Symposium to Eliminate Racism

Posted On Oct 22 2019 by

first_imgPeople participating in a symposium in Halifax Oct. 17-19 will look at what causes racism and how to eliminate it so everyone is treated equally. Over the three days, people will share ideas and success stories on fighting racism to benefit people now and in the future. This will include panel discussions and workshops on celebrating differences, multiculturalism, education, employment, policing and treaty rights. It is the 7th Award of Excellence and Symposium and the theme this year is Race, Faith and Belonging: Strengthening Citizenship Engagement. The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission is partnering with the Canadian Race Relations Foundation to present it at the Nova Scotian Westin Hotel. “By meeting and discussing human rights issues we can generate ideas that provide us with better understanding of why racism exists and strengthen our efforts to eliminate it,” said Minister responsible for the Human Rights Commission Ross Landry. “Conferences like this educate all of us and provide wonderful opportunities to develop unique ways to address discrimination and improve the lives of people everywhere.” There will also be keynote addresses and presentations by Mr. Landry, Minister of Education Ramona Jennex, Minister of African Nova Scotian Affairs Percy Paris, director and CEO of the Human Rights Commission David Shannon, Jean Augustine, Ontario Fairness Commissioner, and Senator Don Meredith. “The relationship between race, faith and belonging is the issue of the hour. It will stay with us for years to come,” said Canadian Race Relations Foundation senior executive vice-president Ayman Al-Yassini. “Our challenge is how to shape a Canadian identity that includes everyone, while recognizing our diversity. We will address this from the human rights angle, and participation by everyone. We will also celebrate the accomplishment of Canadians to fight racism.” The Award of Excellence, presented by the foundation, recognizes public, private or voluntary organizations whose efforts represent excellence and innovation in anti-racism in Canada. The six award recipients have been selected from 32 entries in the following groups: Aboriginal, Education, Community, Corporate, Government and Youth. The winners will be announced Thursday, Oct. 18. Other partners include the Atlantic Metropolis Centre, James R. Johnston Chair in Black Canadian Studies, Multicultural Association of Nova Scotia and the Canadian Commission for UNESCO. For more details go to www.crrf-fcrr.ca.last_img read more


Reducing Risks of Wildlife Encounters

Posted On Oct 22 2019 by

first_imgNova Scotians can reduce the risks associated with nuisance wildlife encounters in their neighbourhoods by following advice from experts at the Department of Natural Resources. “In many communities it is common to have wildlife sightings, however, wild animals can become a nuisance and possibly pose a risk to humans and pets,” said Bob Petrie, director of Wildlife at the department. “If a food supply is made available, animals such as bears, foxes, deer and coyotes can easily adapt to living in residential areas.” Residents should block access points under doorsteps, sheds and attics to reduce access to areas that could be used as dens. Residents can also reduce food sources. Pet foods left outside are often eaten by wildlife without the residents ever knowing. Even bird feeders can support a population of mice which attract foxes and other predators to people’s yards. If wildlife is creating a concern for destruction of property, human safety or an injured or diseased animal is found, the local Department of Natural Resources office should be contacted. A map and contact information for offices can be found at http://www.novascotia.ca/natr/staffdir/offices.asp . To learn more about living with wildlife and other topics, visit http://novascotia.ca/natr/wildlife/living-with-wildlife/ .last_img read more


Dynamic Duo Mother and daughter get through nursing program in NWT together

Posted On Oct 14 2019 by

first_imgCharlotte Morritt-JacobsAPTN NewsTwo dozen nursing students, tired from late-night studying, shuffle into their morning class and begin thumbing through their notes on antibiotics.Their professor has prepared dozens of slides for the final review of a pharmacology class.She answers questions from students who are closing off four grueling years of post-secondary education with the hopes of becoming a nurse north of 60.Jordan Erickson and Jody Prince have both excelled in Aurora College’s Bachelor of Science – Nursing program in Yellowknife – but soon they will not have their instructor to rely on.Luckily for them they can and have always relied on each other.That’s because these two students are mother and daughter.Erickson laughs as she prepares an IV drip during the interview.“There were moments where I thought, ‘can I really do this? This is a lot,’” she said. “But you push through it and we don’t really get at each other’s throats too much.”“We actually ground each other.”The lightheartedness extends as Jody reflects on all of the unique experiences she has had while sharing a classroom with her daughter.“One of the first days we had to sign a photo consent and she wasn’t allowed to sign it because she wasn’t old enough to consent so I was in her class and she passed her form over,” Prince said.Prince, who was working in child education before going to nursing school explains that while Erickson did not mind having her mother hit the books with her, there were some who doubted the idea.“There was an instructor who said when she heard that there was a mother and daughter in the program ‘this is not going to turn out good,’” Prince said.”For Erickson, she said she found all of her classes to be very interesting, but adjusting to the demands of a new found career was a learning curve.“The only hard parts I can think of in terms of our practicum was just time management between going to clinical and everyday life,” she said.“You are just so tired to do the things you regularly want to do.”Prince who works at the laboratory on campus and proudly sports her Aurora College t-shirt, said she is grateful to be a mature student, but she can’t shake her number one job of being a mother.“I guess for me you know as a student you worry about your own marks. ‘Am I going to pass this?’ For me it is twofold. ‘Am I going to pass this test and is she going to pass this test? Is she going to do well?’”As their academic classes wind down for the fall semester, this mother and daughter duo is ready for what lies ahead – a final practicum and then graduation.“I will just be looking forward to our grad day. But walking across that stage especially walking across the stage with her [Prince] will be really, really good,” Erickson said.cmorrittjacobs@aptn.ca@aptncharlottelast_img read more


Moroccos Air Traffic Hit Record Increase in January

Posted On Oct 12 2019 by

Rabat – Moroccan airports received about 1.861.875 customers in January 2019, making this the highest recorded number of passengers.According to data from the Moroccan Airport Authority (ONDA), Mohammed V International Airport in Casablanca received the highest record of global traffic, approximately 40 percent that includes 783.098 passengers.Meanwhile,  other Moroccan airports registered equally positive results. Marrakech’s Menara Airport recorded over 20 percent of increase increase in traffic. , Fes’ Saiss Airport (17,57%), Tangier Ibn Battouta Airport (15,05%), and Rabat-Sale Airport (17,58%). ONDA announced that while European Airports, which represent 79 percent of international air traffic, have registered a 10 percent  increase South American Airports marked a growth of nearly 20 percent.Meanwhile, North America and the Maghreb countries experienced growth rates of 0.89 and 0.11, respectively. The Far East suffered a decline of 2.3 percent. Aircraft movements also experienced a booming period.In January 2019, there were 16,604 movements, an increase of 10.66 percent over the previous year. Mohammed V airport shares 43.97 percent of the global increase for Moroccan airports, while Marrakech-Menara shares 21.71 percent and Agadir Al Massira 8.55 percent.During the same period, the traffic of commercial aircraft flying over the Moroccan airspace experienced a strong growth of 10.8 percent. Meanwhile, freight traffic recorded during this period increased by 2.66 percent to reach a volume of 7181.60 tons against 6995.32 tons in January 2018. read more


Most actively traded companies on the TSX TSX Venture Exchange markets

Posted On Oct 6 2019 by

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by News Staff Posted Oct 2, 2012 6:44 pm MDT Most actively traded companies on the TSX, TSX Venture Exchange markets TORONTO – Some of the most active companies traded Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the TSX Venture Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (12,391.23 up 21.04 points):Lake Shore Gold Corp. (TSX:LSG). Miner. Down four cents, or 3.92 per cent, at 98 cents on 15,151,597 shares. The gold sector was one of the biggest decliners, sliding 0.59 per cent to 349.21 points as price of the bullion for December dropped US$7.70 to $1,775.60 per ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange.Torex Gold Resources Inc. (TSX:TXG). Miner. Down 18 cents, or 8.49 per cent, at $1.94 on 7,547,725 shares. Trading on the Toronto-based company’s stock was temporarily put on hold this morning, a day after announcing that it filed a technical report for its gold project in Mexico.Talisman Energy Inc. (TSX:TLM). Oil and gas. Down three cents, or 0.23 per cent, at $13.28 on 6,421,863 shares.Research In Motion Ltd. (TSX:RIM). Wireless technology. Up 46 cents, or 5.98 per cent, at $8.15 on 6,410, 670 shares. The BlackBerry and PlayBook maker’s stock is steadily rising after announcing last week better-than-expected second-quarter results and a two-million jump in subscribers.Eastern Platinum Ltd. (TSX:ELR). Miner. Unchanged at 18 cents on 4,902,136 shares. The metals and mining sector dipped 0.04 per cent to 893.51 points.Kinross Gold Corp. (TSX:K). Miner. Up 17 cents, or 1.67 per cent, at $10.36 on 4,564,415 shares.TSX Venture Exchange (1,331.78 down 6.92 points):Atacama Pacific Gold Corp. (TSXV:ATM). Mineral explorer. Down 33 cents, or 9.68 per cent, at $3.08 on 5,442,101 shares.Vantex Resources Ltd. (TSXV:VAX). Gold explorer. Up 5.5 cents, or 55 per cent, at 15.5 cents on 3,935,249 shares. Industry veteran Rob McEwen increased his stake in the Quebec-based company by 500,000 shares to 7.8 million shares which represents 12.38 per cent of Vantex’s issued and outstanding shares. Vantex’s primary asset is its Galloway gold project in Quebec.Companies reporting major news:Baytex Energy Corp. (TSX:BTE). Up 45 cents, or 0.96 per cent, at $47.25 on 505,829 shares. The Calgary-based company will spend $120 million to acquire about 46 sections of undeveloped oilsands leases near its core assets in the Cold Lake area of northeast Alberta. Baytex also announced Tuesday it received regulatory approval to build and operate a bitumen recovery scheme using steam-assisted gravity drainage.CML HealthCare Inc. (TSX:CLC). Up a penny, or 0.11 per cent, at $8.83 on 138,270 shares. The Toronto area company said it is selling its diagnostic imaging business in Alberta to Canada Diagnostic Centres for $17 million and announced its acquisition of Hemostasis Reference Laboratory Inc., a provider of specialized laboratory testing services, for an undisclosed sum.Erdene Resource Development Corp. (TSX:ERD). Mining exploration. Down a penny, or 3.13 per cent, at 31 cents on 132,725 shares. The Halifax-based mining exploration company is seeking shareholder approval to split into two companies: one would focus on Mongolian metals exploration projects while North American projects would be transferred to publicly traded Morien Resources Corp. read more


Gas spill at Suncor facility in eastern Quebec

Posted On Oct 4 2019 by

by The Canadian Press Posted Jan 2, 2015 9:35 am MDT RIMOUSKI, Que. – Cleanup crews continued their work Friday after a gasoline spill at a Suncor Energy Inc. facility in eastern Quebec.It was not immediately clear how much gas spilled from the reservoir, which has a capacity of two million litres.Suncor (TSX:SU) and environment officials transferred at least 1.4 million litres of gasoline to tanker-trucks.Authorities said they were advised of the leak in Rimouski at about 6 p.m. on Thursday.There were no injuries. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Gas spill at Suncor facility in eastern Quebec read more


Trump tax plan could be good news for many bad for deficit

Posted On Oct 3 2019 by

by Josh Boak And Stephen OhlemacHer, The Associated Press Posted Apr 26, 2017 1:49 am MDT Last Updated Apr 26, 2017 at 4:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, joined by National Economic Director Gary Cohn, speaks in the briefing room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, April 26, 2017. President Donald Trump is proposing dramatically reducing the taxes paid by corporations big and small in an overhaul his administration says will spur economic growth and bring jobs and prosperity to the middle class. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) Trump tax plan could be good news for many, bad for deficit WASHINGTON – Dismissing concerns about ballooning federal deficits, President Donald Trump on Wednesday proposed dramatic tax cuts for U.S. businesses and individuals — outlining an overhaul his administration promises will spur economic growth and simplify America’s tangle of tax code rules.His proposal, a one-page sketch short on detail, would reduce the top corporate tax rate by 20 percentage points and allow private business owners to claim the new lower rate for their take-home pay. It would whittle the number of tax brackets for individuals from seven to three, lower the top tax rate from 39.6 per cent to 35 per cent and double the standard amount taxpayers could deduct.It would eliminate the estate tax and reduce taxes on investments, typically paid by the rich. It would further reduce the tax burden for the wealthy by eliminating the catch-all alternative minimum tax, which takes an additional bite out of high-income Americans.More lower-income Americans would pay no tax at all, and there would be relief — still undefined — for families with child care expenses.The plan does not propose any budget cuts or tax increases that might offset the lost revenue, a choice that alarms some fiscal conservatives in Trump’s party who have spent years railing about the dangers of deficit spending.It also does not fully embrace tax proposals backed by Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, an essential ally if the president is to make good on his promise to deliver a tax overhaul that creates growth and brings jobs to struggling parts of the country.Still, “I would never, ever bet against this president. He will get this done for the American people,” said Gary Cohn, director of the White House National Economic Council. “He understands that there are a lot people who work hard and feel like they’re not getting ahead.”The president’s proposal marks a rehash of an economic theory popularized in the 1980s. Trump officials essentially argue that benefits from the tax cuts will trickle down from higher profits for companies into stronger pay raises for workers and greater consumer spending. This expected surge in growth, in theory, would be enough to keep the federal budget deficit from shooting upward.Some economists agree, but most budget experts say it’s unlikely.“Unfortunately, it seems the administration is using economic growth like magic beans — the cheap solution to all our problems,” said Maya MacGuineas, president of the non-partisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. “But there is no golden goose at the top of the tax cut beanstalk, just mountains of debt.”Trump’s plan resembles aspects of the tax ideas he campaigned on last year. The right-learning Tax Foundation estimated that, even after accounting for growth, the Trump campaign plan would put a $2.6 to $3.9 trillion hole in the budget over 10 years.“We know this is difficult,” Cohn said. “We know what we’re asking for is a big bite.”Despite the details provided Wednesday, the proposal leaves significant open questions that could affect its impact on taxpayers and the economy.The administration has yet to decide the incomes at which the new personal tax rates — 10 per cent, 25 per cent and 35 per cent —would apply, meaning that some Americans might see their taxes increase if they get bumped into a higher bracket. It also has yet to spell out how the plan would stop wealthier Americans from exploiting a lower corporate rate to reduce their own taxes.Administration officials intend to finalize details with members of the House and Senate in the coming weeks for what would be the first massive rewrite of the U.S. tax code since 1986.The possibility of a deficit increase, unacceptable to some Republicans, means that Trump would need to attract Democratic support to make the overhaul permanent.Senate Democrats say his plan tilts its benefits to the wealthy, including Trump himself. The real estate magnate might save millions of dollars in his personal taxes because of the changes.“This is an unprincipled tax plan that will result in cuts for the one per cent, conflicts for the president, crippling debt for America and crumbs for the working people,” said Sen. Ron Wyden, or Oregon, ranking Democrat on the Finance Committee.The Trump proposal would double the standard deduction for married couples to more than $24,000, while keeping deductions for charitable giving and mortgage interest payments.On the other hand, it would trim other deductions, including for state and local tax payments, a change that could alienate lawmakers in states such as California and New York with higher state taxes.“It’s not the federal government’s job to be subsidizing the states,” said Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.The administration has emphasized that the plan is focused on simplifying the tax code and helping middle class Americans. The median U.S. household income is slightly above $50,000 annually.In a boon for wealthier taxpayers, it would repeal the 3.8 per cent tax on investment income from President Barack Obama’s health care lawThe proposal has yet to be vetted for its precise impact on top earners, as several specifics are still being determined.On the corporate side, the top marginal tax rate would fall from 35 per cent to 15 per cent. Small businesses that account for their owners’ personal incomes would see their top tax rate go from 39.6 per cent to that corporate tax rate of 15 per cent. Mnuchin said the change for small business owners — a group that under the current definition could include doctors, lawyers and even major real estate companies — would be done in a way that would ensure wealthier Americans could not exploit the change to pay less than intentioned in taxes. read more


Why UABs Football Team Couldnt Even Last 20 Years

Posted On Sep 30 2019 by

The University of Alabama at Birmingham knew its football team was going to have to battle for survival from the start. In 1996, its first year of Division I-A ball, the team’s slogan was unusually defensive: “We’re here to stay,” the omnipresent banners and billboards around Birmingham read. Less than 20 years later, the team is gone.On Tuesday UAB President Ray Watts announced he was shuttering the football team, citing a study from an outside consulting group that determined the program would need to dramatically increase its operating budget in order to remain competitive. “We have considered many options to fill this financial gap, including through philanthropic support; but our informed analysis of current and past support and interest concluded that the gap is simply too wide,” Watts wrote.UAB faced two major problems, one of which was specific to its circumstances, and one of which is staring down all universities that have recently tried their hand at big-time football.The University of Alabama never wanted UAB to be a competitor, making life difficult for UAB even before a team arrived. Even though the two institutions share a board of trustees and a medical school, Alabama has been leery of UAB’s foray into major sports since Gene Bartow left his job as UCLA’s head coach to found UAB’s basketball team in 1978. Citing a range of grievances over recruiting and fan support, Alabama has refused to engage UAB on the court or on the gridiron. The Tide have faced the Blazers only once, in basketball, when they were pitted against each other in the National Invitation Tournament. UAB didn’t help matters by winning 58-56.In 1989, Bartow, UAB’s athletic director, started to put together a football team. Alabama’s athletic department was not happy. Its head coach, Bill Curry, was particularly adamant: “Not only would we not play them, we don’t understand why they are talking about bringing another football team into the University of Alabama system,” he said at the time. “I’m the only [football] coach in the University of Alabama system. We don’t need another football team at one of our other campuses.” In 1991, Bartow sent a letter to the NCAA accusing former and current Alabama coaches — including Bear Bryant — of recruiting violations.The system’s board of trustees has tended to represent Alabama’s interests over UAB’s, perhaps because the large majority of them are alumni of the Capstone. (Trustee Paul Bryant, Jr., for example, is the son of the legendary coach.) They’ve blocked UAB’s attempts to move out of the cavernous and decaying Legion Field and into a new stadium, and they nixed a deal for UAB to hire Jimbo Fisher, who would go on to win a national championship with Florida State.But even if the Blazers hadn’t been undercut by their own trustees, they still would have had a tremendous hill to climb, one that’s getting steeper every year as the gap between the haves and the have-nots of football continues to grow. UAB was in the vanguard of a recent trend of universities starting football programs from scratch with the plan to get to Division I as soon as possible, and reap the PR and financial benefits that come with a major football program. Nine other universities that are in or are about to join the Football Bowl Subdivision have started football programs since UAB did, and they share several commonalities.All of them are based in the South, and all of them felt they had a chance to succeed because of the prestige of the game and the fertile recruiting grounds in the region. But they’ve found it incredibly expensive to field a competitive FBS program. They all have losing records against fellow FBS schools, and they all receive substantial subsidies in order to keep their athletic departments afloat. They’ve had trouble attracting supporters, perhaps because most football fans in the region are already loyal to other teams. And as the Big 5 power conferences start to crank up the financial pressure — both with lavish spending on facilities and upcoming allowances for players — it’s possible that some of these programs could join UAB on the sidelines.Only one of the new teams looks like it’s making the leap to sustainability. South Florida not only has the highest attendance and lowest subsidy percentage of the bunch, it’s also the only school that’s made it out of the C-USA and Sun Belt Conference dregs and into the relative comfort of the American Athletic Conference. (That said, the team has regressed recently, winning only six games in the last two years.)The rest of the teams look a lot like UAB with slightly better attendance. They bring in far less than the average FBS athletic department, and all their athletic departments receive at least 60 percent of their revenues in subsidies — meaning that a combination of student fees, institutional support and state funding are used to cover the majority of their expenses.In his letter to UAB faculty about the shutdown, Watts specifically cited the huge subsidy as a reason the football team had to go, along with an unwillingness to shell out even more cash for upgraded facilities. If that’s actually the case, and cold numbers rather than system-wide infighting cost UAB its team, then there are plenty of other programs facing similar deficits.Watts claims the UAB athletic budget will stay the same even after the football program folds, meaning that more resources can be put toward other sports, including the basketball team, which has recently fallen on hard times after years of winning seasons. Perhaps UAB can look to the success of Virginia Commonwealth University, its former Sun Belt Conference foe, which eschewed the lure of football to focus on basketball. The Rams now play in the hoops-centered Atlantic-10 and regularly make deep runs in the NCAA tournament.Making the Blazers’ basketball team into a powerhouse won’t be a simple task. But it will certainly be easier than the existential struggle its football team just lost.CORRECTION (9:30 a.m., Dec. 8): An earlier version of this article misstated the year that Gene Barlow started UAB’s football program; it was 1989, not 1991. read more


Joanna Lumley to be awarded Bafta Fellowship the highest honour given by

Posted On Sep 25 2019 by

first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Joanna Lumley is due to be rewarded for her years of entertaining the world with her work in television.She is going to be given the prestigious Bafta Fellowship at an awards ceremony on the 14th May. Mrs Lumley will be honoured at the Virgin TV British Academy Television Awards at the Royal Festival Hall.The Fellowship is given once a year and is the highest accolade bestowed by Bafta upon an individual.The award recognises an outstanding and exceptional contribution to film, television or games across their career.  Joanna Lumley OBE said: “Nothing could make me prouder or happier than being awarded this phenomenal honour. To be counted amongst the greatest talents and stars of our industry is an awesome gift: the BAFTA Fellowship is the grandest and most unexpected prize I have ever had the joy of receiving.” The 71-year-old actress has a career spanning 40 years, and she is as lively and hard-working as ever.She has already been given six Bafta nominations and two awards for Comedy Performance (1995) and Light Entertainment Performance (1993).Jane Lush, Chair of BAFTA, said: “From high-kicking her way into our hearts as Purdey in The New Avengers to showcasing her enviable comedic credentials with her portrayal of Patsy Stone in Absolutely Fabulous, Joanna Lumley is a true icon of television, and so I am truly delighted that BAFTA will be honouring her with Fellowship this year, the highest honour that the Academy bestows.”Others who have been given the award for their work in television include Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders, along with Jon Snow, Bruce Forsyth, Melvyn Bragg, Michael Palin, Trevor MacDonald, David Attenborough and Julie Walters.last_img read more


Greece planning to sell diaspora bonds

Posted On Sep 21 2019 by

first_imgGreece plans to sell bonds to Greeks abroad as it eyes a return to international bond markets some time next year, the Greek finance minister George Papaconstantinou said on Wednesday. We are talking at the moment and designing what is called a ‘diaspora bond’ to tap Greek money that is abroad and we feel that we will be quite successful.Greece is keen to return to markets after plunging into a debt crisis last year, when its budget deficit hit 13.6 percent of GDP, driving borrowing costs to prohibitive levels and prompting a 110 billion euro bailout from the International Monetary Fund and European Union. “We are talking at the moment and designing what is called a ‘diaspora bond’ to tap Greek money that is abroad and we feel that we will be quite successful,” Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou told Reuters Insider TV. Analysts said details were needed to see what amount Greece could raise from a diaspora bond and what would make it more attractive than other Greek debt offerings. Government officials said the diaspora bond was still in the planning stage. “With Greek debt we are always talking of billions; it is more important to convince those who really have the money, European institutional investors, to purchase Greek debt instead of individuals.” Source: Reuters Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more


Utility equipment problem caused outage Wednesday

Posted On Sep 19 2019 by

first_imgA problem with some district equipment caused a Wednesday evening power outage in west Vancouver, according to Clark Public Utilities.Utility spokeswoman Erica Erland said the district’s original assessment, made earlier that evening, pointed to a problem on the Bonneville Power Administration’s end.Crews found there was indeed a problem with some BPA equipment, she said, but the outage actually stemmed from an issue with the utility’s equipment.The outage struck around 5 p.m., and lasted to around 6:15 p.m., initially knocking out power to 5,295 customers around the Lincoln and Northwest neighborhoods.Customers elsewhere in town might have experienced a brief outage during that time, as customers were switched to other substations while repairs were made.last_img read more


Woman struck by train in Aventura

Posted On Sep 15 2019 by

first_imgAVENTURA, FLA. (WSVN) – – A train struck a pedestrian, Tuesday morning, in Aventura.According to officials, the female victim, who has yet to be identified, was struck by a Florida East Coast train at 183rd Street and Biscayne Boulevard. Officials responded to the incident just after 9 a.m.Miami Gardens Drive was closed after the incident, but it has since reopened.The victim was transported to Aventura Hospital in critical condition.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more


People on the Move 122308

Posted On Sep 14 2019 by

first_imgRegional publisher Emmis Communications has given executive vice president and CFO Patrick Walsh the added responsibility of COO. Rick Cummings, president of Emmis’ radio division, will transition to president of programming for Emmis Radio.Time Inc.’s IPC Media has appointed Evelyn Webster CEO. Formerly, Webster served as managing director of IPC Connect, IPC’s weekly women’s magazine division.Dallas, Texas-based Envy magazine has been purchased by Shane Long who will now serve as CEO and publisher. Most recently, Long served as president and CEO of GSCS. As part of Quebecor World’s restructuring process, Pierre Karl Péladeau, Érik Péladeau (Vice-chairmen of its board of directors), Jean Neveu and Jean La Couture (chairmen of its audit committee) have resigned from their positions on the board. The printer filed for bankrupcty protection last January.last_img read more


Huawei CFOs attorneys ask for US extradition to be withdrawn

Posted On Sep 10 2019 by

first_img Tags Read Lenovo Smart Clock review Huawei CFO’s attorneys are pushing to have the extradition process stopped.  Stephen Shankland/CNET In late 2018, Canadian authorities arrested Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver, Canada, at the request of the US over alleged Iran sanctions violations. As the extradition process continues, her attorneys are pushing for the government to withdraw the proceedings. Meng’s lawyers sent David Lametti, the Canadian minister of Justice, a written submission to reconsider extradition proceedings, the law firm said Monday. They argue that Canada doesn’t have the jurisdiction to prosecute her for the alleged actions, which aren’t an offense in Canada since the US is the country with sanction laws prohibiting business dealings with Iran. “Canada does not act as an international police force,” Meng’s attorney said in a statement. “All of the allegations relevant to the extradition request occurred in a foreign state (Hong Kong), involving a foreign national (Ms. Meng) and a foreign bank. None of the conduct occurred in the United States or Canada. No alleged victim resided in Canada. No aspect of any fact violated any Canadian law.”Meng, daughter of Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei, is currently under house arrest in Canada as she awaits extradition. Prior to her arrest, she reportedly was looking to leave the company. Huawei’s troubles in the US ramped up in May when President Donald Trump banned the company with a national security order. Since then, other tech companies such as Facebook and Google have distanced themselves from the Chinese company resulting in a $30 billion loss in revenue.  The US Justice Department, which is pressing for Meng’s extradition, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Lenovo Smart Clock: $59.99 (save $20) Turo is kind of like Uber meets Airbnb: You borrow someone’s car, but you do all the driving. I’ve used it many times and found it a great alternative to traditional car-rental services — in part because you get to choose exactly the vehicle you want (not just, say, “midsize”) and in part because you can often do pickup and dropoff right outside baggage claim.Between now and Sept. 1, the first 300 people to check out can get $30 off any Turo rental with promo code LDW30. Rylo 5.8K 360 Video Camera: $250 (save $250) The problem with most entry-level laptops: They come with mechanical hard drives. That makes for a mighty slow Windows experience. This Lenovo model features a 128GB solid-state drive, so it should be pretty quick to boot and load software, even with its basic processor. Plus, it has a DVD-burner! That’s not something you see in many modern laptops, especially at this price. $155 at Google Express Use promo code 19LABOR10 to get an unusually good deal on JBL’s interesting hybrid product — not quite headphones, and not quite a traditional speaker, but something you wear like neckphones to listen to music on the go. Free Echo Dot with an Insignia or Toshiba TV (save $50) Tidal 3-month family subscription: $5.99 (save $54) An Echo Dot makes a fine match for any Fire edition TV, because you can use the latter to say things like, “Alexa, turn on the TV.” Right now, the 24-inch Insignia Fire TV Edition starts at just $100, while the 32-inch Toshiba Fire TV Editions is on sale for $130. Just add any Fire TV Edition to your cart, then add a third-gen Echo Dot, and presto: The latter is free. CNET may get a commission from retail offers. The Cheapskate 3 HP Laptop 15t Value: $520 (save $780) What’s cooler: A snapshot of a firework exploding in front of you, or full 360-degree video of all the fireworks and all the reactions to seeing them? Oooh, ahhh, indeed. At $250, the compact Rylo dual-lens camera is selling for its lowest price yet. And for an extra $50, you can get the bundle that includes the waterproof housing.This deal runs through Sept. 3; it usually costs $500. See it Share your voice See at Amazon $210 at Best Buy Read DJI Osmo Action preview JBL Soundgear wearable speaker: $90 (save $160) Turo: Save $30 on any car rental Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. Sarah Tew/CNET Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case: $155 (save $45) Mobile Politics Sarah Tew/CNET DJI’s answer to GoPro’s action cameras is rugged little model that’s shockproof, dustproof and waterproof down to 11 meters. It normally runs $350, but this deal drops it to $261 when you apply promo code 19LABOR10 at checkout. Recently updated to include digital-photo-frame capabilities, the Lenovo Smart Clock brings Google Assistant goodness to your nightstand. It’s a little smaller than the Amazon Echo Show 5, but also a full $30 less (and tied with Prime Day pricing) during this Best Buy Labor Day sale. Turo Lenovo 130-15AST 15.6-inch laptop: $210 (save $90) $6 at Tidal Comments $999 Sarah Tew/CNET Though not technically a Labor Day sale, it’s happening during Labor Day sale season — and it’s too good not to share. Nationwide Distributors, via Google Express, has just about the best AirPods deal we’ve seen (when you apply promo code ZBEDWZ at checkout). This is for the second-gen AirPods with the wireless charging case. Can’t imagine these will last long at this price, so if you’re interested, act fast. Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone Xcenter_img Share your voice See It Spotify and most other streaming services rely on compressed audio, which robs the listener of full fidelity. Enter Tidal, the only “major” service that delivers lossless audio — meaning at least on par with CD quality, if not better. Want to see (er, hear) the difference for yourself? Grab this excellent extended trial while you can. It’s just $6 for three months, and it’s good for up to six listeners. Angela Lang/CNET $299 at Amazon TVs Speakers Mobile Accessories Cameras Laptops Automobiles Smart Speakers & Displays See It See at Turo 7 Read the AirPods review $60 at Best Buy $59 at eBay $999 Other Labor Day sales you should check out Best Buy: In addition to some pretty solid MacBook deals that have been running for about a week already, Best Buy is offering up to 40% off major appliances like washers, dryers and stoves. There are also gift cards available with the purchase of select appliances. See it at Best BuyDell: Through Aug. 28, Dell is offering an extra 12% off various laptops, desktops and electronics. And check back starting Aug. 29 for a big batch of Labor Day doorbusters. See it at DellGlassesUSA: Aug. 29 – Sept. 3 only, you can save 65% on all frames with promo code labor65. See it at GlassesUSALenovo: The tech company is offering a large assortment of deals and doorbusters through Labor Day, with the promise of up to 56% off certain items — including, at this writing, the IdeaPad 730S laptop for $700 (save $300).See it at LenovoLensabl: Want to keep the frames you already love and paid for? Lensabl lets you mail them in for new lenses, based on your prescription. From now through Sept. 2 only, you can save 20% on the blue light-blocking lens option with promo code BLOCKBLUE. See it at LensablSears: Between now and Sept. 7, you can save up to 40% on appliances (plus an additional 10% if you shop online), up to 60% on mattresses, up to 50% on Craftsman products and more. The store is also offering some fairly hefty cashback bonuses. See it at SearsNote: This post was published previously and is continuously updated with new information.CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page, and find more great buys on the CNET Deals page. Read Google Home Hub review Sarah Tew/CNET Best Buy Read the Rylo camera preview Apple iPhone XS Huawei,I’m shocked — shocked! — to learn that stores are turning Labor Day into an excuse to sell stuff. Wait — no, I’m not. As much as I respect the original intent of the holiday (which became official back in 1894), to most of us, it’s just a bonus day off — one that’s blissfully tacked onto a weekend. So, yeah, stores; go ahead, run your sales. I’m listening. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Labor Day doesn’t bring out bargains to compete with the likes of Black Friday (which will be here before you know it), but there are definitely some sales worth your time.For example:We’ve rounded up the best Labor Day mattress deals.We’ve also gathered the best Labor Day laptop deals at Best Buy.The 2019 Vizio P Series Quantum is back under $999.Be sure to check out Amazon’s roughly three dozen Labor Day deals on TVs and audio. Google Express is having a big sale as well, one that includes deals on game consoles, AirPods, iPhones, laptops and more.Below I’ve rounded up a handful of individual items I consider to be the cream of the crop, followed by a handy reference guide to other Labor Day sales. Keep in mind, of course, that products may sell out at any time, even if the sale itself is still running. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. Comments Sprint Google Nest Hub: $59 (save $70) Tags Rylo Boost Mobile See It $520 at HP DJI Osmo Action camera: $261 (save $89) Formerly known as the Google Home Hub, Google’s Nest Hub packs a wealth of Google Assistant goodness into a 7-inch screen. At $59, this is within a buck of the best price we’ve seen. It lists for $129 and sells elsewhere in the $89-to-$99 range.This is one item of many available as part of eBay’s Labor Day Sale (which, at this writing, doesn’t specifically mention Labor Day, but that’s how it was pitched to us). Chris Monroe/CNET $999 $999 $261 at Daily Steals via Google Express Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) I thought this might be a mistake, but, no, the weirdly named HP Laptop 15t Value is indeed quite the value at this price. Specs include an Intel Core i7 processor, 12GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive and a 15.6-inch display. However, I strongly recommend paying an extra $50 to upgrade that display to FHD (1,920×1,080), because you’re not likely to be happy with the native 1,366×768 resolution. $90 at Daily Steals via Google Express Amazonlast_img read more


Dow Chemicals and DuPont in 130 billion megamerger will split into three

Posted On Sep 5 2019 by

first_imgChemical titans DuPont and Dow Chemical Co have agreed to combine in an all-stock merger valued at $130 billion in a first step toward breaking up into three separate businesses, The deal, announced on Friday, will face intense regulatory scrutiny, analysts said, especially over combining their agricultural businesses, which sell seeds and crop protection chemicals, including insecticides and pesticides.Executives from both companies said the agrichemicals businesses have little overlap and any asset sales would likely be minor.Potential tax savings were one reason for the complicated merger-before-breakup deal, analysts said. “They need to merge first in order for the subsequent spinoffs to qualify as tax-free transactions in the United States,” said SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analyst James Sheehan.Dow shareholders would own 52 percent of the new company after preferred shares are converted, the companies said. The agreement includes a $1.9 billion termination fee under specified circumstances, such as rejection by shareholders.The merger, one of the biggest of the year, would allow Dow and DuPont to rejig assets based on the diverging fortunes of their businesses.The companies have been struggling with falling demand for farm chemicals due to slumping crop prices and a strong dollar, even as their plastics businesses thrive thanks to low natural gas prices.Activist investor Nelson Peltz of Trian Partners, who has pressed DuPont to separate its businesses, said he “fully supports” the transaction and sees the combination as “a great outcome for all shareholders.”The chemical majors felt compelled to combine due to a lack of growth opportunities, said Key Private Bank analyst Rob Plaza.”I think the big catalyst would have been (DuPont Chief Executive Ed) Breen coming in, his track record of extracting value from companies, and the fight that DuPont had gone through with Nelson Peltz,” Plaza said. “We may see more consolidation.”KEY POINTS* The new company will be called DowDuPont. DuPont Chief Executive Officer Ed Breen will be CEO of the new company and Dow CEO Andrew Liveris would be executive chairman.* It will have dual headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, currently DuPont’s home town, and Midland, Michigan, where Dow has its headquarters.* DuPont shareholders will receive 1.282 shares of DowDuPont for each DuPont share and Dow shareholders will get 1.00 share of DowDuPont for each Dow share. After preferred shares are converted, Dow shareholders will own 52 percent of DowDuPont.* The merger will generate cost savings of about $3 billion in the first two years, with $1 billion in other savings possible.* The new board would have 16 members, with each company contributing eight directors.* DuPont expects 2016 sales growth to be “challenging,” due to economic weakness in agriculture and emerging markets. It plans to slash about 10 percent of its work force and take a pretax charge of $780 million.* The three-way split is likely to be 18 to 24 months after the deal closes, which is expected in the second half of 2016.* The biggest of the three new companies by revenue would be material sciences, catering to the packaging, transportation and infrastructure industries. Major competitors would beGermany’s BASF, Honeywell and 3M. This company’s combined 2014 revenue was about $51 billion on an adjusted basis.* The specialty products company will sell materials to the electronics and communications industries as well as to the safety and protection sectors. The combined adjusted revenue was about $13 billion in 2014.* The third business, selling seed and crop protection chemicals, generated adjusted revenue of about $19 billion.last_img read more


The Future of Offshore Wind Energy

Posted On Sep 2 2019 by

first_img Listen To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: X 00:00 /18:00 In Texas, we’re used to seeing big wind turbines, particularly towards the west and the Panhandle, but could we eventually see those same turbines rising up from the waters of the Gulf? Offshore wind energy is a major industry in Europe that has slowly been trickling towards the US, with a small number of offshore wind farms along the northeast coast. The Trump Administration has even expressed interest in seeing the industry grow here, looking to further development and secure leases in the Atlantic.Offshore wind power is still a relatively new method of harnessing energy, having been started in earnest 20 years ago, and technologies are still being developed to make use of wind in different areas, not just the shallow waters of the US east coast. Joshua Zinn spoke with Liz Burdock, the Executive Director of the Business Network for Offshore Wind about the different challenges between onshore and offshore wind farming and what it would take to see such farms off the Gulf Coast.Then we talk with Charles McConnell, the Executive Director of the Rice University Energy and Environment Initiative about the overall prospects for offshore wind energy amidst the entire energy market.center_img SCOTT EISEN VIA GETTY IMAGESThe GE-Alstom Block Island Wind Farm stands 3 miles off of Block Island, Rhode Island on September 22, 2016. The five 6-megawatt wind turbines are the first marine-based wind farm in U.S. and are expected to produce more eletricity than Block Island needs. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images) Sharelast_img read more


MehrunNissa inspired from the Mughals

Posted On Aug 31 2019 by

first_imgAshima-Leena, known and recognised for their unique style, reflect the ancient traditions of Indian craftsmanship in a contemporary vocabulary. Ashima-Leena are proud to unveil their bridal/couture collection 2016, ‘Mehr-un-Nissa’ – a visual portrayal encapsulating the dichotomous flavours of Mughal Emperor Jahangir’s most beloved Queen. Dripping in diamonds and pearls, an artful visionary, Mehr-un-Nissa proved to be a beacon of femininity and modernity. Similar to an intricate tapestry wound together by golden silks, this whimsical soul was forged not only by classic values and a penchant for the arts, but also by social responsibility and an unbridled will. She transcended societal norms at the time, reveling in traditional roles and forms of study, as well as taking unprecedented interest in political and court affairs. Multi-faceted as she was, Mehr-un-Nissa, proved to be the epitome of a modern Maharani, strong willed and dedicated but doused in softness and femininity. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfAntique textile crafting weaves a narrative of juxtaposition, a tale that captures the refreshing youth of Mehr-un-Nissa’s spirit without forsaking richness and regality; richly adorned brocades are used in subtle shades – pastels and shimmering hues of gold are abound, contrasted with royal odhnis of unfettered colour akin to fuchsia, peacock green, and midnight blue. Adding dimension to what is reminiscent of Mughal rule, paisleys and florals are punctuated with modern streaks of pattern and vivid colour – antique textile crafting entwining stand-alone aesthetics to produce an air of innovative intricacy. The same technique transposes heavy and superfluous embroidery, lending buoyancy and royalty to traditionalism, a modern brush of beautiful detail. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveMehr-un-Nissa’s spirit resonates not only with luxury and grandiose design, but also with a quirky and boundary-breaking flair of style. During a period when the Mughal Empire was at the very peak of its power and glory, she dared to challenge what was expected of her, all the while unafraid to exhibit womanly charm. Similarly, Ashima-Leena endeavours to recreate a sense of Mughal royalty without relying upon redundant elements; class and innovation are the two ideals laced together to create a couture/bridal collection that exemplifies the lavishness of the time. Without forsaking vivacity, Ashima-Leena’s bridal/couture collection 2016 is translated through a classic aesthetic and tailored to a woman who is both charismatic and influential – a modern depiction of Mehr-un-Nissa, today’s modern Maharani. Prominence on textile, attention to detail, fabric development and complex grand embroideries are the trademarks of the ingenuity of the brand.last_img read more


Human AI Your Business Future

Posted On Aug 30 2019 by

first_img Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now July 23, 2015 11 min read This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. In the new film Ex Machina, a reclusive billionaire invents a robotic artificial intelligence. To test whether his invention is indistinguishable from a human being, he helicopters-in a young engineer to see if he will fall in love with the robot.Today, making machines and humans indistinguishable from each other is no longer science fiction, it’s good business. In fact, a wave of startups are part of a new trend that promises to radically simplify our lives by making it harder to determine whether we’re communicating with a person or computer code.In my last post I discussed how I’ve personally used some of these services and in this post, I’ll go deeper into what this trend is all about. I’ll look into how pairing new technologies with human assistants will result in tremendous new services, which promise to enhance our lives — that is, until the robots completely take over and destroy us all. *insert nervous laugh here.*Related: Why ‘Assistant-As-App’ Might Be the Next Big Tech TrendMessaging is the MediumOn a typical day, I’ll chat with colleagues on Slack. Later, I’m sure to receive a message from a friend on WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. Then, on my way home, I’ll use good old SMS to let my wife know I’m on my way.What’s been absent from these conversations is commerce. Although messaging is the way users communicate with each other, it’s not how they interact with businesses. That is, until now.Of all the ways humans communicate, texting might be the most direct. Text carries less superfluous information than other ways of sending information. With text, there are no voice intonations to decipher or accents to understand, no facial gestures to interpret, and no body language to translate. Text is something computers can understand and process quickly and it’s why messaging is a great place for humans and A.I. to work together to serve customer needs.Although terms like “conversational commerce” and “invisible apps” have floated around the web recently, neither is quite right for describing what I’m seeing.Instead, I’ve proposed “assistant-as-app” to mean: an interface designed to enable users to accomplish complex tasks through a natural dialogue with an assistant.Note that the assistant does not have to be a real person, at least not all the time. The assistant could be a human using automated script to send messages or reminders at appropriate times. It could also be a group of people interacting with customers through an online persona. Or, it could be an A.I. that occasionally calls in human help when it’s stuck.For example, Mindy is there for me when I use Vida Health to track what I eat, Tim helps me book travel on Native, and Amy schedules my meetings through X.ai. However, when I get a response from Mindy, Tim, or Amy, I have no idea if it was a human or machine that sent the message on their behalf. With an assistants-as-app, the distinction between who’s doing the messaging isn’t always clear — sometimes is a bot and sometimes it’s not.Better Than BotsThe messaging interface used by assistant-as-app services is an effective way to help people get more out of the Internet. Since it looks like a chat, interactions feel familiar. As I mentioned in a previous post, people don’t want something truly new, they want the familiar done differently (see the California Roll Rule).The power of the conversational interface is that it shields the end user from having to learn anything new. We already know how to chat, so making requests is easy. An assistant-as-app leverages well-trained humans to use complex technology behind the scenes. The assistant can process requests that would otherwise require several steps, time-consuming analysis, or pro tools the layperson is unlikely to have the knowledge or patience to use.What is it Good For?An assistant-as-app is suited for certain scenarios. Here are three cases where I expect assistant-as-app services to excel:1. When There’s One Goal and Too Many OptionsAccording to a recent survey by Carat, a global media agency, “41% of people feel overwhelmed by the wealth of choices on the web, making it hard for them to make purchase decisions.”When booking a flight for example, customers have only one objective — to find the best deal. They don’t need so many dizzying options, they just need one, as long as it’s the right one. Before travelers started booking by themselves online, a good travel agent could help narrow down the choices. But today, we’re on our own.When we stopped calling travel agents, we implicitly chose cheaper tickets over better service. However, with an assistants-as-app, the consumer no longer has to compromise.With an app like Native, the traveler can text instructions to an assistant such as, “I have a workshop that starts at 9am and ends at 5pm in Midtown Manhattan. Book me the cheapest trip to and from San Francisco on the 29th. Red eye is ok.” The human Native assistant can then quickly cull the options using sophisticated tools and return the best two or three options.It should be noted that an assistant-as-app is not ideal for situations when the user enjoys browsing or where the best option is subjective. For example, for many people, clothes shopping itself is part of the fun. Being told the best choice may not be all that helpful.However, there are plenty of opportunities to use an assistant-as-app where the user has to weed through too many choices, particularly in enterprise applications. I envision a future where complex tasks, like running a marketing campaign to increase site traffic or launching a coupon offer, are executed by an assistant. Instead of asking the busy user to navigate a complicated web interface, an assistant-as-app will do the heavy lifting and offer up just a few of the best options.Related: People Don’t Want Something Truly New, They Want the Familiar Done Differently.2. When Data Collection is Easy but Analysis is HardAn assistant-as-app is particularly good at off-loading the burden of analysis. For example, the Vida app leverages dietitians using backend tools to help diagnose food sensitivities and allergies. With Vida, the user simply has to take pictures of their food before each meal. Then the assistant compares what was eaten to how the user felt, looking for what may be causing the adverse reaction. This sort of analysis is a burden for the user but is easy for a skilled agent using pro-tools.The assistant becomes even more powerful when she, he, or it, can access disparate sources of information. Processing data is a headache for users but is an opportunity for assistant-as-app companies.For example, when I book my travel on Native, my assistant already knows the balance of my various frequent flyer programs and can suggest flying one airline over another so I can claim a free flight on my next trip. If a traveler grants access to his or her calendar, the assistant can book travel around meetings as well as account for car travel times to and from the airport. My message back from Native read, “I’ve found these two flights on United that will give you plenty of time to make your last meeting of the day. Which should I book for you?”For enterprises swimming in data, an assistant-as-app could be a godsend. Imagine an assistant continually optimizing your website. Instead of hiring someone with these rare talents, specially trained assistants could use the latest tools to continually run tests to increase conversion rates. Interestingly, these sorts of enterprise tools don’t require much new technology or any A.I. All the testing and number crunching would get handled by a well-trained human while requests and updates would be handed through the messaging interface. The site owner would just need to provide access, approve the tests, and ok subsequent roll-outs of successful changes.Imagine the collective sigh of relief from busy workers who no longer need to learn how to use yet another vendor’s complicated online tools or manage yet another dashboard. With an assistant-as-app, just ask and ye shall receive. In addition to complex interfaces, assistant-as-app services are particularly well-suited for small screens. Customers have difficulty poking around drop-down tabs on mobile phone and doing so on a smart watch is impossible. However, reciting requests to an assistant-as-app in plain English is easy on web, phone, or watch.3. When it Feels Like a FriendWorking with an assistant through a conversational interface should feel like interacting with a friend. These apps work best when the user trusts the assistant’s unbiased recommendations.However, if a friend started chatting you up to make a buck, you’d quickly see through the scheme. Similarly, an assistant-as-app is best suited for subscription models where the value lies in being an objective filter. If Native started recommending specific hotels over others based on earning a commission or if Vida began hawking vitamins, I’d quickly lose trust.Another friend-like characteristic of an assistant-as-app has to do with the pace of interactions. When sending a friend a text, you’d expect to wait a while before they respond. Likewise, assistant-as-apps are for when you need something soon but not immediately. Culling the right options, running tests, or analyzing data takes time and assistants are not well suited to provide instant feedback quite yet. Who Needs Humans?But isn’t voice recognition powered by artificial intelligence enough? Not really and not yet.Though Google and Apple are working on perfecting virtual assistants like Siri, made of 100% computer code, such fully automated technologies are only good for specific scenarios — namely, when the user needs immediate information for simple queries. In contrast, an assistant-as-app excels when a request takes several steps and is done better with a human touch.Just last week I found myself desperately trying to talk to a human when calling my credit card company. After several failed attempts to get through the automated voice response, I called out my request in a mechanical, over-articulated, robot-sounding voice. “REP-REE-ZENT-A-TIV,” I said, sounding like Robby the Robot.“OK, let me get someone to help you with that,” the automated voice finally responded, although I wasn’t sure if by “that” she meant my credit card problem or my weirdo-who-speaks-like-a-robot problem. Although talking in a robot voice is perhaps a humorous example, it makes the point that users still have to structure their requests in a way machines can understand.Today, there are primarily three solutions. Either send users through fully automated prompts (like an annoying call routing robot), send them to human helpers, or — the most common and perhaps most burdensome option for the user — ask them to fend for themselves on the company’s website.However, as A.I. becomes more capable, assistant-as-app services will provide a better alternative. As A.I improves, each human assistant will be able to serve more users. Assistant-as-app services leveraging highly adept humans working with increasingly sophisticated technology, will be the way we interact with an array of businesses in the years to come. That is, unless the robots take over first.What Do You Think?Do you think the assistant-as-app trend will catch-on? Do you use any assistant-as-apps? What yet-untapped opportunities do you see for assistant-as-app in the years to come?Related: 4 Ways to Use Psychology to Win Your Competition’s Customers Enroll Now for Free This story originally appeared on NirAndFar.comlast_img read more


Trump Slump Canadians are still going but US sees 4 drop overall

Posted On Aug 19 2019 by

first_img WASHINGTON D.C. — Has the Trump slump that the travel industry warned about finally hit?The number of international visitors arriving in the United States declined nearly 4% in the first six months of this year compared with the same period in 2016, according to data released Wednesday from the U.S. Department of Commerce National Travel and Tourism Office in Washington.Many sectors of the travel industry have been warning that President Donald Trump’s anti-foreigner rhetoric and immigration policies would lead to a drop in tourism here.Fewer visitors came from nearly every region of the world, with declines in arrivals from Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, South America, Central America and the Caribbean.The only region that sent more visitors in the first six months of 2017 compared with 2016 was Canada, up 5%.The overall drop was even higher in June alone than for the six-month period, with a 6.7 per cent decline in June 2017 compared with June 2016, the NTTO data showed.All told, some 33.8 million non-resident international travellers entered the U.S. between January and June of this year, a 3.9 per cent decline from the same period in 2016, the NTTO said.A few numbers stood out. The decline from the Middle East was substantial at nearly 30 per cent, January to June, year over year. Visitors from Mexico in June dropped 16 per cent compared with the previous June, and there was a 9.4 per cent decline in visitors from Mexico in the six-month period. Visitors from Western Europe were down just 1.8 per cent for the six months.More news:  Virgin Voyages de-activates Quebec accounts at FirstMates agent portal“The latest government travel data is deeply concerning not just to our industry, but to anyone who cares about the economic well-being of the United States,” Roger Dow, CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, a non-profit representing the travel industry, said in a statement. “Travel is our country’s No. 2 export and supports more than 15 million American jobs. These numbers are an undeniable wake-up call, and correcting this troubling trend needs to become a national priority.”NYC & Company, the tourism marketing agency for New York, also expressed dismay over the data. NYC & Company predicts that New York will lose up to 100,000 international visitors this year, its first drop in overseas arrivals since 2009. “The data released by the National Travel and Tourism Office underscores the concerns we have had this year about the international tourism landscape in the U.S.,” said NYC & Company CEO Fred Dixon. The city has launched several promotions around the world to try to counter what Dixon described as the country’s “vulnerability.”More news:  Carnival Cruise Line enhances HUB app for families and youthOther possible factors in the decline include the strength of the U.S. dollar against other currencies, which makes it expensive for travellers to vacation here, and a series of mass shootings – including the October attack in Las Vegas that left 58 dead – that may lead some travellers to choose other destinations out of fear for their safety.Arrivals data takes about five months for the government to compile, so it’s hard to measure the impact of U.S. policies on tourism in real time. In addition, travellers tend to plan international trips well in advance, so their concerns about a destination may not show up in arrivals data until months later. Travel experts like Arthur Frommer of the Frommer’s guidebook company warned months ago that Trump’s rhetoric and policies would lead to a “Trump slump” in travel, but earlier in the year, the data was mixed, possibly reflecting trips that had been planned by travellers before Trump took office.The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Share Trump Slump? Canadians are still going, but U.S. sees 4% drop overall By: Beth J. HarpazSource: The Associated Press Thursday, November 30, 2017 Tags: America, Donald Trump, Trend Watch << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more


by The Associated Press Posted Oct 23 2018 9

Posted On Aug 10 2019 by

first_img by The Associated Press Posted Oct 23, 2018 9:04 pm PDT Last Updated Oct 23, 2018 at 10:20 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Tommy Orange’s ‘There There’ named a Carnegie Medal finalist NEW YORK, N.Y. – Tommy Orange, whose debut novel “There There” is among the year’s most acclaimed books, is a finalist for the Andrew Carnegie Medal.The American Library Association, which presents the award, announced nominees Wednesday for fiction and nonfiction.Other fiction works cited “Washington Black” by Canadian novellist Esi Edugyan and “The Great Believers” by Rebecca Makkai.Nonfiction finalists were Kiese Laymon’s “Heavy: An American Memoir,” Francisco Cantu’s “The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border” and Beth Macy’s “Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America.”Winners in each category receive $5,000 and will be announced Jan. 27.The prize, established in 2012, is sponsored in part by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.Previous winners include Donna Tartt, Richard Ford and Colson Whitehead.last_img read more