NCP leader Udayanraje Bhonsale resigns joins BJP

first_imgNew Delhi: Senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Udayanraje Bhosale on Saturday resigned as a Lok Sabha MP and joined the BJP saying he was inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership. Earlier on Saturday, Bhosale first met Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and submitted his resignation from the Lower House. He then arrived at the residence of Bharatiya Janata Party and Union Home Minister President Amit Shah, where he formally joined the BJP in the presence of Working President J.P. Nadda, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and several other senior leaders. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ After joining the BJP, Bhosale said: “I am inspired by the works and leadership of Modi, Shah and the BJP.” “I am happy to see that the BJP was following the paths of Shivaji Maharaj to strengthen the country.” Bhosale also hailed the Modi government for revoking Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir and said: “What nobody thought, they made it real by handling the sensitive matter in a very mature way to strengthen the country.” Bhosale also said that the people of the country were joining the BJP because of the leadership in the party and its ideologies. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K Shah, while welcoming Bhosale, said: “The BJP and the Jana Sangh has always followed the ideologies of Shivaji Maharaj. And it was great that one of his family members has joined the party.” Praising Bhosale for resigning as an NCP MP just four months after the Lok Sabha elections, Shah said: “He resigned as an MP within four months on moral grounds to join the BJP, which is a matter of pride.” The Union Home Minister also stressed that the BJP, under the leadership of Modi in the Centre and Fadnavis in the state, will improve its tally in the Maharashtra Assembly elections scheduled later this year. “I have toured the state recently and I am assured that the BJP will improve its tally in the assembly elections and will win three fourth majority,” he said. Bhosale won in the Lok Sabha elections by a margin of around 1,30,000 votes from the Satara parliamentary constituency in Maharashtra.last_img read more

Spotlight Dinner and a show

first_imgNicole Wilder/Bravoby Mimi MontgomeryAfter serving as executive chef at The Umstead’s Herons restaurant, Scott Crawford opened Standard Foods last fall with business partner John Holmes. The space is a hybrid restaurant, grocery, and butcher shop, featuring a variety of ingredients and goods from local purveyors and growers. Crawford places an emphasis on clean simplicity when it comes to his menu, incorporating healthy ingredients into Southern-inspired cuisine.Now the three-time James Beard award semifinalist’s creations will reach a much wider audience: Crawford will be a contestant on the new Bravo culinary competition series Recipe for Deception, which premiered last month. The show pits four chefs against one other in three elimination rounds where each is challenged to create a dish showcasing one main ingredient. The catch? The chefs have no idea what that main ingredient is. Each competitor is allowed to ask another three yes-or-no questions to determine the secret addition, but two of the answers will be truthful and one a lie.It’s a culinary twist on the old Two Truths and a Lie game, and Crawford will appear on the February 11 episode. Following the broadcast, he’ll offer the mystery dish he created on the show at Standard Foods throughout the month. Of course, since he’s bringing his creation home to Raleigh, he’ll put his own local spin on it: Ingredients will be sourced from North Carolina and most will be available in the grocery section of his business. No lie.Catch Crawford on Bravo’s Recipe for Deception February 11 at 10 p.m. Visit Standard Foods at 205 E. Franklin St.; standard-foods.comlast_img read more

Local matrix

first_imgJason Cooper and Jason McGuigan of Horizon Henry Garganphotographs by Tim LytvinenkoEveryone in the Triangle’s burgeoning virtual reality industry seems to have a story that drives home the same point: No amount of artfully worded description can adequately convey what it’s like to enter virtual reality for the first time, they say, but once the headset’s on, there’s no going back. The region is full of these recent converts, many of whom have parlayed their revelations into start-up companies that produce virtual reality experiences – and yes, they are called “experiences” – within a thriving local industry. Virtual reality’s arrival in the region has been decades in the making, a long arc in a uniquely challenging industry. It’s a business that requires a complex, interdisciplinary process involving the coordinated talents of computer programmers, graphic designers, audio engineers, videographers, writers, and directors. Then there’s the challenge of marketing a product few people fully understand, if they know it exists at all.Horizon tests projects in the works using a HTC Vive headset that transforms a room into 3-D space. Thanks to the Triangle’s three major research universities and large population of technology professionals, the region is one of few in the country with the volume and variety of talent readily available to make virtual reality work. The UNC-Chapel Hill computer science department developed some of the technology’s cornerstones, like head-tracking and latency experiments, in the 1990s. Many of the scientists who did the groundbreaking work were still in the area when VR began making inroads into the consumer market a few years ago, and local VR professionals today say the legacy of that pioneering work partially explains why so many industry players are setting up shop in the Triangle. Cary-based Epic Games, the maker of real-time rendering software crucial to the production of virtual reality experiences, also gets a good deal of credit for its beginnings. To gain a sense of where the industry is headed, it helps to talk with someone who knows better than most where it has come from. Before Mike Capps was president of Epic, he was an undergraduate in UNC’s computer science department. This was in the 1990s, when his professors were just beginning to fulfill the dreams sci-fi buffs had about what virtual reality could and should eventually become. So where did that first push go wrong? And what’s different now? “There was a giant consumer expectation bubble that came from the movies and TV that told you what VR was going to be like,” Capps says. “And the reality was nothing close to it. That led to a crash in the business.” The first consumer products were decent, Capps says, but there was no Matrix-like sense of total sensory replacement, which is what consumers were primed for. And until relatively recently, Capps says he was afraid something similar would happen with the bubble that’s been building over the past few years – that the promise of virtual reality would, perhaps inevitably, always outstrip what was available to the average hobbyist. “I was like, please don’t overpromise,” Capps says. But when he saw Facebook purchase vitual reality start-up Oculus in 2014, “I told the guys at Oculus: Please don’t screw this up.” He allowed himself to believe that they wouldn’t. Google’s recent release of its own mobile virtual reality technology with its Pixel phone and Daydream VR platform is just one of several steps forward in the consumer sector that appears to be proving Capps right. Capps says the virtual reality industry’s success here in particular is owed, at least in part, to something he’s uniquely positioned to have witnessed. “About five years ago, we lost some big gaming companies that had some unfortunate failures,” Capps says. “Even some successful companies lost some staff, so there’s a lot of talent here that knows how to create these compelling experiences. You have all these developers that never saw their home in making things like free-to-play mobile games, and VR is perfect for them.” Capps, for his part, is tight-lipped about what he’s up to these days, but he still lives in the area and keeps a careful eye on things. His role is often that of a mentor, bridging the gap between the old guard and the new so the leading edge of this most recent wave doesn’t have to reinvent what his professors labored over so many years ago – ensuring this is the time everyone gets it right. The biggest remaining social obstacle to the success of the technology, Capps believes, is its demand that users isolate themselves. It is both fitting and ironic that he would worry about this, knowing that he and others like him have made virtual reality successful here by remaining anything but isolated, by sharing and teaching one another in ways that suggest the Triangle remains a place where any vision for the world can be made reality. Indeed, all of these local players have managed to prioritize the success of their medium above competition between themselves, weaving together a collaborative, interdisciplinary business ecosystem in the process.There are simply too many moving parts and too few experts for any one company to handle every project alone, local industry experts say. And the technology is also advancing too quickly for companies to eschew collaboration and risk missing out on a game-changing new piece of equipment, or fail to adapt to evolving standards.“If the medium doesn’t succeed, it doesn’t matter who gets a job,” says Jason McGuigan, creative director with Raleigh-based Horizon Productions. “We need the entirety of this to become a thing before we can realize our fullest potential. If we can all help each other out, the industry succeeds.”RTPVR If the area’s surplus of tech geeks and media professionals was the industry’s kindling and tinder, it was the spark of RTP Virtual Reality that set the whole thing ablaze. RTPVR began in 2014 as a meet-up among hobbyists and was accelerated by the 2015 arrival of Alex Grau, a virtual reality whiz who had worked on 360-degree video technology for a company called Total Cinema 360 in Manhattan. For a while, RTPVR was little more than a group of enthusiasts who met up every so often to geek out about the latest technology. But Grau’s experience and knowledge about the business side of things helped inspire a wide variety of companies and hobbyists to dive into the market. Eventually, a core group of VR professionals and their start-ups – about 11 of them, so far – emerged.  Once that happened, RTPVR realized that its role as a clearinghouse for Triangle virtual reality start-ups was a business opportunity in itself. Beginning in January of this year, RTPVR transitioned from its role as a networking collective to an incorporated business.RTPVR’s Alex Grau and Nate Hoffmeier. “Right now, we’re describing ourselves as a consulting group,” says Nate Hoffmeier, who works with Grau at RTPVR. “We’re functioning as an incubator, but also trying to give start-ups access to these businesses coming to us for help.” Say, for instance, a university wants to develop a VR tour of its campus. RTPVR leverages its connections and knowledge of the Triangle start-ups in the industry to help the university find the company that best suits its needs and budget. Start-ups with complementary areas of expertise will often team up on larger projects. In addition to sharing technology and best practices among VR companies, the kind of networking RTPVR facilitates is doubly valuable for marketing to potential clients. Because one of the industry’s chief challenges is explaining what the technology can do and how it works, Hoffmeier says, word-of-mouth is critical. So are decidedly old-fashioned, in-person sales techniques. “People can’t advertise this stuff through a traditional 2-D screen,” Hoffmeier says. “We need people saying, ‘No, you need to try this. This isn’t a fad; this isn’t a gimmick.’”Horizon Unlike many of its peers, Horizon Productions is about three decades removed from “start-up” status. It has long been an industry leader among old-fashioned video production companies in the Triangle. But the company took a turn to the future about a year-and-a-half ago – “quite some time” in the VR world, according to creative director Jason McGuigan – when a few employees began playing around with a gadget called the Oculus Rift, a virtual reality headset born on Kickstarter but later bought by Facebook. Oculus is widely known as a pioneering force behind market-ready virtual reality. Because Horizon already employed people with the graphic design, audio, and videography expertise required to produce solid VR experiences, the company realized it only needed a few key additional hires to become a viable player in the industry. And unlike most start-ups trying to get a foot in the door, Horizon had the capital and client base to support that ambition. “Looking at the core technology, we recognized that a lot of its aspects we already do, we have in house,” McGuigan says. “Once you discover the power of the medium, it’s very difficult to say, ‘This isn’t going to be a big deal.’” Since then, Horizon has begun offering 360-degree video products to its clients alongside more traditional services. As Horizon’s multimedia director Jason Cooper notes, they’re often educators as much as salespeople in those cases.Jason Cooper and Jason McGuigan of Horizon Productions pose with their Google VR/GoPro Odyssey camera, one of the only 360-degree VR cameras of its kind on the East Coast. “We’ve made it a focus to be evangelists and do demos and take VR to our clients and the community,” Cooper says. “We‘ve actually introduced VR to maybe more people than anybody else, than someone like Epic (Games), in the Triangle.” Horizon’s success in the field led to its becoming one of a handful of VR-involved firms chosen to participate in Google’s VR Jump program, which is both a product and a service. Companies like Horizon get to use a GoPro-designed 16-camera rig to capture stereoscopic 3-D video, the production of which has been, until now, an incredibly labor- and computing-intensive process. VR Jump, however, allows participants to send Google their raw footage, where it’s processed within a day or two and sent back perfectly stitched together and compiled into 3-D, 360-degree video. “Our focus right off the bat was on the non-gaming applications of this technology, but we’ve actually moved into that realm as well,” Cooper says. “We’re one of the few players in the area that has done projects for major corporate clients.” Among those clients are local LED producers Cree and hardware retailer Home Depot. Horizon has also recently produced 360-degree video packages for the UNC football team – Cooper’s a UNC grad – as well as the Carolina RailHawks. Duke’s VR therapy Cynthia Jones’ Virtual Reality Therapy for Phobias clinic isn’t the only place on Duke’s campus using virtual reality; the technology you’ll find there, compared to what media and gaming production companies are working with, isn’t necessarily cutting edge. But that’s not what’s important, says Jones, a counselor with the Duke Faculty Practice whose clinical work using virtual reality to treat phobias has expanded the technology’s reach into places even the most interdisciplinary development teams might never have considered. Virtual reality’s application as a phobia treatment makes a lot of sense once you learn a little about how phobia treatment has traditionally been approached. People like Jones often use what’s known as “immersion therapy” to help patients understand and control their psychosomatic responses to their phobic triggers – flying in an airplane, for instance.Cynthia Jones uses VR to help treat phobias at Duke. Here she demonstrates a simulation for public speaking. But traditionally, immersion therapy hasn’t actually been all that immersive. Patients with a fear of flying might have been asked to imagine themselves in an airplane. They would then evaluate their responses to that imagined input and practice controlling them. Even that can be surprisingly successful, Jones says, but the power of suggestion that comes with a 360-degree video experience – combined with physical cues like a rumbling seat – adds a new dimension to the treatment. “VR allows me to take that in-between step of what you imagine in your mind and kind of having a virtual world to play with before you go into the real world,” Jones says. Duke’s clinic started using the technology in the early 2000s as a result of the hospital’s partnership with Emory University, where it was pioneered. The modules Duke has adopted, each crafted to address a specific condition, are developed by a company called Virtually Better. Virtual reality’s clinical uses have also expanded to addiction treatment, post-traumatic stress, and motor skill rehabilitation in patients who have suffered traumatic brain injury. Jones says VR helps some patients overcome the stigma associated with certain phobias by making the process of overcoming them feel more like a discrete task. The modules she uses recommend between eight and 20 45-minute practice sessions, but Jones says most patients only need a handful. “They can think, ‘I’m going to go in and practice with this set of equipment instead of going in and feeling like a crazy person,’” she says. “People will use VR, particularly men, because they want to come in, get the job done, and get out of there.”LEVR Studios As creative director of online education at N.C. State University, Mike Cuales has worked for the past 14 years to find and develop tools that transcend the limitations of remote learning. Once he discovered virtual reality, he knew it represented a total shift away from – and a vast improvement upon – everything that had come before it, including classroom learning itself. “From an educational standpoint, the ability to immerse somebody in an environment and put them in the scene holds immense promise for almost anything I’ve been working in for the last decade,” Cuales says. In 2015, Cuales began LEVR Studios. For now, it’s a low-budget, boutique operation that Cuales and his business partner Arthur Earnest find time for when they’re not at their day jobs. Cuales 3-D-prints his 360-degree camera rigs himself and uses his background in education to his advantage.Mike Cuales sets up gear provided by Lenovo for a 360-degree immersive experience at N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences’ BugFest. “With a small company, I can do the projects for a school, for example, or a nonprofit,” Cuales says. “Someone who can’t foot the bill for a Hollywood production.” That suits him just fine. Cuales says he’s not in virtual reality to become an industry tycoon. As an educator and researcher, his passion lies more in finding out what happens when artists and documentarians get their hands on the technology he’s grown to love. Cuales also understands better than many in his field the challenges virtual reality will face if it hopes to become more than a futuristic novelty. His job requires him to think about what will capture students’ attention, and unlike the bulk of technological innovation that’s come along in the last decade or so, virtual reality’s immersive premise demands that attention in an undivided form. That kind of focus is wonderful for learning, Cuales says, but it’s no mean feat to get students and consumers to commit to it.LEVR Studios’ Mike Cuales believes in the immersive power of VR for remote education. “It’s a big ask for our audience to sit down, put on this headset, and make sure you have enough space around you to move around and really check out to some degree,” Cuales says. “We’re not doing a tremendous job of preparing users for that.” As exciting as it is to don the headset for the first time, it’s also hard to completely let go and forget how goofy it must look to the outside world to be flailing about and remarking on things no one else can see. Cuales says he’s noticed that sense of vulnerability in demonstrations he’s been a part of, and he worries that could be an even more pernicious barrier. The solution to these problems, he thinks, is two-fold: Start people out with short experiences, and be conscious of the environment you create when introducing people to the technology. “That’s why I’m so passionate about its application in education,” Cuales says. “It’s a captive audience. If I say you need to take the next five minutes to step into this manufactured environment, that’s exciting because they’ve already made the commitment to be here.” Lucid Dream The founders of this Durham-based start-up are eager to discuss virtual reality’s big-picture future, but for now, they’re content to meet the market where it is. “What we’re not doing is games; I’ll start with that,” says Joshua Setzer, one of Lucid Dream’s co-founders. “Games are going to be a huge market in VR, and there’s going to be a lot of interesting possibilities, but we’re interested in VR mainly as a sales and marketing tool.” But even within that focused mandate, Lucid Dream has chosen to grapple with virtual reality at the conceptual level, partly because of the shared responsibility industry members feel to advance the technology, but also because a fundamental understanding of what makes virtual reality work promises to make their products more effective. “We’re hacking the conscious mind,” Setzer says. “We’re trying to hit the minimum threshold so that the human brain says ‘yes, this is reality.’” Mike McArdle, another Lucid Dream co-founder, is a former Apple Store employee who used to specialize in helping neophytes navigate Apple products. He has also dabbled in bringing the technology into the classroom through a separate initiative called the Virtual Reality Learning Experience. McArdle says virtual reality holds the promise of unprecedented accessibility in a way that takes away the abstraction of user interfaces, making tech-based tasks easier for even true tech novices by mimicking their real-life equivalents. “If you think about it, we’ve gotten used to abstractions with mouse and keyboard,” McArdle says. “(Virtual reality) is this crazy flat circle where we’re using the most insane, cutting-edge technology to make interaction with technology a lot more human, a lot more intuitive. VR could, ironically, bring a whole generation of people back into computing.”Lucid Dream co-founders Joshua Setzer and Mike McArdle say virtual reality has the ability to be the “greatest empathy machine that man has ever known.”McArdle’s skills are complemented by Setzer’s. The Duke graduate used to work in architectural rendering designing yachts, and he has a strong familiarity with 3-D modeling and the types of clients in the market for Lucid Dream’s work. So far, those include real estate developers, car and boat manufacturers, and product designers, all of which can benefit from the ability to give potential customers a tour of products that are either not present or don’t yet exist. In addition to possessing a near-complete virtual reality skill-set in a three-man team – RTPVR’s Alex Grau completes the trio – Lucid Dream’s co-founders are willing to discuss the cultural and philosophical implications of the medium, both the value and danger that awaits a society that places a premium on augmenting and replacing sensory input with something other than one’s immediate physical surroundings. “We have different mental constructs because of how we interact with different technologies due to the spread between the wealth of the world and the poorest of the poor,” McArdle warns. “This could accelerate that. It might be the great equalizer if enough of this technology gets around, but it might be the great divide where some people are able to start living in a virtual world.” Setzer chimes in with a more optimistic perspective. “It also has the potential to be the greatest empathy machine that man has ever known,” he says. “There are all these really interesting immersive journalism pieces that take an audience into another person’s world and life in pretty haunting ways. There are so many opportunities to build understanding.” The two agree that virtual reality, like the internet, is simply another media tool that expands access to both the real world and to refuges from it. What becomes of this tool will depend on how those who pioneer virtual reality define its place. “It’s business, but it’s much more than just business,” Setzer says. “It’s society-changing technology. There are a lot of important conversations to be had.”last_img read more

Raleigh Now Spotlight Marbles Kids Museum

first_imgGROWING UPMarbles Kids Museum plans its next decadeby Jessie Ammonsphotograph courtesy Marbles Kids MuseumMarbles Kids Museum celebrated its tenth anniversary this fall by planning for its next decade, purchasing a 16,000-square-foot building next door on Hargett Street. “Property downtown is not always readily available,” says vice president of development Emily Bruce. “We leapt at this wonderful opportunity.” Bruce says the purchase was an unexpected but welcome boost to the museum’s growth strategy. Its current location boasts 39,000 square feet of interactive exhibits designed to encourage play at every age, and they all come: Average annual attendance tops 500,000 visitors. “More space to play is the request we hear most often,” Bruce says, and it’s the staff’s number-one priority. “We know we cannot wait (to create more space), because today’s 4-year-old does not have 10 more years to wait. At Marbles, we move at the speed of childhood.”  Today’s children will benefit immediately from more exhibit space and breathing room, because the museum will most likely move its administrative offices into the new building right away. So even though construction on the new building is likely three to five years down the road, visitors will see a difference quickly. “We are nimble, we are entrepreneurial, and we’re going to apply that same sort of creativity and spark to expansion as we have to developing the exhibits and programs that our community has come to love.”marbleskidsmuseum.orglast_img read more

Mental health Making parity a reality

first_imgDespite having the highest mental illness levels in the UK, a male suicide rate double that of England and the Republic of Ireland and a critically underfunded health service, Northern Ireland remains the only region of the UK without a mental health strategy. Ulster University’s Professor of Social Policy, Deirdre Heenan, outlines the imminent need for a 10-year mental health strategy in Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland has the highest levels of mental illness in the UK, with rates of mental health at least 25 per cent higher than in England. In Northern Ireland the legacy of the conflict and socio-economic factors have been identified as major contributors to the high levels of mental illness, with deprivation being a major predictor of area level mental wellbeing.The legacy of the Troubles has cast a long shadow. Suicide rates are the highest in the UK and Ireland and are showing no signs of declining. More people in Northern Ireland have taken their own lives since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1999 than were killed as a result of the Troubles between 1969 and 1997. The male rate of suicide in Northern Ireland is currently twice that of England and the Republic of Ireland.Despite relatively high levels of mental illness Northern Ireland is the only region of the UK that does not have a mental health strategy and services are fragmented and poorly funded.In the last decade the health service in Northern Ireland has been subject to seven major reviews culminating in the Bengoa Report, ‘Systems Not Structures’. This wide-ranging review formed the basis of a 2016 ministerial statement, ‘Delivering for Change’ described as an ambitious 10-year plan for change. These reviews said relatively little about mental health, focusing instead on the reconfiguration of existing systems for delivery.The Bamford Review continues to inform policy on mental health in Northern Ireland, despite having begun in 2002 and completed in 2008. The proportion of the health budget in Northern Ireland devoted to mental health is around 6 per cent, which is half that of England. This relatively low level of investment has led to underfunded psychological and mental health services and increasing waiting times. This legacy of increased psychopathology and under-resourced services is reflected in general practitioner prescribing rates for antidepressant medication, which are the highest in the UK.Alongside this are disturbing trends of increased prescribing to children and young people. Perinatal mental health problems are a major public health concern as, where these concerns are not addressed, they can have long lasting effects on family relationships and the mental health and social adjustment of children. Yet 80 per cent of Northern Ireland does not have access to the specialist perinatal it needs.Figures released by the Department of Health in March 2019 highlighted once again that hospital waiting times are continuing to spiral out of control. In some cases, waits of up to four years for a first outpatient appointment are not uncommon. Patients are expected to endure waits of more than two years after being referred as an urgent case. The figures also highlighted a “postcode lottery” for patients, with the wait time for a first outpatient appointment in the same specialty varying by more than three years.The equivalent of one person in five is on a waiting list with over 120,000 people waiting over a year for treatment. In March, there were 120,000 people waiting more than a year in Northern Ireland, compared to 5,000 across England and Wales combined. This means that a citizen of Northern Ireland is more than 3,000 times as likely as a citizen of England to have been waiting more than one year for healthcare. An examination of other regions across the UK illustrates how anomalous these waits are. For example, in the Merseyside and Cheshire region, which has a population of around two million, similar to Northern Ireland, 10 people were waiting more than a year.A study by the Patient and Client Council in Northern Ireland in 2018 reported that long waits for any treatment can lead to poorer mental health, with increased levels of anxiety and stress. Waiting for excessive periods of time for investigation and treatment were shown to have a devastating impact on patients, their families and communities.The Permanent Secretary at the Department of Health advised in May 2019 that the public should not expect change to waiting times soon. Richard Pengelly noted that the transformation agenda could not tackle waiting lists and estimated a cash injection of around £1 billion was required to clear the backlog. Whilst policy on waiting lists is a priority in other regions of the UK, with specific initiatives to address them, this is not the case in Northern Ireland.Pockets of money have been released to ease pressures, but as expected, have had very limited impact. It is difficult to gain the trust of the public for a transformation agenda when the situation regarding waiting lists is so poor. Tinkering at the margins, and short-term sticking plasters will not address fundamental underlying issues. Lack of scrutiny and accountability around performance is compounding an already challenging situation.The devolved Executive and Assembly collapsed in January 2017 and Northern Ireland has now been without a functioning government for over 30 months. The political impasse and the absence of Direct Rule effectively means the region being run by civil servants in an unprecedented system of disjointed incrementalism.Unsurprisingly this prolonged period without a government has had a particularly negative impact on health and social care. Key strategic developments have stalled. Most notably, Protect Life 2, Northern Ireland’s suicide prevention strategy, completed in 2016, remains unimplemented as it requires ministerial sign off.Similarly, the Children and Young People’s Strategy 2017–27 has been put on hold. The Psychological Therapies Strategy is not fully implemented, and the psychology workforce continues to be under-resourced, leading to restricted access to specialist psychological services and concerns over training and governance of psychological interventions. Northern Ireland is still waiting for a regional trauma centre and the final evaluation of the Bamford Review which was due to have been published in 2017.The failure to provide appropriate and timely health care to people who have mental illnesses and to provide early intervention will extract a high cost on this post-conflict society. Advances in medical treatments and knowledge mean that many mental illnesses are treatable and early intervention underpins recovery.The challenges around mental health require radical action where stakeholders including politicians, healthcare leaders, clinicians, academics, the voluntary sector and service users work together to develop and deliver an agreed vision for the future. Providing efficient and effective healthcare is complex and challenging. However not addressing these issues is a false economy and comes at a significant human and economic cost.Making parity a reality, a review of mental health policies in Northern Ireland was written by the Ulster University’s Professor Siobhan O’ Neill, Professor Deirdre Heenan and Dr Jennifer Betts.last_img read more

Bu•kus new view

first_imgMeasured approachThis is not Degnan’s first time opening a new restaurant. Along with co-owners Tony Hopkins and Todd Ohle, he opened so•ca, a Latin American street food restaurant, in Cameron Village in March 2017, and bu•ku Wake Forest in April 2018. (Meanwhile, Degnan also helped open the pay-what-you-can nonprofit restaurant A Place At The Table in downtown Raleigh.) But this endeavor is moving the flagship location, the one that started it all. The new doors are set to open in February or March, and the timing couldn’t be more perfect, Degnan says. “Our restaurant is going through a culture change right now,” he says. The hospitality industry is known for its demanding ethos of long hours and late nights, but Degnan and his leaders, including chef Haisley, are working to promote work-life balance and respectful, team-oriented attitudes. Moving physical locations has been an opportunity for the team to double-down on those efforts. The staff today is “the kids who turned into pros.”  ‘Fill the place with people’ Degnan refers to the new location as a “sacred” space because of its history. An Cuisines was a fine dining Asian restaurant associated with The Umstead Hotel and Spa, celebrated for the same high-end experience. “We fully expect people to visit bu•ku and compare it to An,” Degnan says. “You remember the most amazing Asian restaurant— that’s what we’re up against. We’re cognizant of that and we’re also doing what we’re good at: serving fun, small street food from around the world.”  The restaurant closed its original doors in downtown Raleigh on New Year’s Eve, after almost 9 years in business. The new Cary location is a sort of bu•ku 2.0, offering the same small plates inspired by global street food, but refined in service and in its focus on community. The life of a restaurant, Degnan says, comes from the people inside it—and also the people behind it. “I really think you can taste the love put into food. When it comes from the right place, that translates.”  The food, too, is “entirely new, while holding onto many of the themes of past menus,” says Haisley. When bu•ku first opened, “we were inspired by the food that the cooks were cooking for each other,” Degnan says. “That’s what ended up on the menu… the food they made for their friends.” Flavors lean Asian in influence, which will remain true in the new location. “There’s going to be a hotpot,” Haisley says, referring to the brothy, curry-infused dish that’s become one of bu•ku’s most popular. The rest will change regularly, inspired by staff’s friends and family as well as bu•ku’s loyal customer base.  Menu inspiration will also come from the Triangle’s diverse food scene. “We are well aware of the criticism that bu•ku can be considered a cultural appropriation restaurant,” Degnan says. They’re embracing the criticism as constructive. The new location is a little larger, providing room to host local guest chefs. There is a former sushi bar equipped with a mini kitchen, slightly apart from the main dining area, where folks behind popular food trucks and smaller local favorites can take over for a few weeks. bu•ku wine director Troy Revell and beverage director Tolson Kenney will then create paired drink lists to complement the food menu, Degnan says, and standout combinations are likely to end up on the main dining menu. These “test kitchen” collaborations, Degnan says, will “spotlight great local chefs,” while keeping the bu•ku menu constantly infused with energy and perspective. “The food on our menu will definitely still be our food, but going forward we want to create room for natural evolutions and additions.”  “We have the really fortunate opportunity to have every person who loved An come give us a chance, and every single person who loved bu•ku come give us a chance, too,” says Degnan. “All we have to do is be authentic and do what we do best… And fill the place with people. It’ll look really nice when it’s empty, but a whole lot better when it’s full.” executive chef Amanda Haisley and co-owner Sean Degnan “The life of a restaurant comes from the people in it and the experiences they create over the food,” says Amanda Haisley, executive chef of bu•ku restaurant. She’s walking through the cavernous space that was once An Cuisines, a popular upscale Asian restaurant in Cary. Without people, the place is spooky—barstools stacked on tabletops for more than a year, state-of-the-art kitchen equipment unplugged but at the ready. But soon, Haisley and her team will fire the equipment back up to open the new location of bu•ku here. “I think we just happen to be the right people at the right time,” says owner Sean Degnan, to revamp what he calls a “sacred” space. “We’re ready to do this the right way. And we weren’t even doing it the wrong way.”  A change in location delivers an updated perspectiveby Jessie Ammons Rumbley | photography by Trey Thomas The bright space reflects the fresh approach and the reinvigorated staff, who believe it will all add up to elevated and creative food. “A lot of the time, food is more inspired by how you feel and what you want to do for other people,” says executive sous chef Max Lai.  Architect Courtney Evans of Raleigh’s Tactile Workshop reinterpreted the space to reflect the “fun fine dining” approach, Degnan says. What was once a grand main dining room will instead feel like an atrium, with ample light and plant life. And the two outdoor dining spaces, rarely used by An, will be activated and emphasized. Eating outside suits small plates, Degnan says. “If you’re having a $60 steak or piece of fish, you don’t usually eat outside. But if you’re trying octopus for the first time with your girlfriends, you might sit outside and have some drinks.”  last_img read more

Kevin Bacons SixDegreesorg is Partnering with SOS Childrens Villages USA for the

first_imgKevin Bacon’s is partnering with SOS Children’s Villages USA to raise money and awareness for SOS’s extraordinary work, using SixDegrees’ new platform, 6Tag, to launch the #HomecomingChallenge.Kevin Bacon, Actor, Musician, Philanthropist and Founder of has developed a revolutionary web-based platform called “6Tag” for launching socially driven campaigns in order to raise financial support, volunteerism, awareness and anything else a charity might need to fulfill its mission. 6Tag — a messaging app for giving back — gives users the opportunity to challenge their friends to create 30-second videos in order to create awareness and fundraise for a great cause. Inspired by the wildly successful ALS ice bucket challenge, which raised over $115 million for the ALS Association, 6Tag makes it easy to duplicate the video challenge concept at scale for multiple charities.By inviting their friends to participate in the #HomecomingChallenge, SOS USA and its partners hope to inspire growing support for SOS’s global work with orphaned, abandoned and vulnerable children. “In 2017, we directly helped over 2 million vulnerable children and families in 135 countries, including right here in the United States. But right now, there are still 220 million children at risk of growing up alone. We need to do more. I believe this partnership with and Kevin Bacon will energize people to contribute to SOS USA so every child has a loving home and the opportunity to reach their potential,” explains Neil Ghosh, CEO of SOS USA.Kevin Bacon, Kyra Sedgwick, Jesse Metcalfe, Beverley Mitchell and other celebrity influencers have already taken the Homecoming Challenge and are declaring that every child deserves a place to call home. “At SixDegrees, we really try to shed light on charities that are doing extraordinary work,” says founder Kevin Bacon. “We wanted to invite more people to join us. With 6Tag, people can start to see how small actions can create real change. As a community, we can gather to create real impact.”SOS Children’s Villages builds loving, stable families for orphaned, abandoned and other vulnerable children in 135 countries, including the United States. In addition to providing family-based care for kids who would otherwise grow up alone, SOS supports struggling families so children can stay with their parents, and helps at-risk teens navigate the road to adulthood. Through family strengthening programs, long-term care for children, education and job skills training, and emergency relief efforts, SOS provides life-changing support to millions of children and families worldwide each year.Over the past two decades, Golden Globe-winning actor, musician, and philanthropist Kevin Bacon’s wide-reaching professional network has inspired a popular game that connects him to anyone in the Hollywood film industry in six degrees or less. Bacon decided to turn the idea on its head.Bacon launched SixDegrees at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, UT. In the beginning, the nonprofit partnered with institutions like the University of Maryland and Stanford University to launch projects that promoted giving and fundraising for a variety of causes. Over the last two years, the organization has refocused and has coordinated countless drop-ins and surprise pop-ups to amplify causes, community organizations, and campaigns around the country. SixDegrees makes it easy for celebrities to give a small amount of their time and lend their influence to draw attention to unsung heroes around the world. SixDegrees continues to gain involvement from a growing list of stars.last_img read more

Concerned at mounting bloodshed in Haiti UN envoy urges dialogue

Juan Gabriel Valdés, Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Representative, released a statement deploring the “savage murder” of several police and the bloodshed which followed recent demonstrations in the capital, Port-au-Prince.The UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) will continue to work in support of the Haitian police in maintaining public order, he said, ensuring the security of citizens, the protection of goods and respect for the rule of law.”I call upon the Haitian population to avoid being drawn into a vicious cycle of revenge and violence and to follow the path of dialogue, reconciliation and peace,” Mr. Valdés said. “I do not want to underestimate the seriousness of the current situation, but I believe that there is still time to resume dialogue.”A spokesman for the mission told the UN News Service that more international troops and civilian police are needed to shore up Haiti’s own law enforcement efforts.”Now we just have 3,092 troops on the ground” out of an authorized strength of 6,700, Toussaint Kongo-Doudou said. Less than half of the authorized level of civilian police – 583 out of 1,622 – have been deployed. Following the devastation caused by Tropical Storm Jeanne, MINUSTAH mobilized its forces in support of the humanitarian effort, relocating blue helmets to the hard-hit city of Gonaïves. “Some of our troops became humanitarian agents providing security at distribution sites and even distributing food to the affected population,” Mr. Kongo-Doudou said. Argentine soldiers serving with MINUSTAH opened a clinic in Gonaïves and treated some 5,000 patients in the area. The Mission also mobilized its entire fleet of helicopters in support of the humanitarian effort, ferrying aid and staff to the affected areas and conducting aerial surveys.UN peacekeepers not only helped the living but also worked to recover the remains of the dead. More than 1,500 people have been killed and at least 900 others are missing in the floods and mudslides that followed Tropical Storm Jeanne.”When you have floods and people living on top of houses and fighting for their survival, what you have to do is re-establish your priorities, transferring some of your strengths in order to help,” Mr. Kongo-Doudou said. “This was not part of the original mandate of MINUSTAH,” he noted, “but if MINUSTAH was not there, the situation would have been much worse.”He said the international community must send more troops and civilian police to the beleaguered Caribbean country. “Deploying troops is not an easy operation – it costs money. There have been pledges but the deployment has been quite slow.”The process of restoring stability in Haiti must be directed by the country’s people, he stressed. “Security must be a Haitian-led process…We need adequate troops, we need resources.” read more

Aid for Trade important for development of poor countries UN official says

“I must emphasize that aid for trade is not a panacea to all trade-related problems facing developing countries,” said Supachai Panitchpakdi, Secretary-General of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), stressing that it did not replace the needed reforms of the international trade system being negotiated through the Doha Round of WTO talks.“However, if the initiative is adequately designed, managed and implemented, it can make a significant difference in enabling developing countries to really use trade and trade liberalization as an engine of development and poverty reduction.The amount of aid needed and the detailed use of the funds will be discussed over the course of the meeting, Dr. Panitchpakdi said. However, many activities have already contributed to some of the objectives targeted by the aid-for-trade initiative, including UNCTAD projects intended to help small farmers improve the quality and competitiveness of their products.Such projects, targeting small mango and papaya producers in Ghana, for example, have helped farmers comply with quality and phytosanitary requirements, generating augmented export flows surpassing $100,000. read more

Baldwin says Trumps comments could be a threat to his safety after

first_img By Sean Murray Wall works, wall makes safe. You don’t have to be smart to understand that. In fact, it’s even easier to understand if you’re not smart. ACTOR ALEC BALDWIN has said that criticism made by US President Donald Trump could constitute a threat to his safety and the safety of his family.Trump responded angrily Baldwin’s portrayal of him on Saturday Night Live, accusing the show of performing a “total hit job” and asking why it can do so without “retribution”. Baldwin’s exaggerated imitation of the president – complete with blonde wig and pout – parodied Trump’s speech announcing a national emergency in order to build his border wall with Mexico.In the skit, he said: “You all see why I gotta fake this emergency, right? I have to, because I want to. It’s really simple. We have a problem. Drugs are coming into this country through no wall. 107,042 Views Share422 Tweet Email6 Feb 18th 2019, 6:42 PM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Monday 18 Feb 2019, 6:42 PM Source: Donald J. Trump/TwitterIn a series of tweets following the broadcast, Trump said there was “nothing funny” about the programme.He said such content is “very unfair and should be looked into”, adding that “this is the real collusion”. In a subsequent tweet, he said – in all capital letters – that “the rigged and corrupt media is the enemy of the people”. Last evening, Baldwin replied: “I wonder if a sitting President exhorting his followers that my role in a TV comedy qualifies me as an enemy of the people constitutes a threat to my safety and that of my family?”New York Times White House correspondent Peter Baker noted that no other president had “publicly threatened retribution against a television network because it satirised him”. Also parodied on the show was Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer. He said that it was a “good impersonation” but had gotten “one thing wrong”, adding “I use a flip phone”.  Baldwin says Trump’s comments could be a ‘threat’ to his safety after president’s fury at TV skit Actor Alec Baldwin portrayed Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live. Short URL 92 Comments last_img read more

Selloff target will not be met

first_imgThe representatives of Greece’s international creditors and the state privatization fund (TAIPED) on Monday agreed that the country will not be able to make the 2.6-billion-euro target for revenues from privatizations this year, although they stopped short of revising it.After the failure of the first tender for the Public Gas Corporation (DEPA) and the risk of a cancellation of the deal for the OPAP gaming company due to the buying consortium’s strong reaction to the firm’s conduct, TAIPED has been scrambling to find alternative sources of revenues.As a result, during the meeting between TAIPED and the representatives of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, it was agreed that procedures for other sell-off projects would be speeded up, given that the only revenues TAIPED has managed to bring in this year was the 69 million euros from the concession of the International Broadcasting Center (IBC) to Lamda Development last summer.Regarding DEPA, a second tender will be announced as soon as possible which will be conducted at a faster pace, in just one stage, without the nonbinding offers phase. Sell-off projects initially scheduled for later will now have to be brought forward and if possible conducted by the end of the year.Among the companies in question is Public Power Corporation (PPC), which was originally going to be fully privatized by end-2015. Now sources say that the government will be hoping to complete the PPC sell-off project within 2013. TAIPED will also attempt to accelerate the sale of Piraeus Port Authority (OLP), which had been planned for early 2014, along with the last remaining state stake in OTE telecom, amounting to 6 percent. Another 4 percent in OTE could also be sold off, although this does not belong to the state but to the Social Security Foundation.Finally TAIPED will seek a way for the immediate sale of real estate properties to take place, possibly through an electronic auction that would rapidly privatize a large part of the properties belonging to the state. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Dell possible scandale autour de la vente de produits défectueux

first_imgDell : possible scandale autour de la vente de produits défectueuxÉtats-Unis – Des documents affirment que Dell a consciemment vendu des ordinateurs défectueux entre 2003 et 2005. Les machines appartenaient à la gamme OptiPlex.Dell se retrouve-t-il dans l’œil du cyclone ? L’entreprise texane n’en est pas loin puisque, selon, des preuves permettraient d’affirmer que la firme a vendu des ordinateurs alors qu’elle savait pertinemment que leurs composants pouvaient tomber en panne rapidement. À lire aussiIBM dévoile un ordinateur pas plus grand qu’un grain de (gros) selLes appareils incriminés appartiennent à la gamme OptiPlex dont 11,8 millions d’unités ont été écoulées entre mai 2003 et juillet 2005. La plupart des clients étaient des PME ou des institutions. Dell a même commandité une étude dont les résultats affirmeraient que les condensateurs de ces ordinateurs avaient 97% de chances de tomber en panne dans les 3 ans. L’entreprise américaine devra certainement rendre des comptes à ses clients, et s’il est avéré, ce scandale pourrait représenter plusieurs millions de dollars et un sérieux coup porté à l’image de la marque.Le 30 juin 2010 à 15:24 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Sculpture Day taking shape in the Couv

first_imgOnce upon a time, sculpture was something shaped by human hands and simple tools made from bone, clay or wood. Today, sculpture may involve high-tech miracles such as computers, scanners and 3-D printers. It might even involve Proto Pasta, a “printable” hybridized thermoplastic filament manufactured right here in Vancouver.“People express themselves with the tools they know. There are no new ideas, just the evolution of technologies,” said Kathi Rick, of downtown Vancouver’s Art at the CAVE Gallery. That’s where you can see all types of sculpture this month, during and after the run-up to the fourth annual International Sculpture Day festival — which has jumped this year from Portland’s Sellwood area to downtown Vancouver.“What a great facility,” organizer Terri Elioff said of the spacious, elegant CAVE, which opened last year at 108 E. Evergreen Blvd. “It’s great to be able to show sculpture here in a museum-quality gallery.”Get your first taste of the event with the exhibit “Sculpt/3D Alchemy” during today’s First Friday Art Walk opening. That exhibit continues through April 28 and features artworks by 30 Pacific Northwest sculptors — including Vancouver’s noted husband-and-wife public-art team Jennifer Corio and Dave Frei of Cobalt Designworks, as well as Felida’s Bill Leigh. Then, come back on April 21 for the International Sculpture Day celebration, featuring artist talks about their inspirations, demonstrations of their techniques and even audience participation in some of that high-tech, experimental, sculptural fun. Proto Pasta, a Vancouver company, will demonstrate its printable, sculptural material. “We already knew we can command an audience for art from this side of the river,” said Corio, but in recent years many Portlanders have also discovered our First Friday Art Walk. They tend to avoid traffic, show up late, explore the galleries until they close and then enjoy the growing restaurant and bar scene, she said.last_img read more

Silva responds to Mourinhos comments regarding Everton

first_imgEverton manager Marco Silva has responded to comments by Manchester United manager that the Toffees wouldn’t finish above United this season.The Merseyside club are currently two places above United who are in eight place, but level on points with Everton.Silva said, according to Harrow Times:“It is his prediction, nothing more. He knows what his obligation is, and what is the obligation?”“Top six. He knows, and let’s see at the end of the season if his prediction is right or not.”Everton have scored just twice in their last four games, and could only muster a goal despite registering 19 shots against Newcastle.harry maguire, manchester UnitedMaguire says United need to build on today’s win George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Harry Maguire wants his United teammates to build on the victory over Leicester City.During the summer, Harry Maguire was referred to as the ultimate…In response to whether Everton need to bring in a new striker in January, Silva said:“I understand your question, but how many clubs are trying to find one striker to score more than 20 goals, or 25 goals, or 30 goals?”“I think it’s a question at the moment for all the managers in the Premier League.”“I am happy with the players we have. Of course we are doing our homework. We know what we want to do as well.”“My job is to work with the players we have at the moment, to develop them and develop our squad.”last_img read more

Quader yet to know if BCL men attack quota protesters

first_imgObaidul Quader file photoBangladesh Awami League general secretary and road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader on Sunday claimed that he was not aware of whether any genuine Bangladesh Chhatra League activists attacked the demonstrators who demand quota reform.“I have to make sure if others are taking part in such attacks in the name of Chhatra League,” he told a press conference at the Awami League’s Dhanmondi office.The minister pointed out that the police commissioner had not mentioned of any BCL man’s involvement in the attacks on the quota reform demonstrators.“The committee for reviewing quota system in public services is now working. Protesters have to keep patience and rely on prime minister Sheikh Hasina’s assurance,” he added.Quader himself once talked to the protesters before the prime minister announced in parliament in April that there would be no quota.However, as the protesters demanded gazzette notification confirming abolishing or massive reforms in quota system, they once again took to the streets in recent times. The protesters and the teachers who sympathise with them, faced reported attacks by BCL men in recent days.At the press conference, the AL general secretary was asked if the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) would join the next general elections. He said it was not the right time to comment on anything before October.“The elections cannot be stopped for any party or their leader. The BNP has isolated itself by its activities,” Quader elaborated.last_img read more

1 Million Houston Students Out Of School Due To Severe Weather

first_imgJack WilliamsKlein Collins High SchoolMore than 1 million students in the Houston area had a weather-related day off Monday because of storms that dumped as much as 16 inches of rain.More than 40 districts and universities canceled school as heavy rain and flooding inundated parts of Harris County and threatened nearby areas.The closures included the Houston Independent School District, the largest in Texas with about 215,000 students, plus Texas Southern University and the Houston Community College System.The more than 40,000-student University of Houston cited street flooding in calling off classes. Rice University also canceled school Monday.School has also been canceled for the following school districts:Houston ISDKaty ISDCy-Fair ISDHumble ISDKlien ISD (Klein Collins High School will be closed Tuesday as well due to extensive damage). Aldine ISD Alief ISDWaller ISDSpring ISDSpring Branch ISD (was scheduled for a student/staff holiday on Monday)Hempstead ISDRoyal ISDCrosby ISDGalena Park ISDKIPP Houston Public SchoolsConroe ISDTomball ISDEpiscopal High SchoolHouston Community CollegeLone Star CollegeTWU Houston campusUniversity of HoustonUniversity of Houston at Clear LakeUniversity of St. ThomasBrightwood College North CampusLee CollegeTexas A&M Health Science Center Institute of Biosciences and TechnologyBaylor College of MedicineAll Neighborhood Centers Promise Community Schools, Early Head Start, Head Start and Senior CentersHEART Program Sharelast_img read more

Control Windows Updates with Sledgehammer formerly WUMT Wrapper Script

first_imgControl Windows Updates with Sledgehammer (formerly WUMT Wrapper Script) by Martin Brinkmann on April 28, 2019 in Software – Last Update: April 28, 2019 – 5 commentsWindows Update, or more precisely maintaining full control over the update behavior of the Windows operating system, was the topic of many articles here on this site.On the one hand, there have been numerous update related issues, e.g. the Windows 10 version 1809 release debacle or the more recent issues with Windows 7 or 8.1 updates.Things escalated with Microsoft’s switch to cumulative updates and removing controls; while cumulative updates have advantages, they limit users to an all or nothing approach. If an update causes issues, it is often only possible to remove the entire update to address the issue.Windows Update Mini Tool Wrapper Script restored control over the update behavior. The tool’s successor, Sledgehammer, is now available.Note: if you don’t have a My Digital Life account, download the latest version of the tool from MajorGeeks instead.A look at SledgehammerSledgehammer improves the WUMT Wrapper Script tool significantly in many regards. The tool comes as a zip archive that you need to extract to the local system. A portable and installer version is provided; run the cmd script afterward — it needs Internet connectivity — to regain control of Windows Update.Basically, what Sledgehammer does is disable Windows Updates on the device by default. It includes tools to check for updates and install update selectively at any time. Windows Update is disabled after those operations automatically.The very first thing that the script does is retrieve the current Defcon rating from; Woody Leonard uses the rating to provide administrators and users with a warning level that ranges from “patches are causing havoc, don’t install” to “all’s clear”.The script runs several tasks one after the other:Creates a Windows Defender Update task if Windows Defender is active to make sure Windows Defender signature updates are downloaded and used.Removes Windows Update Assistant if found.Disables Windows Update tools such as remsh, osrss, or waasmedic.Disables the Windows Update Service.You may then exit the script, or use it to run a check for updates. Sledgehammer displays an info screen if you select to check for updates and a prompt afterward.The prompt displays three main options:Select E to enable the Windows Update Service if you want to use the Microsoft Store.Select 1 to run Windows Update Manager (WuMgr) and run a check for updates.Select 2 to run Windows Update Minitool (WUMT) and run a check for updates.The selection of (1) or (2) loads the tools and lists all available updates in them. Both tools offer similar functionality: you may use them to install selected updates, hide updates to block them from installation,Sledgehammer disables the Windows Update service automatically on exit so that Windows itself cannot use it to download and install updates automatically.Recovery scripts and update uninstall options are provided as well.Closing WordsSledgehammer improves its predecessor WUMT Wrapper Script in several meaningful ways. It displays the Defcon rating on start which may be helpful in determining right away whether it is safe to install updates. Other improvements include an Internet connectivity check, better organization of files, multi-user environment support, and more.Now You: how do you manage Windows Updates?Summary12345 Author Rating4 based on 10 votes Software Name SledgehammerOperating System WindowsSoftware Category AdministrationLanding Page Advertisementlast_img read more

Companies Are Relying on Artificial Intelligence to Learn Faster Than Ever –

first_img2016 has been all about Artificial Intelligence. From technology bigwigs joining hands to assistants getting more “human,” we have seen plenty of news and reports around AI. It’s time to catch up! Wccftech Deals is bringing a massive discount on “The Deep Learning & Artificial Intelligence Introductory Bundle,” which will help you learn the basics of AI.Artificial neural networks are the architecture that make Apple’s Siri recognize your voice, Tesla’s self-driving cars know where to turn, Google Translate learn new languages, and so many more technological features you quite possibly take for granted. Sign up for this introductory bundle and build your very first neural network – going beyond basic models to build networks that automatically learn features. Find out some details below, or head over to Wccftech Deals for more details.The Deep Learning and Artificial Intelligence Introductory Bundle1- Deep Learning Prerequisites: Linear Regression in PythonUse Probability Theory to Make More Accurate Predictions & Take the First Steps Into Deep LearningDeep Learning is a set of powerful algorithms that are the force behind self-driving cars, image searching, voice recognition, and many, many more applications we consider decidedly “futuristic.” One of the central foundations of deep learning is linear regression; using probability theory to gain deeper insight into the “line of best fit.” This is the first step to building machines that, in effect, act like neurons in a neural network as they learn while they’re fed more information. In this course, you’ll start with the basics of building a linear regression module in Python, and progress into practical machine learning issues that will provide the foundations for an exploration of Deep Learning.2- Deep Learning Prerequisites: Logistic Regression in PythonIntroduce Yourself to the Building Blocks of Neural NetworksLogistic regression is one of the most fundamental techniques used in machine learning, data science, and statistics, as it may be used to create a classification or labeling algorithm that quite resembles a biological neuron. Logistic regression units, by extension, are the basic bricks in the neural network, the central architecture in deep learning. In this course, you’ll come to terms with logistic regression using practical, real-world examples to fully appreciate the vast applications of Deep Learning.For more bundle details, check out the deals page.Original value: $480 | Wccftech Deals: $39 at 91% discount  Share Tweet Submitlast_img read more

ACVs 50 BOGO deal offers sun savings in Mexico Caribbean

first_img Share << Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group Tags: ACV&ME, BOGO, Caribbean, Mexico, Promotions ACV’s 50% BOGO deal offers sun savings in Mexico & Caribbeancenter_img Posted by MONTREAL — Air Canada Vacations is reminding agents that its Buy One, Get One at 50% promotion with deals for summer travel expires Feb. 24.Clients can save on departures June through September 2019, to Mexico and the Caribbean.The offer is applicable to new bookings with nonstop flights in Economy Class on select Flight & Hotel packages and departure dates only, and with a minimum seven-night stay.ACV’s travel protection plans, CareFlex and CareFree, can be added to the booking for more flexibility and peace of mind, as well as extra commission.With the ACV&ME loyalty program, travel agents who book hotels and groups will receive 600 points per room for packages of 7+ nights; 400 points per room for packages of 3-6 nights and 300 points per passenger for Group bookings. ACV&ME loyalty points can be redeemed for Aeroplan Miles, travel vouchers or Visa gift cards. Wednesday, February 20, 2019 last_img read more