WHO uses Mxit, JamiiX to tackle disasters

first_img1 February 2011The World Health Organisation’s (WHO’s) South-East Asia regional office has teamed up with popular mobile social networks MXit and JamiiX – both developed in South Africa – to bring emergency preparedness information to chat users in disaster-prone Indonesia.This new approach is part of WHO’s wider effort to strengthen disaster preparedness in the region and build public awareness of the urgent need for safe hospitals in disaster zones.“The WHO campaign illustrates the value and power of social networking in assisting communities that need help most,” Mxit founder and CEO Herman Heunis said in a statement last week.“As climate change and severe weather variations take a hold of many locations around the world, it makes sense to develop ways for communities and countries to receive life-saving information and assistance in a reliable and affordable way.“We commend WHO for initiating this important project.”Leveraging new technologyIndonesians using MXit chat will be able to access personal preparedness information, including what to do in the case of natural disasters like floods, tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and cyclones, how to prepare an emergency kit, and how to plan for possible evacuation.This information is teamed up with facts on safe hospitals in disaster zones and ways, as an individual, to support WHO’s drive for safe health facilities.“We are leveraging new communication technology in order to ease the availability, accessibility, and effectiveness of health information and services,” said Dr Roderico Ofrin, regional adviser for WHO’s emergency and humanitarian action. “Through this campaign we will continue to explore innovative means of bringing critical information in times of emergencies.”Power of social mediaOver the last decade, more than half-a-million people in South-East Asia have died in devastating floods, cyclones, earthquakes and tsunamis. People living in the region can support the campaign by adding their voice and signing up on MXit to assist WHO to reach its one-million supporter target.“Being able to access life-saving information at your fingertips is an empowering initiative by WHO, and we are excited to be part of this campaign, which displays the power of social media,” said Marlon Parker, CEO of JamiiX and founder of RLabs.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Machine Vision on the Horizon: Vitamin D Launches Object Recognition for Video

first_imgRelated Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting jolie odell Tags:#start#startups The company is based in Menlo Park and has received small amounts of angel funding from investors that include HTC CEO Peter Chou.In 2005, Jeff Hawkins, Palm Computing founder and brain researcher, founded a company called Numenta. Numenta’s HTM technology is focused on a new generation of artificial intelligence, or more specifically, enabling computers to recognize, learn, and understand patterns in massive amounts of data. Their HTM platform, the foundation for Vitamin D’s app, is also applicable to a broad class of other problems, from machine vision to fraud detection to semantic analysis of text. HTM is based on a theory of neocortex first described in Hawkins’ book On Intelligence and was subsequently turned into a mathematical form by Numenta co-founder Dileep George.Other HTM-based applications solve such problems as recognizing objects in images, recognizing behaviors in videos, identifying the gender of a speaker, predicting traffic patterns, doing optical character recognition on messy text, evaluating medical images, and predicting click through patterns on the web. Check out some sample applications and their demo packages, developed in conjunction with Vitamin D.The demos show small video clips being processed in real time for machine recognition of humans in video, even in low light, in crowded environments, and in environments with multiple moving objects. It is important to note that HTM systems are trained rather than programmed in the traditional sense. According to the Numenta website, “Sensory data is applied to the bottom of the hierarchy of an HTM system, and the HTM automatically discovers the underlying patterns in the sensory input. HTMs learn what objects or movements are in the world and how to recognize them, just as a child learns to identify new objects.”Vitamin D CEO Celeste Baranski said, “We’ve witnessed the incredible growth and importance of searching text-based content. But we’re still in the dark ages when it comes to finding things in video… There is a clear need for a better way to detect, recognize, and filter objects. Vitamin D Video is the first of many smart applications that will unlock the value inside video across a broad range of consumer and business applications.”center_img A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market A 2-year-old Silicon Valley startup is working on technology to solve the problems of machine vision. Their new product, launching today at DEMO, will lay the foundation for true video search, wherein software will learn, recognize, and understand patterns and take subsequent actions rather than relying on machine-readable tags and metadata.In its current form, Vitamin D Video is targeted for video analytics and monitoring, but the underlying technology, called Hierarchical Temporal Memory, or HTM, is modeled on the human neocortex and is the stuff of AI-yet-to-come.Vitamin D, founded by some of the key UX, engineering, and marketing folks behind the original Palm and Treo products, tells us that their video application can distinguish between people and other objects in live or archived video in ways that no other system can, not even the highest enterprise-grade analytics and monitoring technologies.It condenses enormous amounts of video into distinct and valuable events very quickly. It also has zero configuration and a simple rules wizard that sets up notifications for specific events.Ultimately, Vitamin D Video could eliminate the need for humans to stuff text-based data around their videos. “Vitamin D envisions a near future in which all the world’s video can be searched, monitored, understood, and reacted to in more automated ways,” company rep Allen Bush wrote to us in an email. “If computers could understand video content without having to be told by humans, many disruptive applications would surface.”This application will be available to any user with a simple webcam or IP camera and will be free throughout the beta testing period. Vitamin D sees the app as particularly useful for video surveillance and security as well as mobile capture and lookup, contextual advertising, entertainment, and general visual search. Interested parties can check out their demo.last_img read more

How Much Ground Have You Covered?

first_img Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Now The elevator door opened and I started to walk out when I noticed I had only gone from the 7th floor to the 6th floor. I had pushed the button to go to the lobby. This wasn’t one of those times when you are on an elevator and not paying attention. In this case, the building was old, as was the elevator. Enough time had passed that I should have been in the lobby, but the elevator didn’t move for some time after I pressed the button.Time and Ground CoveredThere is a certain amount of ground you can cover in a period. Call that ground a goal, a milestone, a quota, or a chapter. The time passes whether or not you cover the ground.Some people recognize that time relentlessly ticks away and feel the need to increase their progress toward their goals. Others don’t feel the same urgency, being more passive and complacent about time—even though they have no more time than those who act with purpose. Time is not a variable; it’s universal. It doesn’t treat anyone differently and offers no one a preference. It just relentlessly counts off its beats.The ground covered is a variable, and it is inside your control. There are two areas you need to consider: values-based decisions and effort. If you want to cover more ground faster, then you need to prioritize those things that move you forward further and more quickly. The decision as to what you do with your time is yours alone. You also have to do the work, putting the effort and energy into the work.Otherwise, you can look up and think you should have gone somewhere only to find yourself standing very close to where you started.last_img read more

Injured Maria Sharapova out of Wimbledon,Injured Maria Sharapova out of Wimbledon

first_img SHARE SHARE EMAIL × tennis COMMENTS Maria Sharapova   –  Reuters RELATED Sharapova receives US Open wildcard for first post-ban Slam The 30-year-old Russian was due to play in the qualifying event in the hope of making the main draw. SHARE Published on Maria Sharapova   –  Reuters June 11, 2017 Maria Sharapova withdrew from Wimbledon after failing to recover from a thigh injury, dealing another blow to the superstar’s bid to rebuild her career following a doping ban.The 30-year-old Russian, who was champion at the All England Club in 2004, was due to play in the qualifying event in the hope of making the main draw. “After an additional scan, the muscle tear that I sustained in Rome will unfortunately not allow me to compete in the grass court tournaments I was scheduled to play,” she said in a statement. “I will continue to work on my recovery and my next scheduled tournament is in Stanford from July 31.”The former world number one returned from a 15-month doping ban in April but has relied on wildcards to get into tournaments because her world ranking points expired while she was banned. At the moment the five-time Grand Slam title winner is ranked at 178.She was initially banned for two years for using meldonium, with the penalty later reduced by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which ruled she was not an intentional doper. After her ban expired, Sharapova returned to competition in April at the Stuttgart Open, reaching the semi-finals, and progressed to the last 32 of the Madrid Open.She failed to earn a qualifying spot for the French Open and was then denied a wild card into the main draw by Roland Garros organisers despite being a two-time champion. On the same day, she suffered the thigh injury which has now sidelined her from Wimbledon for a second successive season.Bruised by the Roland Garros snub, Sharapova decided not to request a Wimbledon wildcard, deciding instead to take her chances in three rounds of qualifying. She was still controversially handed a wildcard for the WTA grasscourt event in Birmingham later this month, a key warm-up for Wimbledon.But the injury she suffered in the Rome claycourt event in May has scuppered her plans, leaving her to probably hope for a wild card into the US Open, the season’s final Grand Slam event. She was champion in New York in 2006. “I want to thank the LTA (Britain’s Lawn Tennis Association) for their amazing support on my return and providing me with a Birmingham wild card, a tournament which I hope many of you will be able to attend,” Sharapova added in her statement. “I look forward to meeting you there next year.”Only two weeks ago, Wimbledon decided that the qualifying event, held at nearby Roehampton, would be broadcast for the first time.However, a spokeswoman for the All England Lawn Tennis Club, the tournament organisers, told AFP that this was one of several “long-planned” changes and not a decision made in response to the added interest in the event caused by Sharapova’s presence. Qualifying is also to be ticketed for the first time. COMMENT nulllast_img read more

Cold vibes between Govt, Opp mark Presidents address

first_imgNew Delhi, Feb 23 (PTI) There was a distinct chill in the air in the Central Hall as President Pranab Mukherjee addressed a joint sitting of Parliament marking the beginning of Budget Session.Lack of warmth between the government and the Opposition particularly Congress was visible as leaders communicated very little with each other, unlike in the past on such occasions.Barring External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who walked up to Congress President Sonia Gandhi and both exchanged pleasantries, no interaction between Gandhi and any senior minister from the government was seen.Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi was seated in extreme left in the middle row along with Union Minister Prakash Javadekar.Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha P J Kurien was the only member from Congress who was seen thumping the desk a number of times during the Presidents address listing the governments initiatives and roadmap for future.Members from treasury benches thumped the desk vigorously when Mukherjee talked about disruption of Parliament while there was no response to it from the Opposition members.Sonia Gandhi, who launched a blistering attack against the government yesterday, was seated with BJP patriarch L K Advani and former Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and H D Devegowda.Prime Minister Narendra Modi sat with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad.Earlier when Sonia arrived, she was greeted by Congress workers as well as S S Ahluwalia from BJP. L K Advani who came after some time was seen chatting briefly with Gandhi.advertisementAfter the Presidents address, Sonia Gandhi was seen in an animated discussion with Advani.CPI(M)s Sitaram Yechury, CPIs D Raja and other Opposition leaders came to the Congress President where they interacted briefly after the President left the venue.Azad and Jaitley, who were seated together, were also seen in conversation.Ace cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, a Rajya Sabha MP, was also also present.There were, however, a number of empty seats in the special enclosure meant for officers and diplomats. Some members also came after the Presidents speech had begun. PTI AMR RTlast_img read more

2 Future Georgia Tech-Notre Dame Games Being Moved To Mercedes-Benz Stadium

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Georgia Tech athletics, AMB Sports & Entertainment and Peach Bowl, Inc. have entered a partnership that will have Georgia Tech football play an annual home game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium from 2020-24, the organizations announced on Tuesday.Georgia Tech will host the following games at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the home of the National Football League’s Atlanta Falcons:2020 – Nov. 14 vs. Notre Dame 2021 – Date/opponent TBA 2022 – Sept. 5 (Labor Day) vs. Clemson – Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game 2023 – Date opponent/TBA 2024 – Oct. 19 vs. Notre DameThe announcement has drawn some derision, as is often the case when a team moves its home games. This is a bit more palatable, considering Mercedes-Benz Stadium is less than a mile from Tech’s campus.Notre Dame likely likes this call, as well. The Fighting Irish have made it a habit to play big neutral site games at big venues like Mercedes-Benz almost every year. This won’t be neutral site—Georgia Tech has confirmed that it will control the home team allotment of tickets for these games—but I expect that ND will sell these much like their “Shamrock Series” games to the fan base.[Georgia Tech] a wide shot of this afternoon's saints-rams game on foxNEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – JANUARY 20: Jared Goff #16 of the Los Angeles Rams throws a pass against the New Orleans Saints during the first quarter in the NFC Championship game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 20, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)Georgia Tech has announced a five year deal with Mercedes-Benz Stadium, to one premier home game per season at the home of the Atlanta Falcons. Two of the five games already announced will come against Notre Dame.Earlier, word leaked out that Georgia Tech’s 2022 game against ACC power Clemson would be moved to the state of the art NFL venue. That will serve as the season opener and Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic game of that season.The first season of this agreement is 2020, and Notre Dame will be the opponent for Georgia Tech’s new home-away-from-home game. The Yellow Jackets will host the Fighting Irish on November 14.Georgia Tech announced the two future Notre Dame games at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in its release today.From the announcement:last_img read more

Rajnath condoles death of Army personnel

first_imgNew Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Monday condoled the deaths of Army personnel in a building collapse in Himachal Pradesh’s Solan district.”Deeply saddened by the loss of our brave soldiers in Solan. My heartfelt condolences to the families of these soldiers. We stand firmly in support of the affected families and reiterate our solidarity towards their well being. The nation stands with you in this hour of grief,” Singh tweeted.Fourteen people died and 28 others were injured after a multi-storey building collapsed in Solan district, officials said Monday.The bodies of 13 Army personnel of 4 Assam Regiment from nearby Dagshai Cantonment and a civilian were extricated from the debris, they said.Twenty-eight people, including 17 Army personnel and 11 civilians, were injured after the four-storey building, which housed a restaurant, collapsed on the Nahan-Kumarhatti Road on Sunday evening following heavy rains.last_img read more

Elderly woman who pushed 79yearold man wont be charged in his deathRCMP

first_imgHALIFAX – The Mounties have decided against laying charges in the Nova Scotia nursing home death of a 79-year-old man who was pushed by a female resident, fell down and smashed his head on the floor.Gordon Birchell died on Oct. 29 last year, several days after the fatal push at the Ivy Meadows home in the Halifax suburb of Beaver Bank.RCMP spokeswoman Cpl. Jennifer Clarke says in a news release that police ruled it a homicide, but decided against laying charges based on the woman’s “cognitive impairment.”The Halifax man was initially hospitalized at the Cobequid Community Health Centre, but he was returned to the home, where he died as a result of his injuries.Clarke said she could not confirm the woman’s medical condition, but Joan Birchell, the wife of the deceased man, said in an interview she was told by staff the female resident suffered from severe dementia.Birchell said her husband, who suffered from the early stages of dementia, had been pushed by the same woman on repeat occasions, including one occasion when she was present and was also pushed down.She said Tuesday she’s still waiting to hear back from a Health Department investigation into what happened leading up to the fatal push and whether policies and procedures were followed properly.“The investigation should be about the people who were supposed to be watching the woman whenever Gordon was around,” she said in an interview.Birchell said she does not feel the matter should be dropped until more is known about the circumstances that led to the death.“Is it going to be like so many other seniors’ homes where people are dying and nobody is doing anything about it?”Last May, The Canadian Press reported that eight residents of nursing homes in Nova Scotia had died since 2008 due to aggression from other residents, raising questions about why the majority of the deaths were never publicly disclosed.The list of death reports were provided through freedom of information requests made to the chief medical examiner, and included deaths at six homes around the province, with some having multiple incidents.Bonnie Cuming, a friend of Gordon Birchell, has said he was a native of Newfoundland and Labrador and was a former maintenance worker at the school where her husband had worked.“He was a nice man, a sweet, sweet man. … We’re just sick that he died in that way,” she said in a telephone interview.last_img read more

Government rejects 13 Senate changes to pot bill including ban on home

first_imgOTTAWA – The federal government set the stage Wednesday for a possible showdown with the Senate over legalization of cannabis after it rejected 13 amendments approved by the upper house — including one recognizing the authority of provinces to ban home cultivation of marijuana plants if they choose.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau used the occasion to call on Conservatives to cease using the Senate to stall Bill C-45, the legislation that would lift Canada’s 95-year prohibition on recreational pot.“Andrew Scheer, the Conservative leader, has been telling his Senate caucus — the senators that he still controls — to play games, to slow this down, to interfere with the will of the House,” he said.“It’s time that he stopped using his senators this way.”But it will be independent senators appointed by Trudeau — whose continued support for the legalization bill is crucial to the government’s plans to begin retail sales of recreational cannabis this summer — who will decide the bill’s fate. And they were miffed Wednesday that the government nixed all the amendments of consequence approved by the Senate, while accepting 27 largely technical changes and tweaking two others.Now they must decide whether they’ll insist on some or all of the rejected amendments, which would mean bouncing the bill back to the House of Commons.“It’s our constitutional right to maintain our veto and send a bill back to the House,” said Sen. Yuen Pau Woo, leader of the independent senators’ group.Still, Woo said it’s “too early to talk about political showdowns.”Independent senators will want to weigh a variety of factors, he added, including arguments that they should show deference to the will of the elected House of Commons and to a government that was elected on a specific promise to legalize marijuana. Moreover, he said they will have to weigh the loss of the amendments — particularly the one on home cultivation — against their support for legalization in principle as a way to restrict access to young people and marginalize the existing black market in cannabis.“The amendment is important to us, don’t get me wrong,” Woo said. “We’re very disappointed not to have it.”But he added: “We have a responsibility as senators to not make decisions based on a uni-factoral calculus, based on emotion, based on what the last lobbyist said to us, certainly not based on pique or kind of anger that the government did not accept our amendments.”The bill would allow individuals to grow up to four marijuana plants per dwelling. It gives the provinces the right to restrict that further — but not to ban home cultivation outright.Quebec and Manitoba have nevertheless chosen to prohibit homegrown weed. The Senate amendment was aimed at erasing the possibility of legal challenges to their constitutional authority to do so.“I thought this was a good occasion to show what co-operative federalism is all about and the government has decided to use what I would call a uniform federalism approach,” said Independent Sen. Andre Pratte.Pratte said he hasn’t decided whether the disagreement constitutes the kind of “exceptional situation” where the unelected Senate should insist on its amendments. But he said it’s a matter of defending provincial jurisdiction.Manitoba Justice Minister Heather Stefanson said her province is confident that it has the jurisdiction to prohibit home cultivation.“We’re confident in our legal position on this and we’ll defend that legal position if necessary,” she said.But the federal government maintained it’s “critically important” to permit Canadians to grow pot at home in order to achieve the primary objective of shutting down the illegal market.“We have spent months, and indeed years, talking with experts, reflecting on the best path forward on the legalization of cannabis because the current system doesn’t work,” said Trudeau.“We’re making the changes to keep Canadians safe and one of the strong recommendations by experts was that we ensure personal cultivation of four plants at home.”Given that other controlled substances can be produced at home, Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor said consistency demands that home-grown weed be permitted.“Canadians are allowed to make beer at home or wine, and some can even grow tobacco,” she said.“It is already possible for Canadians to grow cannabis for medical purposes and we absolutely believe that the legislation should be consistent when it comes to recreational cannabis.”Other amendments rejected by the government included one that would have prohibited marijuana-branded swag like T-shirts, and another that would have required a registry of anyone involved in cannabis companies, aimed at keeping organized crime out of the legal pot game.Conservative Senate Leader Larry Smith called the government’s response to the Senate amendments “unfortunate” and “disheartening” — noting that the changes were backed by independent, independent- Liberal and Conservative senators.“This idea that the prime minister banters about that we’ve tried to be obstructionist and playing games? We haven’t played any games,” Smith said.He said it’s too early to say whether Conservative senators will insist on any of the rejected amendments, a decision that will depend partly on whether there’s “commonality” with independent senators. But he warned: “There are very strong feelings, from our knowledge, with the independent senators and the independent Liberals that some of these amendments should be reconsidered.”Scheer also dismissed Trudeau’s complaint about Conservative senators holding up legalization.“The Liberal government has a majority both in the House of Commons and the Senate,” he said. “They control the timelines in both houses … The responsibility for any delay is 100 per cent the responsibility of this government.”MPs began Wednesday to debate the government’s response to the Senate amendments, which must be put to a vote in the Commons, likely on Thursday. The bill will then be sent back to the upper house, where senators will have to decide whether to accept the will of the Commons or dig in for a protracted parliamentary battle.last_img read more

BC man in terror case ordered released by Federal Court but awaits

first_img.Camille Bains, The Canadian Press VANCOUVER — A British Columbia man who glorified terrorism by the Islamic State group in multiple Facebook posts has been ordered released from immigration detention by the Federal Court nearly a year after the Immigration and Refugee Board deemed him inadmissible and a security risk to Canada.The court upholds a decision made in August by the immigration division of the board, which ordered Othman Hamdan released.Hamdan has been in custody since September 2017, when the Canadian Border Services Agency arrested him on the same day he was acquitted of terrorism-related charges based on Facebook posts calling for so-called lone-wolf attacks. “The fact that the immigration division had found Mr. Hamdan to be a danger to the public in the context of its admissibility hearing decision the previous year did not require the immigration division to reach a similar conclusion in the detention context as these adjudicate different sections of the (Immigration and Refugee Protection Act),” Judge Alan S. Diner said in a written decision released Tuesday.The border agency said it would not comment on the court decision until Wednesday.In upholding the immigration division’s decision, Diner said 25 conditions imposed by the board are reasonable, including that Hamdan live with a friend who was to post a $2,000 bond on his behalf.Diner cited 38-year-old Hamdan’s good conduct in prison, his admission of wrongdoing in the past, his testimony at detention review hearings that are held for all immigration and refugee board detainees, and by his long-time friend and bondsperson, who he must live with in Enderby, B.C. He must also abide by a nightly curfew, cannot drive a vehicle or accept a ride from any person, expect with the approval of his bondsperson, be treated for any mental health issues and co-operate with any removal proceedings.“Quite apart from the lack of violence, Mr. Hamdan was found not to raise any of the other concerns so often confronted by the immigration division, namely regarding flight and identity risks,” Diner wrote.“The bondsperson understood the prohibition of internet use, including accessing computers at public places such as the library,” he said, adding the board member who made the decision in August “accepted the appropriateness of the bondsperson as someone who would have moral suasion and a strong motivation” to supervise Hamdan’s behaviour.Diner said Hamdan does not have a history of non-compliance with conditions, including through the investigation stage prior to his arrest at his home in Fort St. John, B.C., in July 2015.“Terrorism is not an easy subject matter for any tribunal or reviewing court,” Diner said, adding the immigration board member made similar comments during his oral reasons when ordering Hamdan’s release, saying his decision was not a vindication of the ideology Hamdan had expressed in the past.Hamdan’s Facebook posts, between September 2014 and July 2015, drew the RCMP’s attention following two terror attacks in Canada in 2014, allegedly in support of the Islamic State.Board official Marc Tessler said in an October 2018 ruling Hamdan was a security risk, and while he did not have a history of violence he “praised lone-wolf attacks, actively promoted the Islamic State, disseminated instructions on how to commit attacks and seems fascinated with the extreme violence the Islamic State demonstrated by possessing Islamic State videos depicting gruesome murders.”Tessler said Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale alleged Hamdan became a cheerleader for the Islamic state and the posts amounted to counselling and supporting others to commit terrorist acts in Canada, the United States and other western countries.Facebook began shutting down sites it identified as supporting the Islamic State but the court heard Hamdan was posting on about 14 accounts.Hamdan, who was born in the United Arab Emirates and is a national of Jordan, told his trial that his posts offered an alternative news source that provided his followers with another view of events in the Middle East.He said he entered the United States in 1999 on a student visa and studied electrical engineering.Hamdan said he converted from Islam to Christianity but faced discrimination following the September 2001 terrorist attacks, so he decided to come to Vancouver and was granted refugee status three years later. He applied for permanent resident status, but his application was declared abandoned.— Follow @CamilleBains1 on Twitter.last_img read more