaha” – Maori for ‘stay strong’, people walked mostly in silence or softly sang a Maori hymn of peace.“We feel like hate has brought a lot of darkness at times like this and love is the strongest cure to light the city out of that darkness,” said Manaia Butler, 16, one of the student organisers of the march.With armed police on site, the Al Noor mosque, where more than 40 of the victims were killed by a suspected white supremacist, reopened on Saturday. Police said they were reopening the nearby Linwood mosque as well.“It is the place where we pray, where we meet, we’ll be back, yeah,” Ashif Shaikh told reporters outside the Al Noor mosque. He said he was there on the day of the shooting in which two of his housemates were killed.Most victims of the country’s worst mass shooting were migrants or refugees from countries such as Pakistan, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, Somalia, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.At Saturday’s march security was heavy, with dozens of armed police officers and buses parked sideways across city streets to close them off for the march.Shila Nair, a migrant from India who works for a migrant advocacy group called Shakti, travelled from Auckland to take part in the march.“The support gives us hope and optimism that migrant and refugee communities in this country can have a level playing field,” she said.“We appreciate the solidarity, but it must be carried on. It cannot be allowed to fizzle out. This is how social change happens.”Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who swiftly denounced the shooting as terrorism and has participated in many of the tributes and funerals for the victims, has announced a ban on military-style semi-automatic and assault rifles, some of the guns used by the shooter.Ardern and New Zealand have been widely praised for the outpouring of empathy and unity and the response to the attacks. Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum thanked her on Twitter late on Friday.“Thank you @jacindaardern and New Zealand for your sincere empathy and support that has won the respect of 1.5 billion Muslims after the terrorist attack that shook the Muslim community around the world,” he said on Twitter.Muslims account for just over 1 percent of New Zealand’s 4.8-million population, a 2013 census showed, most of whom were born overseas.On Friday the Muslim call to prayer was broadcast nationwide on television and radio and about 20,000 people attended a prayer service in the park opposite Al Noor mosque in a show of solidarity.Many women have also donned headscarves to show their support.In Mecca, Islam’s holiest site, a special prayer was held after the Friday sermon for the victims of the attack, according to the Saudi news website Sabq.Most of the dead were laid to rest at a mass burial in Christchurch on Friday, when 26 victims were interred. Others have been buried at private ceremonies, or repatriated to their home countries for funerals.Shahadat Hossain, whose brother Mojammel Haque was killed in the attack, told Reuters that she would bring his body back to Bangladesh.“I don’t know when our family will be able to come out of this grief,” she said.WhatsApplast_img read more

Court Strikes Down FAAs Drone Registration Rule

first_imgDrones 2 min read Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand May 22, 2017 Ostensibly enacted to improve safety, the requirement that recreational drone pilots register their craft with the FAA is nevertheless unlawful, a court ruled. Court Strikes Down FAA’s Drone Registration Rule Your new drone has one fewer hoop to jump through on its way from its box to its first flight, thanks to a court decision on Friday that invalidates the requirement for non-commercial drone pilots to register their craft with the Federal Aviation Administration.A district court in Washington, D.C., found that the FAA’s registry is unlawful, citing a federal statute that prohibits the agency from making any rules or regulations that apply to model aircraft. That statute, the FAA Modernization and Reform Act, was enacted in 2012, three years before the FAA implemented its mandatory drone registration program. Under the program, drone owners must pay a $5 fee and affix a unique FAA identification code to their craft. Friday’s court decision vacates that rule, but only to the extent that it regulates recreational drones. The decision does not apply to commercial craft, which must meet a more stringent set of registration rules. Nor does it apply to the FAA’s other drone rules, including both temporary and permanent flight restrictions around military bases and other sensitive areas.Despite its Big Brother-ish nature, the rule was ostensibly enacted to improve safety as more and more drones take to the air. In his decision, Judge Brett Kavanaugh noted that although the rule is unlawful, “aviation safety is obviously an important goal, and the Registration Rule may well help further that goal to some degree.”The FAA said on Friday that it is reviewing the court decision, but did not immediately announce whether it would appeal.”The FAA put registration and operational regulations in place to ensure that drones are operated in a way that is safe and does not pose security and privacy threats,” the agency said in a statement. “We are in the process of considering our options and response to the decision.” Add to Queuecenter_img Tom Brant Image credit: via PC Mag This story originally appeared on PCMag Enroll Now for $5 Next Article News reporter –shareslast_img read more

Google Forms an External Council to Foster Responsible AI

first_img Google Forms an External Council to Foster ‘Responsible’ AI 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Artificial Intelligence Next Article Add to Queue This story originally appeared on Engadget It’ll help govern facial recognition, machine learning and beyond. –shares March 27, 2019 2 min read Image credit: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg | Getty Images via engadget Google is joining Facebook, Stanford and other outfits setting up institutions to support ethical AI. The company has created an Advanced Technology External Advisory Council that will shape the “responsible development and use” of AI in its products. The organization will ponder facial recognition, fair machine learning algorithms and other ethical issues. The initial council is a diverse group that tackles a range of disciplines and experiences.The current advisors include academics focused both on technical aspects of AI (such as computational mathematics and drones) as well as experts in ethics, privacy and political policy. There’s also an international focus, with people ranging from as far afield as Hong Kong and South Africa.ATEAC will hold its first meeting in April, and plans three more over the course of 2019. And while they’ll clearly play into Google’s development process, the company will publish summaries of its talks and spur members to share “generalizable” info with their existing organizations. The aim is to improve the tech industry as a whole, not just Google’s work.The council’s creation follows Google’s promise to embrace ethical AI following the controversy over its involvement in the U.S. military’s Project Maven drone initiative. Effectively, Google is trying to avoid repeating history by asking the council to question its decisions. The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Jon Fingas Apply Now »last_img read more

Baltimore Unrest Affects Businesses MLB and NFL Teams

first_img Baltimore officials looked to restore calm in the city Tuesday, hours after violence and looting erupted following several days of mostly peaceful protests over the death of a man in police custody.Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency in Baltimore Monday evening while also activating the National Guard after roughly 20 police officers were injured and 235 people were arrested amid widespread rioting and arson in parts of the city. The city’s unrest has dominated national television news and social media.Carmelo Anthony and Ray Lewis, two famous athletes with strong Baltimore ties, both took to social media to call for an end to violence while The Apprentice host Donald Trump grabbed an opportunity to, at least partly, blame the riots on President Barack Obama. In a speech on Tuesday, Obama said there was “no excuse” for Monday’s violence and looting in Baltimore, calling the actions of rioters “counterproductive.”A number of small businesses were vandalized and looted in Baltimore during the Monday riots, with the destruction of a local CVS drugstore getting a fair amount of media coverage. In a series of tweets on Tuesday, CVS noted that some of the company’s store in the city had been closed “due to nearby protest activity” while the company added that its “priority is to maintain a safe environment for employees and serve our customers with medical needs in Baltimore.”We’re cooperating w/ police & monitoring other stores to ensure the safety of employees & customers. Thoughts are w/ the people of Baltimore— CVS/pharmacy (@CVS_Extra) April 27, 2015The CVS Twitter scroll also included a phone number for Baltimore residents looking for prescription information.As Fortune noted earlier, Baltimore is the largest American city without the headquarters of any company on the most recent Fortune 500 list. The lack of a major headquarters underscores the complaints about economic imbalance in Baltimore and its role in the unrest. But still, many Fortune 500 companies have satellite offices in the city. And Baltimore is the home to a number of large companies, some of which were impacted by the violence.Legg Mason and T. Rowe Price, two investment firms with headquarters in the city, both kept their downtown offices open on Tuesday, though employees of both firms were encouraged to work from home. Sports apparel company Under Armour also has its headquarters in Baltimore, but the company did not immediately respond to Fortune‘s request for comment.(Another local company McCormick & Sons — which makes the iconic Old Bay seasoning — chose Tuesday to announce the site of its new headquarters in nearby Hunt Valley, Md. after the spice and seasonings company previously threatened to move its operations, and its 2,100 employees, out of state.)Baltimore’s professional sports teams were also affected by the city’s recent strife. The Baltimore Orioles opted to postpone home games on Monday and Tuesday. The team still plans to play ball on Wednesday, but that game against the Chicago White Sox will be played in front of an empty stadium as Orioles Park at Camden Yards will not be open to the public, the team said in a press release.Orioles announcement regarding schedule changes pic.twitter.com/nwCDyqjzWs— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) April 28, 2015Meanwhile, the Baltimore Ravens cancelled an NFL Draft event the team planned to host Thursday evening in order to respect the 10 p.m. curfew city officials will be enforcing through the end of the week.Out of respect to the curfew in Baltimore, the Ravens have cancelled their Draft Party, scheduled for Thu. night: http://t.co/XSx27eEfuF— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) April 28, 2015While Gov. Hogan promised on Tuesday that there would not be a repeat of Monday’s violence, many Baltimore residents joined forces in a volunteer effort during the day to begin the massive undertaking of cleaning up damage from the previous night, when the city reported nearly 20 separate structural fires and more than 140 vehicular fires.Volunteers can call 311 to help with clean-up efforts http://t.co/IBTGPdur5M— Sun Breaking News (@BaltSunBrk) April 28, 2015 Baltimore Unrest Affects Businesses, MLB and NFL Teams Baltimore Image credit: Veggies | Wikimedia Tom Huddleston, Jr. –shares 4 min read Register Now »center_img Add to Queue Brought to you by Fortune Magazine April 29, 2015 Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Next Article last_img read more

Report Half of parents say young children are afraid of doctors visits

first_img Source:http://www.med.umich.edu/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 15 2018A trip to the pediatrician’s office can be a nerve-wracking experience for both children and their parents, especially when efforts to calm young patients down dominate the visit.And half of parents of toddler and preschool-aged children can relate, saying their child is afraid of going to the doctor, according to a new report from C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health at the University of Michigan.One in 25 parents had postponed a vaccine due to their child’s fear of doctor visits and one in five parents said it was hard to concentrate on what the doctor or nurse was saying because their young child was so upset.The nationally representative report is based on responses from 726 parents who had at least one child aged 2-5.”Regular check-ups are vital during early childhood, not only because of important preventive services like vaccinations, but because they provide parents an opportunity to discuss health concerns with their pediatrician,” says Mott Poll co-director Sarah Clark.”If a child fears the doctor’s office, health visits can be a challenging experience for the whole family. We found that children’s anxiety can negatively impact parents’ interactions with providers during visits and even causes a small proportion of families to postpone or cancel appointments.”Levels of fearfulness did not differ based on whether the child saw the same doctor every visit or saw multiple providers, or whether it was the oldest child versus a younger sibling.Among parents with a child afraid of doctor’s visits, fear of getting a shot (66 percent) and stranger anxiety (43 percent) were main reasons children age 2-3 years were afraid. Being scared of a shot was also the most common reason children ages 4-5 feared doctor visits (89 percent), followed by stranger anxiety (14 percent) and bad memories of being sick (13 percent).Children’s distress also interfered with parents’ ability to ask questions and share information with their provider. Twenty-two percent of parents say that it was hard to concentrate on what the doctor or nurse was saying, and 9 percent said they would sometimes not ask questions or bring up concerns, because their child was scared or upset during the visit. Four percent of parents reported delaying their child’s vaccination, and 3 percent cancelled a visit all together because of a child’s fear.Related StoriesNew app created to help people reduce exposure to anticholinergic medicationsAre physical examinations by family doctors still needed?More than 936 million people have sleep apnea, ResMed-led analysis revealsParents used different strategies to help their children prepare for a doctor’s visit. Some parents tried to placate their young child by promising to get a treat after the visit (31 percent) or telling the child there wouldn’t be any shots (21 percent). About 1 in 5 parents (22 percent) said they didn’t do anything special to prepare their child for health care visits.”Parents say the biggest source of fear is ‘needle phobia,’ which can be especially tricky for younger children who require vaccinations more frequently,” Clark says. “Children’s fear of shots can be exacerbated when they pick up on their parents’ anxiety and it can often be difficult to calm children down during these services.”Clark recommends parents ask child health providers for tips on how to decrease children’s fear of shots. Having the child be held or hugged by the parent, for example, may be calming for many children. Distracting the child with songs, a video, or even coughing briefly before the shot, has also been shown to decrease anxiety.”Telling the child there will no shots at the visit when the child is due for a vaccination or saying ‘it won’t hurt’ may backfire and only increase anxiety ahead of future visits,” Clark says.Other parents tried educating their child about what would happen at the visit by talking about it (61 percent), playing with a toy medical kit (26 percent), or reading a book or watching a show about going to the doctor (23 percent).”Steps to educate children ahead of a visit can help them develop expectations about what will happen so the interactions will feel familiar and alleviate fears,” Clark says.last_img read more

Neuroscientists identify brain region that appears to be related to food preference

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Oct 20 2018At holiday buffets and potlucks, people make quick calculations about which dishes to try and how much to take of each. Johns Hopkins University neuroscientists have found a brain region that appears to be strongly connected to such food preference decisions.Researchers, working with rats, found robust neural activity related to food choice in a previously overlooked part of the brain. The finding suggests this brain area could be key to developing therapies and treatments to encourage healthy eating. The findings are set for publication in the journal Nature Communications.”We found a region in the brain that reflects our perception of food in a strikingly dominant way,” said lead author David Ottenheimer, a Johns Hopkins University graduate student studying neuroscience. “The level of brain activity we saw exceeded our expectations by far.”The research team wanted to know how the brain determines what and how much to eat when someone has several good food options. It’s a situation people face daily, if not at buffets or potlucks, then when looking over restaurant menus or at what’s in the refrigerator.This might seem automatic as you move down a buffet line, but when someone is considering either mac and cheese or mashed potatoes, the brain must quickly determine which of those quite similar choices — both tasty, both treats, both carbs — would be most rewarding. Even if we can have both, Ottenheimer says, the dish that’s the favorite will likely be eaten faster and with bigger bites.To study this question, researchers gave rats two similar sugary drinks. The rats preferred the one made with sucrose over the one with maltodextrin, and when they received sucrose, they’d lick it faster.Related StoriesNew therapy shows promise in preventing brain damage after traumatic brain injuryResearch team to create new technology for tackling concussionStudy provides new insight into longitudinal decline in brain network integrity associated with agingOver several days, the rats were given either one drink or the other. Meanwhile, the team mapped the rats’ brain activity precisely at the moment the animals realized which drink they’d gotten, pinpointing the neurons that registered the excitement for sucrose, and the disappointment for maltodextrin.The activated neurons were in an area called the ventral pallidum, a spot long associated with reward and pleasure perception, but thought to be in more of a secondary role.Next, the team presented rats with a different set of options–either the maltodextrin drink or plain water. In this scenario, when rats got maltodextrin, ventral pallidum neurons fired liked they had for sucrose. This suggests the brain area is making context-dependent decisions, zeroing in on the best food option at any given time.”Because the signaling by ventral pallidum neurons changes immediately when the rat changes his ranking of which flavor is his favorite, we see this response as providing a real-time readout of what you like best from currently available options,” said senior authorThe next step is to figure what the signaling in this part of the brain means. Is it used to reinforce prior food-seeking actions and make them more likely to occur again? Or is it used to inform future decisions and bias them towards one food reward over the other next time someone is presented with a food choice?”Our data suggest that further investigation of ventral pallidum will be critical for understanding how we make decisions about eating,” Ottenheimer said. “If we want to figure out why a food can be exciting in one scenario and disappointing in another, ventral pallidum could be the key.” Source:https://hub.jhu.edu/2018/10/19/food-preferences-brain-activity-ventral-pallidum/last_img read more

New robotic system could lend a hand with warehouse sorting and other

Provided by Massachusetts Institute of Technology Unpacking groceries is a straightforward albeit tedious task: You reach into a bag, feel around for an item, and pull it out. A quick glance will tell you what the item is and where it should be stored. Robots learn to pick up oddly shaped objects Elliott Donlon (left) and Francois Hogan (right) work with the robotic system that may one day lend a hand with this household chore, as well as assist in other picking and sorting tasks, from organizing products in a warehouse to clearing debris from a disaster zone. Credit: Melanie Gonick/MIT Building a library of successes and failuresWhile pick-and-place technologies may have many uses, existing systems are typically designed to function only in tightly controlled environments. Explore further From pixels to labelsThe researchers developed a perception system in a similar manner, enabling the robot to recognize and classify an object once it’s been successfully grasped.To do so, they first assembled a library of product images taken from online sources such as retailer websites. They labeled each image with the correct identification—for instance, duct tape versus masking tape—and then developed another learning algorithm to relate the pixels in a given image to the correct label for a given object.”We’re comparing things that, for humans, may be very easy to identify as the same, but in reality, as pixels, they could look significantly different,” Rodriguez says. “We make sure that this algorithm gets it right for these training examples. Then the hope is that we’ve given it enough training examples that, when we give it a new object, it will also predict the correct label.”Last July, the team packed up the 2-ton robot and shipped it to Japan, where, a month later, they reassembled it to participate in the Amazon Robotics Challenge, a yearly competition sponsored by the online megaretailer to encourage innovations in warehouse technology. Rodriguez’s team was one of 16 taking part in a competition to pick and stow objects from a cluttered bin.In the end, the team’s robot had a 54 percent success rate in picking objects up using suction and a 75 percent success rate using grasping, and was able to recognize novel objects with 100 percent accuracy. The robot also stowed all 20 objects within the allotted time.For his work, Rodriguez was recently granted an Amazon Research Award and will be working with the company to further improve pick-and-place technology—foremost, its speed and reactivity.”Picking in unstructured environments is not reliable unless you add some level of reactiveness,” Rodriguez says. “When humans pick, we sort of do small adjustments as we are picking. Figuring out how to do this more responsive picking, I think, is one of the key technologies we’re interested in.”The team has already taken some steps toward this goal by adding tactile sensors to the robot’s gripper and running the system through a new training regime.”The gripper now has tactile sensors, and we’ve enabled a system where the robot spends all day continuously picking things from one place to another. It’s capturing information about when it succeeds and fails, and how it feels to pick up, or fails to pick up objects,” Rodriguez says. “Hopefully it will use that information to start bringing that reactiveness to grasping.” The “pick-and-place” system consists of a standard industrial robotic arm that the researchers outfitted with a custom gripper and suction cup. They developed an “object-agnostic” grasping algorithm that enables the robot to assess a bin of random objects and determine the best way to grip or suction onto an item amid the clutter, without having to know anything about the object before picking it up. Credit: Melanie Gonick/MIT Today, most industrial picking robots are designed for one specific, repetitive task, such as gripping a car part off an assembly line, always in the same, carefully calibrated orientation. However, Rodriguez is working to design robots as more flexible, adaptable, and intelligent pickers, for unstructured settings such as retail warehouses, where a picker may consistently encounter and have to sort hundreds, if not thousands of novel objects each day, often amid dense clutter.The team’s design is based on two general operations: picking—the act of successfully grasping an object, and perceiving—the ability to recognize and classify an object, once grasped. The researchers trained the robotic arm to pick novel objects out from a cluttered bin, using any one of four main grasping behaviors: suctioning onto an object, either vertically, or from the side; gripping the object vertically like the claw in an arcade game; or, for objects that lie flush against a wall, gripping vertically, then using a flexible spatula to slide between the object and the wall.Rodriguez and his team showed the robot images of bins cluttered with objects, captured from the robot’s vantage point. They then showed the robot which objects were graspable, with which of the four main grasping behaviors, and which were not, marking each example as a success or failure. They did this for hundreds of examples, and over time, the researchers built up a library of picking successes and failures. They then incorporated this library into a “deep neural network”—a class of learning algorithms that enables the robot to match the current problem it faces with a successful outcome from the past, based on its library of successes and failures.”We developed a system where, just by looking at a tote filled with objects, the robot knew how to predict which ones were graspable or suctionable, and which configuration of these picking behaviors was likely to be successful,” Rodriguez says. “Once it was in the gripper, the object was much easier to recognize, without all the clutter.” Citation: New robotic system could lend a hand with warehouse sorting and other picking or clearing tasks (2018, February 20) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-02-robotic-warehouse-tasks.html More information: Robotic Pick-and-Place of Novel Objects in Clutter with Multi-Affordance Grasping and Cross-Domain Image Matching. arXiv:1710.01330 [cs.RO] arxiv.org/abs/1710.01330 Now engineers from MIT and Princeton University have developed a robotic system that may one day lend a hand with this household chore, as well as assist in other picking and sorting tasks, from organizing products in a warehouse to clearing debris from a disaster zone.The team’s “pick-and-place” system consists of a standard industrial robotic arm that the researchers outfitted with a custom gripper and suction cup. They developed an “object-agnostic” grasping algorithm that enables the robot to assess a bin of random objects and determine the best way to grip or suction onto an item amid the clutter, without having to know anything about the object before picking it up.Once it has successfully grasped an item, the robot lifts it out from the bin. A set of cameras then takes images of the object from various angles, and with the help of a new image-matching algorithm the robot can compare the images of the picked object with a library of other images to find the closest match. In this way, the robot identifies the object, then stows it away in a separate bin.In general, the robot follows a “grasp-first-then-recognize” workflow, which turns out to be an effective sequence compared to other pick-and-place technologies.”This can be applied to warehouse sorting, but also may be used to pick things from your kitchen cabinet or clear debris after an accident. There are many situations where picking technologies could have an impact,” says Alberto Rodriguez, the Walter Henry Gale Career Development Professor in Mechanical Engineering at MIT.Rodriguez and his colleagues at MIT and Princeton will present a paper detailing their system at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, in May. 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. read more

Good news for immersive journalism Look at your audience

first_img Citation: Good news for immersive journalism: Look at your audience (2018, October 25) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-10-good-news-immersive-journalism-audience.html A new study provides an elegant solution: researchers found that small changes suggestive of a possibility for interaction—in this case, having a virtual character acknowledge your presence when you look towards them—can have a significant positive impact on peoples’ sense of presence in a VR news scenario.”We Wait”Published in Frontiers in Robotics and AI, the study used a VR experience based on BBC News reports of refugees migrating to the EU. The animated scenario, called “We Wait”, gives viewers an immersive experience via VR goggles of the plight of refugees waiting to be taken illegally by boat to Europe, across a dangerous stretch of sea.”We were interested in the level of presence people felt watching the scenario, and the extent to which this might prompt them to seek further information about the refugee crisis,” says study co-author Professor Mel Slater of the University of Barcelona.”By presence we refer to the illusions of place—the feeling of being in the virtual space—and plausibility, that the unfolding events were really happening.”I was there, it was realSlater and colleagues assessed the illusions of place and plausibility experienced by participants shown one of four different versions of the “We Wait” scenario. In one version, the participant is given a virtual body which they can see when they look down, and when they look at virtual characters these occasionally look back at them. The other three versions lack one or both of these features, i.e. the participant receives no body and/or no acknowledgement.The most striking result was the effect of acknowledgement by the virtual characters.”The simple exchange of glances with the characters greatly enhanced participants’ sense of presence in the scenario, by making it more plausibly real” says Slater.Embodiment in a virtual avatar also increased presence somewhat, by enhancing the illusion of place as well as plausibility. Most promising of all, the virtual body also led participants to seek further information about the refugee crisis—by visiting a website provided during the study—for longer after the VR experience. Immersive journalism uses virtual reality (VR) to put the viewer directly into a news event. But how can you help someone to personally engage and interact with a story, when they cannot alter the narrative? 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. Provided by Frontiers “It is as if there was the implicit inference by participants: These were real people, I was amongst them—so I had better ?nd out more about what is going on,” posits Slater.Director of Audiences for the BBC, Nick North, said: “We know how difficult it can be to drive audiences to online content; from all the BBC’s research to date we might expect a small proportion of the audience to go online to a related website after watching a TV programme, for example. So, whilst this was a small study, a 25% conversion rate from the We Wait VR experience is very impressive, and potentially indicative of the significant impact VR could have at scale.”The body of evidenceThese results demonstrate that minimal changes can be helpful in engendering follow-up and further interest in an immersive news story, without compromising faithful reporting.”Have characters respond to actions of the participants, in a way that does not change the narrative,” recommends study co-author Professor Anthony Steed of UCL, UK.”Also, give the participant a body. Previous findings show that the illusion of embodiment is made much stronger by multisensory stimulation—where a person observes their virtual body moving and being touched in synchrony with their own movements and sensations—and it is likely that had we included this, the gain in presence and tendency to follow-up would have been greater,” adds Steed.Zillah Watson, co-author from the BBC says: “Research collaborations between BBC Research & Development and internationally renowned experts in VR at the University of Barcelona and UCL to understand the impact of VR content are enabling us to advance knowledge that will benefit the entire VR industry. We are learning the techniques that creators can use to create more impactful VR.”An outline of the scenario is available on the BBC Taster and readers can experience the version with embodiment and character responsiveness by downloading “We Wait” from the Oculus Store. More information: Anthony Steed et al, “We Wait”—The Impact of Character Responsiveness and Self Embodiment on Presence and Interest in an Immersive News Experience, Frontiers in Robotics and AI (2018). DOI: 10.3389/frobt.2018.00112 Seeing yourself as Einstein may change the way you think Explore furtherlast_img read more

Tesla posts higher earnings but still falls short

first_imgElectric carmaker Tesla posted another quarter of higher earnings on Wednesday but fell short of expectations after announcing another round of job cuts earlier in the month. After ‘historic’ quarter, Tesla looks to Europe, China 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. But the company’s irascible founder Elon Musk remained upbeat, telling investors that 2018 was its “most successful” year as well as its most challenging.He also predicted sales would climb 50 percent this year, even if there were a global recession.”Even in a recession, worldwide demand is over 500,000,” Musk said on a conference call. In a strong economy, that demand would be 700,000 to 800,000 units of the Model 3 and as production increases, it will bring down the price.”We’re optimistic about being profitable in the first quarter, not by a lot,” he said, “and for all quarters going forward.”While the trendsetting auto company said it expected production of its less expensive Model 3 to “grow substantially” this year, it was under pressure from growing competition and hiccups at its factory.Musk said the plan for this year was to improve customer service, to allow quick repairs for minor issues, and to finish the “lightning” fast construction of the Shanghai factory to start production by the end of the year.Once that is up and running, “it should allow us to get to a 10,000 units a week rate or close to it.”Musk also said the company could unveil an electric pickup later this year.”We might be ready to unveil that this summer,” he said. Branching out from its current stable of sedans, he said the company planned to add an SUV, the Model Y, in 2020, the same year it also expects to begin sales of an electric semi-tractor-trailer.A tough yearIn addition, Musk said the company was fine-tuning logistics as it boost sales in China and Europe.But the US-China trade talks currently underway in Washington mean the situation is in flux, so the carmaker is trying to ship as fast as possible to avoid potential tariff increases.”We don’t know what’s going to happen with the trade negotiations so we have to get those cars to China as fast as possible,” Musk said.Rival automakers such as General Motors and Volkswagen are introducing more electric models that are priced competitively, a dynamic made possible by their fleets of conventional autos, including sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks, which have high profit margins.The tough year has forced Tesla to have more financial discipline, Musk said, and it ended the year with $3.7 billion in cash on hand.And the company continues to dominate the electric vehicle market, he said.Total revenues rose to $7.23 billion in the fourth quarter, beating expectations, but earnings per share fell short at $1.93.Profit jumped to $139.58 million after a loss of $675.35 million in the same period of 2017, which helped to lower the total loss for last year to $976 million, financial results showed.The company announced this month it would cut seven percent of its workforce in a push to lower the price of its Model 3 to keep it affordable, especially as US subsidies for electric cars are phased out.However, the company was upbeat about its output of the more affordable model.”Model 3 production volumes in Fremont should gradually continue to grow throughout 2019 and reach a sustained rate of 7,000 units per week by the end of the year,” the company said. “We are planning to continue to produce Model 3 vehicles at maximum production rates throughout 2019.”The carmaker’s share price jumped 3.8 percent prior to the release of the earnings report but fell nearly two percent in after-hours trading. © 2019 AFP Citation: Tesla posts higher earnings but still falls short (2019, January 31) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-01-tesla-higher-falls-short.html Explore furtherlast_img read more

Gas vs electric Fuel choice affects efforts to achieve lowenergy and lowimpact

first_imgThe researchers compared the two simulated homes as if they were built to current Maryland codes and standards for low energy use, incorporated existing technology and equipment, and were in the same climate zone as the actual NZERTF. Running the models, the software considered 960,000 building design combinations and eight different economic scenarios to estimate performance over a period of up to 30 years.Under those criteria, the study results suggest that a natural gas HVAC system is currently more economical overall than an electric one for a code-compliant Maryland home. Although net-zero energy performance was achieved at the lowest cost using electric heating, it came with higher environmental impacts due to the emissions generated during its production.”The overall economic benefit of natural gas was expected because, at this time, it is the cheaper fuel source in Maryland, costs less in dollars and energy expended to produce and transport, and carries a lower construction price for installation of an HVAC system which uses it,” Webb explained.However, Kneifel said that electric may yet become the better bargain and more eco-friendly option.”For example, as more power companies move to cleaner forms of electric generation, such as natural gas instead of coal, the environmental impact will lessen,” he explained. “Also, technology changes, such as cheaper and more efficient solar energy and HVAC systems, should help make the use of electricity more cost-effective.”The NIST team members acknowledge that their sustainability study was limited in terms of the equipment type, occupant energy demand and location. They urge other organizations to continue and expand their research to consider several key variables. These include the use of alternative equipment such as ground-source heat exchangers and high-velocity HVAC systems, cost and performance in a variety of climates, and differences in building operation that can affect energy consumption rates. Most importantly, they said that future studies must account for improvements in technology, construction materials and methods, and energy production and transmission. Citation: Gas vs. electric? Fuel choice affects efforts to achieve low-energy and low-impact homes (2019, May 23) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-gas-electric-fuel-choice-affects.html Provided by National Institute of Standards and Technology “Fuel type is an important factor because heating and cooling accounts for a significant amount of home energy consumption,” said NIST civil engineer David Webb, one of the authors of the new study, published in the Journal of Building Engineering. “However, little research has been conducted looking at the impact of which fuel source is used, gas or electric, on achieving low-energy and low-impact goals. We used a unique NIST tool set of databases and software known as BIRDS [Building Industry Reporting and Design for Sustainability] to assess and measure that impact scientifically, and then provide a research method for others to do the same for any climate region in the United States.”Since its debut in 2014, building professionals have used BIRDS to evaluate and measure the sustainability of both the materials and energy used by a building throughout its lifetime. Using computer models derived from BIRDS data, architects, structural engineers, construction managers and other homebuilding stakeholders can make science-based, cost-effective decisions on how to create and maintain high-performance, green, and low- or net-zero energy residences.The new gas-versus-electric fuel source study uses data found in one of the three databases making up the latest version of BIRDS (v4.0), measurements that were obtained from ongoing research at NIST’s Net-Zero Energy Residential Test Facility (NZERTF).Built as a prototypical two-story, four-bedroom suburban home on NIST’s campus in Gaithersburg, Maryland, the NZERTF is actually a laboratory where NIST researchers and industry partners design, test and evaluate the materials, technologies and strategies that will yield a home that produces at least as much energy as it consumes over the course of a year.To conduct their study, Webb and his colleagues had to create, via computer modeling, a home based on the NIST net-zero concept with an electric HVAC system and a virtual twin that instead used natural-gas-fired space and water heating equipment. “This allowed us to make a true apples-to-apples comparison of gas versus electric for their respective energy, environmental and economic impacts,” said Joshua Kneifel, a NIST economist and coauthor of the study. NIST’s Net Zero Energy Residential Test Facility in Gaithersburg, Maryland, provided measurements for a NIST analysis of the environmental impacts of gas and electric HVAC systems in energy-efficient Maryland homes. Credit: Beamie Young/NIST If you want to make your home as energy-efficient and green as possible, should you use gas or electric for your heating and cooling needs? Gas is the more eco-friendly option—for now—for an energy-efficient home in Maryland. That’s the conclusion of a new economic study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which evaluated the power usage and environmental impact of gas versus electric heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in low-energy residential dwellings. The NIST work provides a research method that others can use to perform their own analysis on which technology is more favorable for their local areas.center_img 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. NIST test house exceeds goal; ends year with energy to spare Explore further More information: Eric O’Rear et al, Gas vs electric: Heating system fuel source implications on low-energy single-family dwelling sustainability performance, Journal of Building Engineering (2019). DOI: 10.1016/j.jobe.2019.100779last_img read more

Arms licences of Uttarakhand MLA Kunwar Pranav Singh Champion seen dancing with

first_imgArms licences of Uttarakhand MLA Kunwar Pranav Singh Champion seen dancing with guns suspendedUnder the notice, Uttarakhand MLA Kunwar Pranav Singh Champion has been asked to reply within 15 days as to why the licences of all the three weapons should not be cancelledadvertisement Indo-Asian News Service DehradunJuly 13, 2019UPDATED: July 13, 2019 18:26 IST Uttarakhand MLA Kunwar Pranav Singh Champion is seen holding a pistol in his mouth and a carbine in one hand while there is another pistol in the other hand.Three arms licenses of Uttarakhand MLA Kunwar Pranav Singh Champion, seen dancing with two pistols and a carbine in a viral video, have been suspended, officials said on Saturday.Suspended from the party for an indefinite period after the video came out, the BJP MLA has also got a notice from the party why he should not be expelled.”After getting reports from the Haridwar police, I have suspended three licences of (Kunwar Pranav Singh) Champion,” District Magistrate Dipendra Kumar Chaudhary said.Under the notice, Champion has been asked to reply within 15 days as to why the licences of all the three weapons should not be cancelled, he added.The action came following a report by Haridwar Senior Superintendent of Police Janmejay Khanduri that the licenses of the three weapons – a double barrel rifle, a revolver and a modified carbine, should be cancelled on security and safety reasons.”There are some cases against Champion. So we have decided to recommend the cancellation of the licences,” said Khanduri.Champion has criticized the move saying his son, who is a shooter, used to practice with these weapons. “With this decision, the sports future of my son looks bleak,” he told his supporters.State BJP President Ajay Bhatt on Wednesday had served notice seeking Champion explain why he should not be expelled as the opposition launched scathing attack on the ruling party on the issue. Led by state Congress Vice President Suryakant Dhasmana, a host of Congress leaders sought strict action against Champion – a former Congress MLA – on the basis of this video and called for filing an FIR against him.”In a section of media there are reports that Champion has been expelled from the party. But we want to clarify that a decision to expel Champion would be taken after the reply of Champion to the notice,” state BJP spokesman Devendra Bhasin said.He also said that senior party leaders have also asked the central leadership to decide on the expulsion of Champion.On the other hand, senior police officials clarified that no FIR has been filed against Champion so far in the incident. The application regarding the FIR has been forwarded to Haridwar for further action, said a police official.Dancing to the tune of “Gup Chup” song from Bollywood blockbuster “Karan Arjun”, Champion is seen holding a pistol in his mouth and a carbine in one hand while there is another pistol in the other hand. Holding a glass of whiskey, he is even seen allegedly abusing Uttarakhand.After remaining in controversies for a long time, Champion had been suspended for three months by the ruling BJP last month, after a preliminary report prepared by the state party unit’s disciplinary committee found him guilty of gross indiscipline and also took cognizance of his alleged threats to a journalist.A video had gone viral last month also in which Champion, the MLA from Khanpur, was seen threatening an electronic media journalist.He was also in the news for publicly making fun of fellow party MLA Deshraj Karnawal, and later challenging him to a wrestling match to settle their long-standing dispute. Karnwal however did not turn up for the match.Champion, who wanted a ticket for his wife for the Lok Sabha polls from Haridwar, had described the then sitting MP from the seat and now Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank as a “migratory bird”.Champion was among the nine Congress MLAs who had rebelled against then Chief Minister Harish Rawat and crossed over to the BJP in 2016. Later all the nine MLAs were disqualified by the Speaker under the anti-defection law.ALSO READ | Viral video edited, intrusion into my privacy: BJP MLA Kunwar Pranav Singh ChampionALSO WATCH | Drunk BJP MLA Pranav Singh Champion brandishes guns while dancingFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted bySnigdha Choudhury Nextlast_img read more

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