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Lea Michele Bebe Rexha To Serve As American Idol Duet Partners

first_imgNews Luis Fonsi, Sugarland and Cam also among those slated to perform with top 24 contestants on the popular singing competition TV show Renée FabianGRAMMYs Mar 2, 2018 – 5:01 pm Who knew when “American Idol” left the air in 2016 after 15 seasons it would be back for our viewing pleasure so soon? Now we’re just days away from the show’s reboot, and we’ve got some new intel on what viewers can expect from the singing competition we know and love.On March 2 “American Idol” announced the celebrity artists who will be joining the top 24 show contestants for a special evening of duets sometime in April. These include Banners, Aloe Blacc, Bishop Briggs, Cam, Colbie Caillat, Luis Fonsi, Andy Grammer, Lea Michele, Train’s Pat Monahan, Rachel Platten, Bebe Rexha, Sugarland, and Allen Stone.Previously announced judges for the series include Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan, with Ryan Seacrest reprising his esteemed role as host.Will you be watching? The season premiere will air March 11 on ABC.Catching Up On Music News Powered By The Recording Academy Just Got Easier. Have A Google Home Device? “Talk To GRAMMYs” Lea Michelle, Bebe Rexha Join “American Idol” lea-michele-bebe-rexha-serve-american-idol-duet-partners Lea Michele, Bebe Rexha To Serve As “American Idol” Duet Partners Facebook Twitter Email last_img read more

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Alphabets Verily is reportedly making shoes that track weight and falls

first_img Aug 31 • Best places to sell your used electronics in 2019 CNET may get a commission from retail offers. 7 Photos Track your health and step up your game with these smart shoes (pictures) Apple reading • Alphabet’s Verily is reportedly making shoes that track weight and falls Aug 31 • iPhone XR vs. iPhone 8 Plus: Which iPhone should you buy? Apple Watch Series 4 $349 Wearable Tech Mentioned Above Apple Watch Series 4 GPS (40mm silver aluminum case, white sport band) • See It Apple Tags $399 Walmart See It See it Share your voice Preview • Apple Watch Series 4 review in progress (updated) $413 News • Apple Watch Series 4 vs. Galaxy Watch Active: What’s the best smartwatch? See It Verily is reportedly working on smart shoes. Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images Your shoes may very well be your next fitness and health tracker.Verily, Alphabet’s life sciences arm, has been reportedly working on smart shoes that can track your weight and movements and detect falls. As reported by CNBC, the Verily has been showing off a prototype pair to potential partners to co-develop the shoes.Sudden changes to a person’s weight can indicate health problems like congestive heart failure. Having a pair of shoes that can accurately track your weight could be a way to alert a person of a more serious condition as soon as it’s detected.The trend of wearables that can detect falls is nothing new. Last year, Apple launched its newest Apple Watch, which can detect when the wearer loses their balance. French company Helite makes protective jackets and vest for skiers, cyclists and motorcycle riders that inflate when a fall is detected. Helite also makes the Hip’Safe a belt for elderly people that inflates airbags to protect their hips in a fall.And Verily isn’t the only company working on beefing up shoes. Nike unveiled last month the Adapt BB, the latest iteration of its self-tying shoes. As if the Back to the Future-style tying wasn’t smart enough, Nike’s shoes pair up with your phone in order to collect data, make adjustments and even get software updates.It’s not known whether the smart shoes project is active or not. However, Verily isn’t the first company to pursue smart footwear. The French company E-vone announced a pair that can also track weight and detect the wearer taking a spill at CES in 2018. Verily did not immediately respond to a request to comment.First published Feb. 1, 2019 at 4:27 p.m. PT.Update Feb. 5, 2019 at 8:03 a.m. PT: Added more background information on smart shoes. Aug 31 • Your phone screen is gross. Here’s how to clean it Sep 1 • iPhone 11, Apple Watch 5 and more: The final rumors Best Buy See All 3 Google Apple Alphabet Inc. How To • How to use the Apple Watch ECG app $349 Comments Review • Apple Watch Series 4 review: ECG, and a lot of refinementslast_img read more

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Twitter is down for everyone Outage on mobile apps web brings tweets

first_imgIBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:01/1:10Loaded: 0%0:02Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-1:09?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading … Instagrams New Update That Sparked Outrage Was Just A Test Closecenter_img Update:Twitter is back up and running, at least for some users. Twitter’s Jack Dorsey has confirmed that the service is coming back up, but slowly.  Twitter is backTwitter screenshot – @jackOriginal story…Twitter is the place people go to rant about outages on services like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and others. But in an unexpected turn of event, the popular microblogging platform has gone offline. Twitter is down for everyone, both on web and mobile apps, which has brought the relentless flow of tweets to a halt.Downdetector, the website that monitors online outages, has confirmed the Twitter outage. A sudden spike in people reporting Twitter’s downtime surpassed 69,000 and the live outage map shows it appears to be a widespread issue.Twitter is down for users in Japan, the U.S., UK, France, Brazil, India, and other countries, according to Downdetector live outage map for Twitter. IBTimes India can independently confirm that the website, as well as the Twitter apps, have failed to load new tweets, post a tweet and upload media. Twitter is downTwitter StatusWhile trying to send a new tweet, the website returns an “Internal server error” and shows “Uploading media failed! Please try again later” when attempting to upload media. It appears Twitter is aware of the problem and we can expect the services to resume soon.As per the Twitter Status page, Twitter said: “The outage was due to an internal configuration change, which we’re now fixing. Some people may be able to access Twitter again and we’re working to make sure Twitter is available to everyone as quickly as possible.” Twitter is downREUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File PhotoThe Twitter outage comes only days after popular social media giant, Facebook, and its other apps, Instagram and WhatsApp, suffered a massive outage globally. The services were resumed after a while, but Twitter was flooded with reactions, some funny, some not so much. It remains to be seen how Twitter users react to this situation. Stay tuned for updates on this story right here.last_img read more

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Pahela Baishakh celebrated

first_imgForeigners too join the celebration of Pahela Baishakh on Dhaka University campus. Photo: Galib Ashraf.As the dawn breaks, all the city roads lead to Ramna and Dhaka University’s faculty of fine arts area, people in thousands gathering to celebrate the Bengali New Year Pahela Baishakh.Women and girls wearing colourful saris and men in punjabis throng the DU area while the parade, Mangal Shobhajatra, carries along to the Rupashi Bangla intersection from fine arts institution.Alongside the large number of youths, there are many of the older generation too in DU’s faculty of fine arts, Ramna Park and Suhrawardy Udyan area. Children were waiting in long queues to enjoy the traditional rides.Lakshan Babu who works of a private company and is in his 50s, was taking a break with his five-year-old son near Batmul of Ramna. He recounted the celebrations of Baishakh from the past.“I have been joining the Baishakh celebrations in Ramna batmul since the early 90s. The celebration has evolved so much since then. Though the participation has increased, the inherent spirit has decreased,” he said.According to him, the cultural engagement was much more in the past.“Different musical organisations used to sing Baishakhi songs in every nook and corner of the Ramna Park and Suhrawardy Udyan. A lot of individual folk singers were also seen here and there.”Abdur Rahim, 65, a retired banker came to Dhaka University campus from Narayanganj with his grandson.“Though I still enjoy Baishakhi celebrations but I miss the way it used to be celebrated decades ago,” he said adding, “It was not a single day celebration back then; we used to celebrate it for more than week. As my father was a trader, haalkhata (closing the annual accounts ledge) celebrations were very significant. And how can you forget the taste of those sweets prepared at the Baishakhi fair in the market?”A number of foreigners were also seen enjoying the celebrations.Randy Mikko, founder of Mikko Foundation, was taking photographs of the jubilant people.“I am amazed to see such a huge gathering. Mangal Shobhajatra is an unique celebration,” he said.Another group of young students from there Netherlands were also enjoying the celebration and taking selfies with the local people.  They say they were excited about Mangal Shobhajatra as they know the parade has UNESCO recognition.UNESCO recognised Mangal Shobhajatra as intangible cultural heritage in 2016.last_img read more

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UNICEF awards PM Hasina

first_imgPrime minister Sheikh Hasina received two international awards given by the UNICEF. Photo: BSSPrime minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday received two international awards given by the UNICEF in recognition to her government’s campaign against early marriage.The awards are: the Accolade Global Film Competition 2017 Humanitarian Award for Outstanding Achievement and the Accolade Winner Award of Excellence End Child Marriage.State minister for women and children affairs Meher Afroz Chumki and secretary of the ministry Nasima Begum handed over the two awards to the premier at the outset of the weekly cabinet meeting held at the prime minister’s Office on Monday.last_img read more

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Texas Would Get Windfall Under GrahamCassidy But That Doesnt Mean Better Care

first_imgGABRIEL CRISTÓVER PÉREZ / KUTUnder the latest GOP health care bill, money would come to the states in the form of block grants that states could use however they choose.Republicans in Congress are pushing yet another plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and Texas, at first glance, looks like one of the big beneficiaries in the short term.The new bill, known as Graham-Cassidy, would completely shake up how the federal government allocates money to states to cover health care. The money would come to states as block grants, allowing lawmakers to spend it on health care however they choose.Texas would get a windfall of $35 billion under the plan, according to Avalere, a nonpartisan health care consulting group.That money would replace current programs created under the Affordable Care Act, including the Obamacare marketplace here, which is how more than 1.2 million Texans get insurance now.Stacey Pogue, an analyst with the left-leaning Center for Public Policy Priorities, said she’s concerned that additional money will not improve health care for low- and middle-income Texans.Texas doesn’t really have the infrastructure to distribute the money, she said, blaming that on a lack of interest from Texas officials.“We were always way behind the curve in looking at options and trying to find innovative state options,” Pogue said. “It …  just simply wasn’t a priority in the state.”Those priorities will have to change if the state wants to keep that money and use it to provide health care, she said.Under Graham-Cassidy, Texas would have until 2020 to come up with a system to replace the federal marketplace.“It would be an enormous amount of work to create affordable coverage programs from scratch in that amount of time,” Pogue said. “I don’t know that there’s the political will to ensure that low- and moderate-income Texans continue to get coverage that’s at least as good and at least as affordable as they do today.”Pogue said if Texas officials don’t manage to create infrastructure in time, people will lose coverage.Graham-Cassidy also puts hard limits on how much money the federal government gives states for each person in Medicaid. In Texas, that’s mostly children.“This results in extraordinary, draconian cuts to the Medicaid program for Texas over time,” said Stacy Wilson, president of the Children’s Hospital Association of Texas.Wilson said children in the program will see a 31 percent decrease in funding for their health care under this plan.“Which means for our hospitals – whose patients are anywhere from 50 to 80 percent of the people that they see – those are going to be huge, huge unsustainable funding cuts for them,” she said.Both Wilson and Pogue also said they are also concerned the bill doesn’t have any funding assured after 2027.Copyright 2017 KUT 90.5. To see more, visit KUT 90.5. Sharelast_img read more

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Infrastructure Repairs After Harvey Expected To Exceed 100 Million In Harris County

first_img Share Photo by Harris County Flood Control DistrictErosion, failed concrete, sinkholes and slope failures are some of the problems that the Harris County Flood Control District notes need to be fixed in the county’s drainage infrastructure because of the damages caused by hurricane Harvey.The Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) expects the total cost of repairs of drainage infrastructure after Hurricane Harvey to exceed $100 million.The HCFCD noted in a news release that it has identified more than 500 repair projects that cover over 150 channel miles across Harris County’s 22 watersheds.Erosion, failed concrete, failed pipes, sinkholes and slope failures are some of the problems that the HCFCD notes need to be repaired.Repairs in Buffalo Bayou’s south slope, near Briar Forest Drive and Gessner Road, and in a section of Brays Bayou near Calhoun Road are two examples of operations that are already underway. Executive Director of HCFCD, Russ Poppe, said that repairing the damage “will require sustained effort over many months.”The projects will be submitted to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other federal agencies that assist in disaster recovery for reimbursement under the federal Hurricane Harvey disaster declaration.last_img read more

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Houston City Council To Vote On 400 Million FEMA Housing Program

first_img To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Listen Share X 00:00 /01:06 Davis LandTexas Organizing Project Director Feldon Bonner speaks outside City Hall.The Houston City Council is set to vote on Wednesday on accepting a $400 million contract with the Texas General Land Office (GLO), establishing a temporary housing program. With the money coming from FEMA through the state, the program is meant to help people with home repairs, apartment rentals, or by getting in into FEMA trailers.Davis Land /Houston Public MediaTwo Houston activists lead a song in front of City Hall. “All I want for Christmas is housing,” they sing.Activists from Texas Organizing Project (TOP) and Houston residents gathered outside City Hall to express support for the contract. They say many residents of low-income housing are often forced to stay in their flooded apartments, leading to problems with mold and creating a major health risk.“We understand that there is a process but we believe that because of the immediacy and the health issues that are involved that it should expedite things considerably,” said Texas Organizing Project Director Feldon Bonner.Many affected by Harvey are still in hotels and motels throughout the state. Questions over a precise timeline for public housing assistance have been used to criticize governmental response to the storm.“It concerns me that so much of this is being delayed. It’s been over 90 days since this hurricane,” said City Council member Michael Kubosh, who attended the rally. “We’ve got to do better than what we’re doing. People are hurting.”Kubosh said the contract is likely to be approved even though he and other council members would like to see more money put forward from the federal government.last_img read more

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The return of Moti

first_imgAn art deco setup, palatial facade, grand golden chandeliers – it has none of it, yet this humble cinema hall set in the by lanes of Chandni Chowk came into limelight in the last one week-  the week was drenched in despair. It had run into trouble over the issue of its annual license renewal that expired on 31 March. ‘It took longer to get no objection certificates but shutting it down was never in question’ says the manager,’ VK Garg.  A tall and stout man stops me quizzically at the gate of the hall. ‘Now, Moti cinema is functional. There’s no problem anymore’, says Raj Narain, the security guard at the cinema. Wondering why I was there now, he added that the cinema experienced a rather unusual footfall last week.  Journalists from national media thronged to cover the demise of Moti. It’s ironical how single screen theatres get coverage over their demise; media writes panegyrics, evoking the nostalgia of their golden past but the same monumental halls seem invisible while functional. This Thursday night, with an impromptu screening of Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Aatish – a 1994 Sanjay Dutt starrer movie – Moti bounced back to life. Before it goes into oblivion once again, we trace its past and understand its present. The alleyway leading to Moti is flanked with a huge hoarding of Jo Jeeta wahi Baazigar, a Tamil movie dubbed in Hindi, running these days. A man in his mid sixties, Shiv Kumar Jaiswal sits in the projector room with an air of boredom surrounding him. ‘I miss working manually on a projector’, he says pointing to the brand new UFO machine installed in the cinema five months ago. Like other big cinemas, this machine can load up a movie from Mumbai through satellites. He has worked as a projectionist for a good four decades. Though happy with the new technology, he ruminates the loss of ‘actually’ playing with reams of film prints. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixIn his reverie, he exclaims, there were times when he used to queue up to watch a Raj Kapoor movie. The queues used to extend almost till Lal Quila. ‘Imagine a movie running for 52 weeks straight!’ he says with a gleam in his eyes. These days Moti hardly plays Hindi movies; their target audience now are the Poorvanchalis and Bhojpuri movie goers. ‘Our audience loves action, so we run Bhojpuri, Tamil- Telugu dubbed movies and some old Bollywood movies in between to match their interests.’  Going through his yellowing note book, he tells me that Moti didn’t even play the mass entertainer Dabbang. But movies like Wanted, Zilla Ghaziabad and Son of Sardar had a five week successful run.A cat comfortably settles and purrs by in the night shift’s manager room. Suresh Kumar goes back to the halcyon days of Moti. Established around the 1940’s, the cinema had its heydays when Raj Kapoor used to come down to screen his movies here. ‘With the coming of PVR’s in 90’s, we had to switch genres. Nobody was ready to play a Bhojpuri movie Susra Bada Paise Wala a decade back,’ says the manager. They took the risk of playing it and got good returns. Now, they boast of hosting Bhojpuri artists like Ravi Kishen. The security guard Raj Narain chips in, ‘But we also had Ranbir and Nargis here for the shoot of Rockstar,’ sounding outraged for missing out on his foray into movies. He shared screen with the actors for the scene where Moti turned into Amar Talkies for fulfilling one of Heer’s wild dreams to watch Junglee Jawani in Imtiaz Ali’s 2011 blockbuster. All said and done, Moti takes on a new lease of life; showcasing the same genre of movies, offering tickets between the same 30-60 rupees range and the same salted popcorn. And they have no plans of renovating. Why not give single screen a chance before they really fades into history?ALIVE AND KICKING IN THE VICINITYREGAL CINEMA, CP, Amar Kumar Singh Verma, serves as an accountant at Regal since 1977. He gushes, ‘Whoever comes to talk about Regal is sent over to me. Its not viable for a single screen like us to work anymore. But being a point of confluence in CP, youngsters still come down to watch movies here.’ He added that foreigners visit it for its heritage value in Delhi. In those days, a full house was a routine but now its a rare phenomenon. Disappointedly he quipped, ‘Regal witnessed its last housefull on 26 January, this year.’ From Prithiviraj Kapoor’s theatre to latest bollywood movies, Regal has seen it all since 1932. A chequered hall leading to a passage filled with black and white pictures of the yesteryears stars, Regal is a piece of history.  DETAILCapacity: 658 SEATSPrice Range: Rs 50-120Technology: Uses UFO for loading movies from July 2012GOLCHA CINEMA, DARYAGANJ, Established in 1954, it is designed in art deco style of 1950’s. NR Saini, the DGM says ‘ We feature family dramas so are target audience are families ever since we opened’. DETAILCapacity: 689 Price Range: Rs 50- 120 Technology: adopted UFO 2 months agoSHEILA CINEMA, PAHARGANJ, Established in 1960 showcases both Bollywood and Hollywood movies. Its target audience varies from youngsters to foreigners inhabiting the area around, says the manager, Prakash Dubey. He adds, ‘With the rise of affordable hotels and restaurants for tourists around Paharganj, Sheila saw a rise in numbers of foreigners visiting it’. He is hopeful of a better season at the hall when IPL matches get over.DETAILCapacity: 980 Price Range: 60-120 Technology: UFO since the last 10 yearslast_img read more

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Chase your dream

first_imgDelhi is going to witness an education fair with eleven leading Russian government medical and engineering universities participating in it. The fair will further move to other metro cities of India – Kolkata (8 May) and Chennai (10-11 May) at Russian Centre for Science and Culture. The fair is aimed at informing students about the availability of the options available in Russia’s top Universities and Academies. It will serve as a one stop solution for all education queries and opportunities available in Russia at undergraduate and post graduate level. The students and their parents can interact directly with faculty and international representatives of the universities. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Russian institutions of higher learning from different cities in Russia are targeting Indian high school graduates in this fair. These include the Tver State Medical Academy, Moscow Higher School of Economics, Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas, Kazan Federal University, Southern Federal University, Kuban State Technological University and many more.When: 7 MayWhere: Russian Centre for Science and Culture, Mandi Houselast_img read more

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Get rid of Modi just as he did highvalue notes CM

first_imgRaniganj/Asansol: Coming down heavily on Narendra Modi, Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee urged people to scrap him just as he had scrapped high-value notes during demonetisation.”Remember those days when you were forced to face hardships following the note ban. People got up from the bed early morning and found high-value notes had been banned. Modi said it would bring down terrorist activities but in reality, they have gone up. Just as he had scrapped the high-value notes, you scrap him off in the election by casting your votes against him,” she said while addressing two rallies at Raniganj and Asansol on Friday afternoon. Banerjee said: “Modi has ruined the country economically. People have lost jobs. 12,000 farmers have committed suicide but he is unperturbed, he is going from one state to another to narrate lies during the election meetings.” Banerjee added: “During election meetings in other states, Modi is taking the name of Mamata because he knows that in Bengal, BJP will not be able to do anything. They will get a big zero.”last_img read more

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New perks with ACTA Membership Card program

first_img Monday, March 19, 2018 Travelweek Group Posted by New perks with ACTA Membership Card program << Previous PostNext Post >>center_img MISSISSAUGA — Upgrades to ACTA’s Membership Card program now offer ACTA members access to 2,000+ perks from brand name and local vendors.With MemberPerks ACTA members can now save on everything from travel, entertainment and dining to electronics, fitness, insurance and apparel. The MemberPerks program also includes over 400 health and wellness offers.The perks come with ACTA’s new Member Card Program partnership with Venngo.“Our members have indicated that placing more value on the Membership Card and enhancing the card program is important to them,” says Doreen Lynch, Director of Membership, ACTA. “By including MemberPerks we are adding new savings to the Membership Card program that our members could not receive on their own.”“Given the diversity of our membership, the wider range of MemberPerks we offer, the better we are at addressing the needs of our diverse membership.”To participate in the program, ACTA members can visit acta.ca/membership-card and click ‘Start Saving’.More news:  Kory Sterling is TL Network Canada’s new Sales Manager CanadaAgents will be asked to enter their Membership Card Number and register their profile. Once enrolled in the program Members will be able to redeem savings by printing a coupon, using an online promo code or downloading the mobile app.“ACTA has researched what members want from a Member Card program and is focused on delivering the best program based on member feedback,” added Lynch. “We believe that the diversity of products and savings will be appealing to both current and future members.” Tags: ACTA, Promotions Sharelast_img read more

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Alticeowned French service provider SFR is making

first_imgAltice-owned French service provider SFR is making its subscription video-on-demand service SFR Play available as a pure OTT TV offering, available to users in metropolitan France irrespective of which broadband service they take.The SVOD service will be available from €9.99 a month without an ongoing subscription commitment, offering TV series, movies and kids programming across any network to multiple devices, including PCs and TVs via Google Chromecast and Apple Airplay.Until now SFR Play has only been available to the company’s own fixed and mobile subscribers.To boost its appeal, the new SFR Play app will include access to exclusive series such as its top-rated show Les Médicis, Maîtres de Florence, Sirènes and recent addition The Same Sky. Coming soon to SFR Play will be a TV version of the Luc Besson-produced Taken movie franchise, which will be part-financed by parent group Altice’s recently launched Altice Studios arm.Taken will star Clive Standen (Vikings, Camelot), Jennifer Beals (Flashdance, The L World), Brooklyn Sudano (11.22.63) and Gaius Charles (Grey’s Anatomy), and will be co-produced by EuropaCorp Television and Universal Television. Alexander Carey (Homeland), Alex Graves (Game of Thrones, Homeland), Luc Besson, Matthew Gross, Edouard de Vesinne and Thomas Anargyros will produce.The series is a big budget effort, with a total of €40 million for 10 x 45 mins. episodes. One episode a week will be made available on SFR Play just after its airing on NBC in the US.With 1.2 million subscribers, SFR claims that SFR Play, which incorporates the old Zive service, is the leading SVOD offering in France. As well as TV series, the service offers a catalogue of close to 1,000 movies, of which about 30% are domestic productions. SFR also has a deal with Disney to provide a broad catalogue of family and kids content.last_img read more

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Sponsor Advertisement

first_img Sponsor Advertisement The silver price action was a bit choppier, but the general chart pattern was the same.  The silver price made it back above the $21 spot price mark, but wasn’t allowed to close there. The low and high were recorded as $20.805 and $21.17 in the September contract, which is the new front month. Silver finished the Monday trading day at $20.96 spot, up a whole 9 cents from Friday’s close.  Net volume was very chunky at 44,500 contracts. The CME Daily Delivery Report for Day 2 of the July delivery month in silver showed that 7 gold and 565 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Wednesday.  The two largest short/issuers were BNP Prime Brokerage, a name I don’t see too often, with 195 contracts—and Canada’s Scotiabank with 143 contracts.  The two largest long/stoppers were JPMorgan with 274 in its client account for a change—and Barclays with 255 in its client account as well.  There was quite an assortment of short/issuers on the list, so yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is worth a quick peek. Well, there was finally a deposit into GLD—and it was a pretty decent amount as well—182,882 troy ounces.  And as of 6:52 p.m. EDT yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV.  But when I was editing this column at 2:32 a.m. this morning, I saw that another huge chunk of silver had been withdrawn from SLV.  This time it was 2,064,313 troy ounces.  Since the rally began in silver in early June—10.2 million ounces has been withdrawn from SLV—and it’s still owed north of 8 million ounces.  That’s about nine days of world silver production.  And since they haven’t been depositing any metal since these rallies began, it’s obvious that the authorized participants are shorting the shares in lieu of depositing the metal. The U.S. Mint had a sales report to end the month.  They sold 3,500 troy ounces of gold eagles—1,000 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes—and another 320,000 silver eagles. Unless they add some more sales today, which is highly doubtful, the June month ended with 48,500 troy ounces of gold eagles sold—16,000 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes—700 platinum eagles—and 2,692,000 silver eagles. June was the lowest sales month for silver eagles this year by far—and that’s because Ted Butler’s big buyer backed away from the table at the end of May.  That was the same time as the mint’s silver eagle allocation program ended as well. Over at the Comex-approved depositories on Friday, there was 31,992 troy ounces of gold reported received—and it all went into HSBC USA.  No gold was reported shipped out.  The link to that activity is here. There wasn’t much in/out activity in silver, either, as only 58,313 troy ounces were received—and 20,153 troy ounces were shipped out the door.  The link to that activity is here. Since it’s my Tuesday column, I have the usual boat load of stories, as I have three days worth of news for you—and I hope you like some of them. The curious case of silver not being deposited into the big silver ETF, SLV, on the recent high volume price rally and, instead, being withdrawn has continued this [past] week. Where my back of the envelope calculations suggested close to 7 million oz of metal should be coming into the trust, instead a like quantity has departed. This is in the same league as the continuous COMEX silver warehouse turnover, namely, as an indication of physical tightness in the wholesale silver market and just as ignored by most metals commentators. – Silver analyst Ted Butler: 28 June 2014 I must admit that I wasn’t sure what to expect on the last trading day of the month—and the quarter.  I was expecting the worst as the month drew to a close, but that scenario never materialized.  As a matter of fact the HUI gained over 3 percent during the last three trading days of June. But that still doesn’t change my short-term view of the gold and silver markets—and as you examine their respective 6-month charts below, you’ll note that the RSI indicators are still at nosebleed levels—and yesterday’s price action didn’t do anything to improve that. Platinum and palladium both chopped around above unchanged for most of the day.  Both made rally attempts in New York trading that got capped—and they both finished off their respective highs, with platinum up 9 bucks—and palladium up 2 bucks.  Here are the charts. The dollar index close late on Friday afternoon at 80.03—and barely moved until the London open, which was the high tick at 80.07.   From there it developed a slight negative bias until it hit 79.95 around 10 a.m. in New York.  At that point the index slid down to 79.78 by shorty after 11 a.m. EDT—and traded flat from there.  The index closed on Monday at 79.78—down 26 basis points. The silver equities followed an almost identical path—and Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed up 1.89%.center_img The RSI indicators are still at nosebleed levels The gold price traded as flat as the proverbial pancake until 2 p.m. Hong Kong time—and then it got sold down five bucks to its low of the day about five minutes before the Comex open.  From there it rallied right past the Comex close—and just before 2 p.m. EDT, it popped another six bucks or so before trading more or less sideways until the 5:15 p.m. EDT close of electronic trading. The low and high tick were recorded by the CME Group as $1,311.00 and $1,330.40 in the August contract. Gold finished the Monday trading session at $1,326.90 spot, up $11.80 from Friday’s close.  Volume, net of July, was 134,000 contracts, with about 5,000 contracts of that amount trading in the September and December delivery months, so they could have been roll-overs out of August. The gold stocks gapped down a percent at the open of trading on Monday, but began to rally after the London p.m. gold fix was in—and then traded flat from 3 p.m. EDT until the close.  The HUI finished the day up 1.65%.  I was more than happy to see the stocks close the day, the month—and the quarter—in decidedly positive territory. Of course things can remain overbought for serious lengths of time, just like they can be oversold for the same amount of time.  But I’m still convinced, based on the past 15 years of price history, that an engineered price decline will put an end to this situation at some point.  But there’s always that black swan out there someplace. So we wait. And as I write this paragraph at 2:24 a.m. EDT, the London open is still 35 minutes away.  The gold price is comatose, except for the vertical price spike at 9 a.m. Hong Kong time—and that got dealt with in the usual manner within 30 minutes or so.  Gold volume is way up there already, so it took a fair amount of Comex paper to hammer that price spike flat.  Silver is back above $21—but only by the skin of its teeth—and volume is already very decent there as well.  Platinum and palladium are doing precisely nothing—and the dollar index is up 6 basis points. Today at the close of Comex trading, is the cut-off for this week’s Commitment of Traders Report—and since Friday is Independence Day in the U.S.A., the report won’t be issued until the following Monday.  But I can tell you right now that it won’t make for fun reading. And as I send this out the door at 4:35 a.m. EDT, I note that gold has gone from being flat, to down a couple of bucks and, in actual fact, none of the other three precious metals are doing much, either, now that London has been open a bit over 90 minutes.  Volumes are still a lot heavier than I’d like to see, but have quieted down quite a bit in the last 30 minutes or so.  Gold volume is north of 30,000 contracts—and silver’ volume is just over 10,000 contracts.  These are big numbers for this time of day.  The dollar index is up a small handful of basis points. That’s more than enough for today—and I’ll see you here tomorrow. Drilling Intersects 102 Meters of 1.97 gpt Gold at Columbus Gold’s Paul Isnard Gold Project; Drilling Confirms Depth Extension of Gold Mineralization Columbus Gold Corporation (CGT: TSX-V) (“Columbus Gold”) is pleased to announce results of the initial five (5) core drill holes at its Paul Isnard gold project in French Guiana. The holes confirm depth extension of gold mineralization below shallow holes drilled on the 43-101 compliant 1.9 million ounce Montagne d’Or inferred gold deposit at Paul Isnard in the 1990’s and support the current program of resource expansion through offsetting open-ended gold mineralization indicated by the earlier holes. Robert Giustra, CEO of Columbus Gold, commented: “These drill results validate Columbus Gold’s approach to adding ounces with a lower-risk drilling program designed to infill and to extend the mineralized zones to 200 m vertical depth from surface; a depth amenable to open pit mining.”  Fourteen (14) holes have been completed (assays pending) by Columbus Gold in the current program and drilling is progressing at the rate of about 3,000 meters per month with one drill-rig on a 24 hour basis. Columbus Gold plans to accelerate the current program by engaging a second drill-rig as soon as one can be obtained.  Please visit our website for more information about the project.last_img read more

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HCL Technologies Announces Close of Acquisition of Select IBM Products

first_img AcquisitionC VijayakumarHCL TechnologiesIBM ProductsInformix 14.10Marketing Technology NewsNews Previous ArticleBizzabo Study: 84% of B2B Tech Leaders Say Event Marketing is Critical to SuccessNext ArticleAvaya Receives 2019 Unified Communications Product of the Year Award Company Launches HCL Software Business Unit to Operate the Enterprise Software Offerings HCL Technologies (HCL), a leading global technology company, confirmed the official close at the end of June 2019 the previously announced acquisition of select IBM products for security, marketing, commerce, and digital solutions. As part of the deal’s close, HCL takes full ownership of the research and development, sales, marketing, delivery, and support for AppScan, BigFix, Commerce, Connections, Digital Experience (Portal and Content Manager), Notes Domino, and Unica.“We are excited for the next phase of the HCL Software Business Unit and are confident that these products will see good growth trajectory backed by our commitment to invest in product innovation coupled with our strong client focus and agile product development”HCL is also formally introducing HCL Software, a new division that will operate this enterprise software product business and meet customer demand. A Business Unit of “Products and Platforms” (Mode 3), HCL Software has successfully delivered more than 340 partner releases and more than 90 HCL releases, including such popular products as Informix 14.10, Domino 10, Workload Automation 9.5. The division aspires to reshape the enterprise software business, focused on innovation and cutting-edge delivery for customer success.Marketing Technology News: Connected TV is Transforming the Digital Advertising Ecosystem: ExtremLatest Video Benchmarks Report Shows 49% of Video Ad Impressions Going to CTV“We are excited for the next phase of the HCL Software Business Unit and are confident that these products will see good growth trajectory backed by our commitment to invest in product innovation coupled with our strong client focus and agile product development,” said C Vijayakumar, President & CEO, HCL Technologies. “In addition, we see tremendous potential for creating compelling ‘as-a-service’ offerings by combining these products with our traditional IT and next gen services.”Marketing Technology News: Anexinet Continues Growth Under New Ownership“Our mission is to help customers achieve success with their IT investments through relentless innovation of our products,” said Darren Oberst, Corporate Vice President and Head of HCL Software. “We are intensely customer-focused, in our product roadmaps, client advocacy, transparent development processes, high-velocity releases, and consultative sales teams. Our customers will be the ultimate beneficiaries, and we look forward to collaborating with them. We are also pleased to welcome the IBM employees who are joining HCL Technologies.”Marketing Technology News: Cognitiv Launches First Deep Learning Incrementality Solution To Help Marketers Find New Customers HCL Technologies Announces Close of Acquisition of Select IBM Products Business WireJuly 2, 2019, 4:25 pmJuly 2, 2019 last_img read more

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Exploring potential health risks of microplastic particles for humans

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 1 2018The Austrian Federal Environment Agency and the Medical University of Vienna have presented the first preliminary results of a pilot study on microplastics (microplastic particles) in humans. They have detected microplastic particles in stool of eight volunteers. The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) summarises its findings on possible health risks of microplastic particles for humans.Microplastics in foodThe BfR has no reliable data on the chemical composition, particle size and content of microplastic particles in foodstuffs. Due to the lack of reliable data, a health risk assessment for the consumption of food contaminated with microplastic particles is currently only possible to a limited extent. At the request of the BfR, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) prepared a comprehensive scientific opinion on the “Presence of microplastics and nanoplastics in food, with particular focus on seafood”. This opinion was published in May 2016:https://www.efsa.europa.eu/de/efsajournal/pub/4501 (EFSA 2016)The main aspects of the opinion were underlined in an accompanying press release: https://www.efsa.europa.eu/de/press/news/160623 (EFSA 2016a)According to EFSA, there is a possibility of oral absorption of microplastic particles of a certain size, although the fate and possible degradation in the gastrointestinal tract have not been sufficiently investigated so far due to a lack of analytical methods and valid studies.According to EFSA, available studies show that intestinal absorption appears to be very low (results from rodent studies). According to EFSA, only microparticles smaller than 150 mi-crometers (μm, 1 μm corresponds to 0.001 mm) can cross the intestinal barrier and only mi-croparticles smaller than 1.5 μm can reach organs located deeper. No results from human studies are currently available.First own investigations of the BfR on cultures of human intestinal epithelial cells as well as in animal experiments showed that plastic particles up to a diameter of approx. 4 μm can be absorbed in the cell culture of epithelial cells of the intestinal wall. In animal experiments, however, it was shown that despite the administration of very large amounts of plastic parti-cles in the size of 1 – 10 μm, these could only be found sporadically in the examined intestinal epithelial cells. The studies on the oral uptake of microplastic particles carried out at the BfR to date with various model particles did not reveal any evidence of damage to the intestinal tissue.Related StoriesBacteria in the birth canal linked to lower risk of ovarian cancerStructure of bacteria responsible for traveler’s diarrhea decipheredRaw meat can act as reservoir for bacteria associated with hospital infectionsThe BfR does not have any findings on the question of whether microplastic particles can deposit in the body.Microplastics in cosmetic products According to the current state of knowledge, a health risk from dermal or unintended oral absorption via peelings or shower gels is unlikely from the point of view of the BfR, since the microplastic particles occurring there are larger than 1 μm. With this particle size, absorption via healthy and intact skin is not to be expected with foreseeable use of the products. Even if cosmetic products are accidentally swallowed,it can be assumed that absorption via the gastrointestinal tract would only be possible to a small extent and only with particles of a few micrometers in size, and that the majority of the particles are excreted via the stool. From the point of view of the BfR, it is unlikely that health-relevant amounts of ethylene from polyethylene are released by microplastic particles during the passage through the gastrointestinal tract.Microplastics as transport vehicles for other undesirable substances It has been described that substances can accumulate on microplastic particles. These substances bind according to their chemical-physical surface properties and can interact with the microplastic particles. Due to the predominantly non-polar, lipophilic (= fat-loving) properties of microplastic particles, substances such aspolychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are discussed here. Whether these substances actually con-tribute to human exposure through uptake by loaded microplastic particles has not yet been researched.An EFSA model calculation (EFSA 2016a) shows that the daily intake of PCBs and PAHs through the consumption of contaminated microplastic particles in mussels can only increase by 0.006 % for PCBs and less than 0.004 % for PAHs compared to other intake pathways.It was assumed in the extreme case that 225 g of mussels containing 7 μg microplastic particles per kg of mussels (equivalent to 900 particles) were consumed daily by humans. These mussels in turn contain high levels of PCBs and PAHs, of which the PCBs and PAHs are completely transferred to humans.It has been described that biofilms can develop from bacteria on particles that float, for example, in water. Whether and to what extent microplastic particles can act as vehicles for bacteria or viruses that have an influence on the safety of food products or the health of hu-mans has not been investigated.Avoidance of the absorption of microplastics by humans Sources of microplastic particle inputs into the environment and the food chain are manifold. Generally valid recommendations for protective measures cannot currently be formulated. There is a great need for research into the question of whether and under what conditions microplastic particles can have a potential hazard. Entrance paths for microplastic particles into the environment and the food chain must be further researched and solutions for the avoidance of inputs must be sought. Source:https://www.bfr.bund.de/cm/349/is-there-a-risk-to-humal-health-from-microplastics-more-research-and-scientific-data-needed.pdflast_img read more

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NIH awards 35 million to continue development of robotic system for treating brain

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Nov 13 2018Researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and Albany Medical College, along with corporate partners GE Global Research and Acoustic MedSystems Inc., have received a five-year, $3.5 million award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through the National Cancer Institutes’ (NCI) Academic-Industrial Partnership program, to continue development of an innovative robotic system that, operating within an MRI scanner, can deliver a minimally invasive probe into the brain to destroy metastatic brain tumors with high-intensity therapeutic ultrasound under real-time guidance.The grant, the second major NIH award for the system’s development, will enable the research team to model the behavior of the ultrasound ablation system, implement thermal monitoring to provide real-time feedback on dose delivery, optimize and verify the effectiveness of the system, and certify its readiness for human clinical trials. The research team is led by principal investigators Gregory S. Fischer, PhD, associate professor of mechanical engineering and robotics engineering at WPI and director of the Automation and Interventional Medicine Laboratory, and Julie G. Pilitsis, MD, PhD, chair of the Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics and professor of neurosurgery at Albany Medical College.Fischer and Pilitsis will work closely with the two corporate partners. Acoustic MedSystems in Savoy, Ill., will design, build, and validate the needle-based therapeutic ultrasound (NBTU) probe and provide the software to visualize and control it. GE Global Research Center in Niskayuna, N.Y., will implement thermal imaging capabilities to monitor, in real time, the ablation of tumor tissue, and will collaborate on integrating the robotic system with its clinical MRI scanner.Brain metastases, which are among the most common type of brain tumors, occur when primary cancers in other organs spread to the brain. About 170,000 new cases are diagnosed each year in North America. Currently, the only treatment options are chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, all of which have limited success and can harm unaffected brain tissue; in addition, surgery is possible only when tumors are in accessible locations.The system being developed with the NIH award takes a different approach to treatment. It uses a thin (2 mm in diameter) probe that can be inserted into the brain through a small hole drilled in the skull and placed within the tumor. By adjusting the probe’s orientation and power output, doctors will be able to deliver doses of high-intensity ultrasound energy that are lethal to tumors, while minimizing damage to surrounding brain tissue. High-intensity ultrasound energy kills tissue by heating it (called thermal ablation), making it possible to use an MRI scanner’s ability to detect thermal emissions to monitor the dose delivered to the tumor.”Thermal ablation has shown potential as an effective treatment,” Pilitsis said, “but the available devices for using this therapy have severe limitations and can’t treat all shapes, sizes, and locations of tumors. Our hope is that this integrated robotic system will one day be able to provide all brain tumor patients with a safer, more accurate treatment.”The probe will be inserted into the brain with a robotic system developed by a WPI research team led by Fischer. The core of the system is a robot capable of operating inside an MRI scanner. It will position and align the probe before it is inserted into the brain and then adjust its depth and rotate it during the procedure to conform to the shape of the tumor. To ensure that the probe is precisely targeted at the tumor, the robot’s alignment must be based on real-time MRI scans, rather than pre-operative images, since the brain can shift as the patent is being prepared for the surgery. Real-time scans are also needed to verify the position of the probe in the brain, while live MRI-based thermal imaging will be used to monitor and provide feedback on the effects of the ultrasound ablation.”Our system is designed to provide very precise, closed-loop control,” Fischer said. “We will use live MRI images and thermal imaging to control the pattern of the ablation and monitor and adjust it in real-time to confine the thermal effects to the area within the tumor boundaries and to ensure that we are maximizing the odds that we are removing the entire tumor, while minimizing the chances of damaging non-malignant tissue.”Related StoriesNeural pathways explain the relationship between imagination and willingness to helpStudy provides new insight into longitudinal decline in brain network integrity associated with agingNew therapy shows promise in preventing brain damage after traumatic brain injurySince this control depends on live images, the WPI robot has been carefully designed to work within the tight confines of the MRI scanner and to operate effectively despite the presence of other technology, including anesthesia equipment, imaging coils, and patient monitoring apparatus.In addition, because MRI scanners use a powerful magnet, the robot must be made without ferrous metals. It will be constructed mainly from plastics and ceramics and will use innovative piezoelectric motors and custom motion-control electronics that generate very low levels of electrical noise to avoid interfering with the MRI imaging system. In addition, the robot must be designed so that any parts that come in contact with the patient can be sterilized and so that the system can operate reliably and safely within a surgical environment.In addition to the robot, the WPI team, which includes PhD candidates Paulo Carvalho and Katie Gandomi and research scientist Christopher Nycz, PhD, is also developing a modular controller to operate the robot and will work to integrate the robotic system with multiple other systems, including the MRI scanner, the software that controls the Acoustic MedSystems probe, and 3D navigation software. Fischer said the goal is to deliver a system that can be easily integrated into the work flow inside a surgical suite. “When we get to clinical trials we won’t be able to have an army of engineers on site,” he said. “So we need to get to the point where everything runs very, very smoothly.”Some of this work will be conducted at WPI’s PracticePoint R&D facility for medical cyberphysical systems, a membership-based research, development, and commercialization alliance founded to advance healthcare technologies. Now under construction at WPI’s Gateway Park campus, PracticePoint, which in 2017 received a $5 million matching grant from the Massachusetts Baker-Polito Administration and the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, will have point-of-practice clinical case scenarios–a hybrid operating room, a medical imaging suite, a reconfigurable patient care suite, a rehabilitation lab, and a residential setting–where smart medical devices and systems can be researched, developed, and tested. The surgical imaging suite will include a 3-Tesla MRI scanner made by GE Healthcare, a core industry partner in PracticePoint.”We will be leveraging the facilities at PracticePoint to do a lot of our system testing, MRI compatibility validation, and system integration,” Fischer said. “Having the ability to conduct this work here in Worcester, using a scanner comparable to the technology in which our pre-clinical studies will be conducted, will be a huge advantage.”The robotic system being developed with the current NIH award is an evolution of a system designed and tested by the WPI-Albany Medical College team with an earlier five-year, $3 million award from the agency. “In the first phase of the project, we developed a proof-of-concept system and demonstrated that it worked as expected,” Fischer said. “With the new award, we can optimize and fully characterize the system, verify it with pre-clinical studies, and get it ready for clinical use.”While their current focus is delivering a system for treating brain tumors with ultrasound ablation, Fischer said the research team is also considering other applications for their technology. “We are creating a versatile stereotactic neurosurgery delivery device,” he said, “one with much broader potential applications. For example, we could use it to deliver other ablation technologies, to do biopsies, to do electrode placement for deep-brain stimulation, and even to deliver therapeutics such as gene therapy. This research has opened up a world of exciting possibilities.”Source: https://www.wpi.edu/news/wpi-and-albany-medical-college-developing-robotic-system-treat-brain-tumorslast_img read more

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Biosense Webster treats first patient in US IDE study of HELIOSTAR RF

first_imgThe STELLAR study is an important step forward in expanding treatment options for atrial fibrillation patients in the United States. The burden of atrial fibrillation on quality of life, morbidity and mortality is significant and we are committed to developing innovative and life-enhancing technologies that fill important clinical needs, improve care and reduce this burden.”Uri Yaron, Worldwide President, Biosense Webster, Inc. The HELIOSTAR catheter design has the potential to overcome the limitations of current balloon ablation catheters, result in fewer catheter exchanges and, most importantly, shorter procedure times. HELIOSTAR is an exciting technology and we look forward to seeing the final study results,”Andrea Natale, M.D., F.H.R.S., F.A.C.C., F.E.S.C., cardiac electrophysiologist and Executive Medical Director, Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute at St. David’s Medical Center “This new balloon catheter is unique because it conforms to any pulmonary vein anatomy and allows me to control electrodes individually to deliver tailored energy when ablating around pulmonary veins,” said cardiac electrophysiologist Rodney Horton, M.D., who treated the first patient in the study with Dr. Andrea Natale at the Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute at St. David’s Medical Center. Related StoriesDePuy Synthes launches nerve assessment platform for spine proceduresBiosense Webster enrolls and treats first AF patient in clinical study of new RF balloon catheterJohnson & Johnson announces FDA clearance to expand indication for Acclarent AERA deviceThe HELIOSTAR RF Balloon Ablation Catheter has 10 electrodes, which allows electrophysiologists to deliver different levels of energy depending on the tissue during lesion creation. In addition, the balloon design makes it possible to achieve pulmonary vein isolation with a single application of RF energy. The device is compatible with the Biosense Webster CARTO 3 Mapping System, an advanced imaging technology that enables creation of real-time 3D maps of a patient’s cardiac structures. The use of the CARTO 3 System during an ablation procedure can reduce exposure to radiation from fluoroscopy.It is estimated that 33 million people worldwide are living with AF, or an irregular heartbeat, which can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications.center_img Dec 4 2018Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies announced today that Biosense Webster, Inc., a worldwide leader in the diagnosis and treatment of heart arrhythmias, has enrolled and treated the first patient in its STELLAR U.S. Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) study. The study will evaluate the safety and effectiveness of HELIOSTAR Multi-electrode Radiofrequency (RF) Balloon Ablation Catheter in treating symptomatic drug refractory recurrent paroxysmal (intermittent) atrial fibrillation (AF). Up to 640 patients will be enrolled in as many as 40 clinical sites worldwide. Source:https://www.biosensewebster.com/last_img read more

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France prepares 15 billion euro push to foster AI research

Emmanuel Macron wants to make France an AI hub President Emmanuel Macron is to unveil Thursday a bold plan to make France a centre of reference for artificial intelligence research, aimed at drawing homegrown and foreign talent in a field dominated by US and Chinese players. © 2018 AFP Citation: France prepares 1.5 billion euro push to foster AI research (2018, March 29) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-03-france-billion-euro-foster-ai.html Explore further Samsung, Fujitsu pick France for new AI research centres This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. The proposals, which Macron’s office said would be backed by 1.5 billion euros ($1.85 billion) in public funds, follow months of interviews with AI experts worldwide by star mathematician Cedric Villani, now a lawmaker in Macron’s Republic On The Move (LREM) party.Villani’s report, presented Wednesday, calls for doubling the pay of young researchers and engineers, and tripling the number of students specialising in artificial intelligence over the next three years.Macron hosted a dinner Wednesday for about a dozen AI specialists and industry leaders convened as part of a conference being held in Paris on Thursday, at which he was to outline his priorities.Both Fujitsu of Japan and South Korean giant Samsung announced Wednesday that they would set up AI research centres in France, while Google said it would sponsor a dedicated AI chair at the country’s elite Polytechnique engineering school.Microsoft said it would invest $30 million in France, including at its Microsoft AI school opened this month, which is targeting 400,000 students over the next three years.Macron’s dinner guests included Yann LeCun, the New York-based Frenchman who until recently ran the AI research lab at Facebook.Also attending was Demis Hassabis of Britain’s DeepMind—creator of the AlphaGo system that in 2016 beat an elite human player of the Chinese game “Go”—which will open in France its first European research centre.”Much of the discussion centred on the best way to accompany the huge changes made possible by artificial intelligence and their ethical implications, and to ensure they are beneficial to humanity,” said Marie-Paule Cani, who will hold Google’s new AI chair, of the evening’s exchanges.’Digital champions’The AI push dovetails with Macron’s pledge to shake up the French economy and make the country more attractive to foreign investors, which has included business tax cuts and eased labour laws.Samsung’s research centre, its third largest in the world, will be headed by Luc Julia, the French researcher who co-invented Apple’s voice-activated assistant Siri before decamping for Samsung.Industry experts say that while France produces engineering talent widely sought after by companies and universities around the world, few French start-ups have managed to become top players in cutting-edge technologies.To avoid diluting its efforts and resources, Villani’s report urges the government to concentrate on four sectors: Defence and security, transport, the environment, and health.Macron is also expected to propose a European framework for facilitating cooperation between researchers and sharing data, while addressing growing concerns about privacy breaches or the replacement of thousands of jobs by machines.”We want France and Europe to be digitial champions in the service of humanity. That means for example a general rule on data protection,” France’s Digital Minister Mounir Mahjoubi told French daily Les Echos in remarks published Thursday. read more

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