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GMA Interview Kesha Finds Hope With Rainbow

first_img “GMA” Interview: Kesha Finds Hope With ‘Rainbow’ Email Singer/songwriter reveals the deep personal connection she has to her upcoming album, as well as what it was like to collaborate with Dolly PartonRenée FabianGRAMMYs Aug 9, 2017 – 1:39 pm GRAMMY.comKesha’s highly anticipated Rainbow is slated for release on Aug. 11. Ahead of the album, Kesha is spreading some light on the interview circuit, including a sit-down with “Good Morning America.”Kesha dished about how the album’s title, Rainbow, symbolizes hope and represents a nod to the LGBTQ community. It doesn’t hurt Kesha hearts rainbows — she has many rainbow tattoos.To add to the dazzle of the record, Kesha collaborated with GRAMMY-winning country superstar Dolly Parton on a cover of her 1980 hit “Old Flames Can’t Hold A Candle To You” and gushed about the experience.”I’m still not over it,” she said. “So I’m just going to tell everybody about it forever.”While on set, Kesha also gave a live performance of her current hit single, “Praying” She explained to host Robin Roberts that this track, in particular, represents going through hard times and coming out the other side in one piece.”I think it’s just really important because it talks about me personally going through something really hard, lots of very hard things, making it through, not giving up and finding empathy on the other side, which is incredibly hard sometimes.”For Kesha, the meat of this album comes from the deeply personal meaning behind every track, which she hopes, in turn, helps other people.”I’ve written every song on this album, and they’re all so personal,” Kesha said. “I think this record is quite literally saving my life. And I hope you guys like it, and I hope you can hear it, and I hope it helps people.”Kesha, Arcade Fire, RAC: New Music You Need To Hear NowRead more Twitter Facebook News Hear Kesha Talk About ‘Rainbow’ gma-interview-kesha-finds-hope-rainbowlast_img read more

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Mario Royale gives a Nintendo classic the battle royale treatment

first_img Share your voice 1 The way the game works is that 100 players go through the same level of Super Mario Bros. Each individual has their own instance of the game and for the most part don’t interact directly with the other players, which makes it appear that there are 99 other Mario “ghosts.” Each player can, however, interact with the level and in turn, affect the other players’ instance of the level. If one player grabs the mushroom to make Mario big, that item isn’t available to everyone else. A player could also jump on a Koopa turtle’s shell, causing it to knock into other players and kill them. Things get even more interesting when one player obtains the star and goes invincible. Now, that player is active in everyone’s instance and can eliminate anyone they touch. There are several different worlds based on levels from Super Mario Bros. Each world has four levels, and the player who reaches the last level and gets past Bowser first will be the winner. Mario Royale is available to play via a web browser, and players can use a keyboard or gamepad to control Mario.  Comment Nintendocenter_img Tags Battle royale goes 8-bit in Mario Royale.   InfernoPlus Battle Royale games such as Fornite, Apex Legends, and PUBG are incredibly popular right now. One YouTuber took the formula for those games and added it to a Nintendo classic. Mario Royale, made by YouTuber InfernoPlus, is a battle royale mod of the original Super Mario Bros. Players compete against 99 other player-controlled Marios to see who’s the first to beat Bowser. Computers Gaminglast_img read more

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Brandon Routh to play Superman again in Arrowverse crossover

first_img More superheroes Comic-Con Honored, humbled, grateful, and still pinching myself. 😄#ReturnOfSuperman#Superman#Crossover#Arrowverse #SDCC2019 @DCComics@DEADLINE https://t.co/M5nQdTWYmh— Brandon Routh (@BrandonJRouth) July 19, 2019 Comments Tags 62 Photos 0 Actor Tyler Hoechlin has portrayed Superman in previous Arrowverse crossover episodes and will also be reprising his role as Superman.”Crisis on Infinite Earths” is based on the DC Comics miniseries in 1985 and 1986 that explored the idea of multiple incarnations of Superman.Currently, The Flash, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow and Batwoman are all set on Earth-1, but Supergirl takes place on Earth-38, meaning Kara has to cross dimensions to team up with the other heroes, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “Crisis on Infinite Earths” will debut on The CW starting in December, then continue in January 2020. More details of this Arrowverse crossover are expected at San Diego Comic-Con during Saturday’s DC Comics panel.  TV and Movies The best San Diego Comic-Con celebrity disguisescenter_img 3:00 The very best cosplay we saw at Comic-Con 2019 Dark Phoenix, Mystique and Storm just got their own X-Men Barbie dolls Cosplayer makes Spider-Man mask complete with movable mechanical eyes Joker movie with Joaquin Phoenix: Trailer, release date, story details, and more Share your voice Now playing: Watch this: Brandon Routh flies high in Superman Returns.  Warner Bros. Pictures Superman is complex superhero who depends on his disguise as reporter Clark Kent to keep his identity safe. He leads a double life so why not have his character played by more than one actor?Actor Brandon Routh, who played Superman in the 2006 movie Superman Returns, will step into The CW’s Arrowverse to play the DC Comics superhero yet again.Routh already stars on The CW’s superhero-packed series Legends of Tomorrow as Ray Palmer/The Atom. But the actor will  also play Clark Kent/Superman in the upcoming “Crisis on Infinite Earths” Arrowverse crossover.  Deadline first reported the news Friday and then Routh confirmed it via tweet by comment: “Honored, humbled, grateful, and still pinching myself.”The Arrowverse, by the way, refers to three DC Comics-based superhero shows that appear on The CW: The Flash, Supergirl and Arrow. (Disclosure: The CW is a joint venture between Warner Bros and CBS, the owners of CNET.)  “Crisis on Infinite Earths” will include The CW’s DC Comics shows — Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow and Batwoman. The CW DC Comics Supermanlast_img read more

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PEC examinee killed in road crash

first_imgRoad Accident LogoA Primary Education Completion (PEC) examinee was killed and a minor girl injured in a collision between a human hauler and a CNG-run auto-rickshaw in Chattogram’s Port Colony on Monday.The deceased was Sumona Akhter, 12.Assistant sub-inspector Alauddin of Chittagong Medical College Hospital police outpost, said the auto-rickshaw collided with the human hauler (locally named as Tomtom) around 9:00am, leaving Sumona and minor girl Pinky Akhter critically injured.Later, they were rushed to the hospital where physicians declared Sumona dead.last_img read more

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The Experts Known As Ice Meisters Create Perfect Olympic Skating Surfaces

first_imgFrancois-Xavier Marit/AFP/Getty ImagesRussian athletes compete with Britain during the curling women’s round-robin session on Feb. 14. Curling ice is textured with tiny dots called pebbles.In the Winter Olympics, where races can be won or lost by thousandths of a second, tiny imperfections can make all the difference.Nowhere is this more true than in the ice venues, where skilled technicians called “ice meisters” have honed their expertise over years of crafting the perfect surface.Make that surfaces: It turns out that all ice is not created equal.Depending on the sport, the ice might need to be softer or harder, colder or warmer, textured or smooth.Take long track speedskating, raced on the 400-meter rink at the Gangneung Oval, where ice meister Mark Messer is in charge.Messer, from Calgary, Alberta, explains that long track speedskating requires the coldest ice of any Olympic sport: between 14 and 21 degrees Fahrenheit.It’s also the hardest ice.“We’re trying to get as little friction as possible,” he explains, “so we have to make a balance between grip and glide. We need to have enough grip so that the skate can get a good push off it. But then we want them to glide as far as possible, so that there’s less effort expended for the long distance.”Long track ice is built to be about 1 inch thick, and, Messer says, it needs to be as dense as possible to make it stronger. To accomplish that, the ice team filters the water to take almost all the minerals out.Ed Jones/AFP/Getty ImagesSouth Korea’s Cha Jun-hwan competes in the men’s single skating short program. Figure skaters need warmer, thicker, more supple ice so they can dig in for jumps.“We leave a little bit in there to kind of hold everything together,” he says, “and the other thing that we have to get out is air.”Standing rinkside as skaters take practice runs around the pristine, gleaming Oval, Messer has the look of a satisfied craftsman.“Yeah, it looks good,” he says, noticing a dusting of what looks like light snow kicked up in the corners. “When they’re skating and the ice is hard, you get a little puff of snow, and if they’re goin’ in there and there are chunks comin’ out, then we know we’ve gone a little bit too hard.”Good ice, he says, has a certain sound, too: “Very nice and quiet. If it’s not good ice, the blades will kinda grind in the ice. And it’s a nice and clean sound here.”Messer, who has made ice in five Olympics, strives for perfection.“Our mantra is that we don’t say, ‘That’s good enough.’ It’s always, ‘Is that as good as it can be?’ And that’s what we try to do here.”So far in the Pyeongchang Olympics, long track speedskaters have set six Olympic records on the Oval. Nothing makes Messer happier.“I still get a thrill when I see people crossing the finish line with a good time,” he says. “That’s incredible. We take a huge pride in that.”Skaters will tell you they know instantly if the ice is great or not.“One of the first things we do when we step on the ice is, like, ‘How’s this ice?’ ” says Lana Gehring, who’s on the U.S. short track speedskating team.Amin Mohammad Jamali/Getty ImagesSkaters compete in the 1,500-meter women’s short track. The ice for short track speedskating is thicker and warmer than long track ice. Hockey ice is warmer still.Speedskaters get a lot of information transmitted through a blade that’s just a millimeter thick.“All that input is coming directly up to our body,” she says, “so we’re able to tell right away if it’s dense, if it’s grippy, if it’s breaky, if it’s too rough.”The ice for short track speedskating is thicker and warmer than long track ice. Hockey ice: a bit warmer still.But in the games, short track speedskating shares a rink with figure skating. Two totally different sports with different ice needs are holding competitions in the same ice arena.The arena’s ice meister, Remy Boehler of France, explains that figure skaters need warmer, thicker, more supple ice so they can dig in for jumps. If the ice is too hard and cold, it will “explode” when they land, he warns. But short track speedskaters need colder, faster ice in that same venue.It takes about three hours to adjust the temperature from one sport to the other.The best way for Boehler to tell if he’s got it right? “What I use most are my ears,” he says. “I use them all the time. When I arrive, I take off my cap so I can really listen to the sound of the blades, if they’re gliding or cracking.”Roland Harrison/Action Plus via Getty ImagesThe Gangneung Oval, the venue for speedskating, is prepared before competition begins.And when the ice is great, he can tell by the skaters’ faces. They’ll take to the ice — and smile.“That’s the best feeling of all,” he says.And then there’s ice for curling — a totally different animal.Look closely at the ice sheets, and you’ll see they’re not smooth. They’re textured with tiny dots called pebbles.The ice meister of the Winter Olympics curling venue, Hans Wuthrich of Gimli, Manitoba, says his team uses pebbling cans with 25 different pebble heads to sprinkle the ice with droplets. The idea is to reduce friction.“Those wee little water droplets,” he says, “they’re the thing that touches the bottom of the curling stone. That’s what the rock actually rides on and makes it go easy. And that’s also what makes it curl.”So when you’re watching these Olympics, think for a moment about the ice meisters. They devote their lives to creating ice that’s so perfect, you’ll never notice it at all.Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Sharelast_img read more

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Belgian telco Belgacom has launched its TV Replay

first_imgBelgian telco Belgacom has launched its TV Replay service in Flanders and Brussels, allowing viewers to watch shows up to 36 hours after they’ve aired on different devices. The service, which Belgacom began trialling in November, lets Belgacom TV customers access programmed from their TV, computer, tablet or smartphone.Starting from this week, the TV Replay offering will consist of content from six channels – één, één HD, Canvas, Canvas HD, Ketnet/OP12, VIER, VIER HD, Belgacom 11, Belgacom 11+, and Belgacom 5.A second launch phase, slated for April 15, will see seven more channels be added – Vijf, Vijf HD, VTM, VTMHD, 2BE, 2BE HD, Vitaya, JIM, anne and VtmKzoom.“Belgacom is the first to launch such a product on the digital TV market in Belgium, in cooperation with the channels. Thanks to this new product, you don’t have to worry if you forget to record a program, and you are no longer dependent on the TV guide. With TV Everywhere, customers could watch TV wherever they wanted: TV Replay now allows them to also do this whenever they want,” the firm said.TV Replay will cost customers €3 per month, while a TV Replay+ option that will allow viewers to also skip forwards through programmes costs €7 per month.The rollout follows a successful four-month test with 10,000 Dutch-speaking Belgacom TV customers.The news comes days after Belgacom said it has entered into exclusive negotiations with Vivendi about selling 100% of its shares in ICT services company Groupe Telindus France.last_img read more

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Russian broadcaster CTC Media was hit by a commerc

first_imgRussian broadcaster CTC Media was hit by a commercial, macroeconomic and regulatory storm in the third quarter, suffering from both a fall in its audience share and the overall weakness of the Russian advertising market.CTC reported a 15% slide in revenues in ruble terms and a 51% fall in dollar terms to RUB4.9 billion (€70 million) for the third quarter. OIBDA was RUB569.7 million, down 69% in ruble terms and down 84% in dollar terms.“Although we saw some recent strengthening in the Russian advertising market, the third quarter of 2015 has been a challenging period for CTC Media as a result of regulatory, macroeconomic and commercial developments. In light of these macroeconomic headwinds, we are pleased that our overall results remained positive, with an OIBDA margin of 11.6%,” said Yuliana Slashcheva, CEO of CTC Media.Slashcheva said that “the first nine months of 2015 have been extremely challenging for CTC Media and the Russian advertising market overall” although the rate of decline had slowed in the third quarter. CTC’s audience share was hit by new must-carry regulations, which saw the number of channels carried by cable and satellite operators grow to encompass all channels on the country’s first and second digital multiplexes.last_img read more

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International Rugby League will return to Wembley

first_imgInternational Rugby League will return to Wembley Stadium for the first time since 1997 when the second round of fixtures in the 2011 Gillette Four Nations series take place at the national stadium this autumn.On Saturday November 5 the RFL will stage a double-header of International Rugby League, which will see hosts England taking on Australia, kick off 3.30pm and Wales, who will be making their Four Nations debut, facing current Four Nations and World Champions New Zealand in the first of the two games, kick off 1.00pm.The last international at Wembley was between Great Britain and Australia 14 years ago and England have not played at the national stadium since the 1995 World Cup final when Australia were the victors in front of a 66,540 crowd.“Wembley Stadium is known around the world for staging some of the biggest and most important events in sport and we are delighted to be taking International Rugby League back to one of the world’s most iconic stadiums in the autumn,” said RFL Chief Executive Nigel Wood.“With some of the world’s best Rugby players on show at Wembley we will undoubtedly raise the profile of the sport on the national and international stage. We hope that this fantastic event will help to bring the drama of the sport to a much wider audience especially with the 2013 Rugby League World Cup only a few years away.”The 2011 Gillette Four Nations tournament commences on Friday October 28 at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, when holders New Zealand take on Australia in a repeat of last year’s Four Nations Final. The match will kick off at 8.00pm. The following day tournament hosts England take on Wales at the Leigh Sports Village with the match kicking off at 2.30pm.After the Wembley showcase round, the final week of group fixtures sees New Zealand travel to Hull to play England at the KC Stadium on Saturday November 12, kick off 6.00pm, with Australia making the trip to the Racecourse Ground, Wrexham to face Wales on Sunday November 13, Kick off 5.45pm.The final of the tournament will be played at Elland Road, Leeds, the venue of the 2009 Gillette Fusion Four Nations Final, on Saturday November 19, kick off 6.00pm.Jared Regan, Gillette Brand Manager, said: “We are delighted to once again be title sponsors of the Gillette Four Nations. This exciting tournament has grown over the years to become one of the sporting calendar’s premier events.“We are especially looking forward to welcoming Wales into the tournament, and eagerly await the arrival of Australia and New Zealand to these shores. And, as England sponsor, we of course hope to see the host nation do particularly well!”“This year’s tournament will have the added profile of a double header at Wembley, and we applaud the decision to take two of the fixtures to arguably the best sporting arena in the world.“Gillette have committed considerable resource to this year’s tournament, and we’re sure Rugby League fans old and new will join us in looking forward to an autumn of thrilling games played out before packed stadia.”Tickets details for all the Four Nations matches will be announced on Monday July 4 at 11.00am and supporters will be able to take advantage of a special celebratory offer for tickets to Wembley.last_img read more

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Tech Giants Form Group to Pressure US Over Surveillance

first_img Apply Now » Seven of the nation’s largest technology companies have teamed to pressure the U.S. to scale back its government surveillance programs, demanding five changes in the way the U.S. compiles and uses the data of private citizens.“We understand that governments have a duty to protect their citizens,” the companies wrote in an open letter on the website for their coalition. “But this summer’s revelations highlighted the urgent need to reform government surveillance practices worldwide. The balance in many countries has tipped too far in favor of the state and away from the rights of the individual — rights that are enshrined in our Constitution. This undermines the freedoms we all cherish. It’s time for a change.”The companies involved are Who’s Who list of the American Internet: AOL, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter and Yahoo. In one way or another, all were involved in the National Security Agency’s surveillance of Americans and people abroad. The companies have publicly objected to government access to data – in some cases directly through the companies’ own servers. They have also lamented that they were not able to communicate their communications with the government itself, for fear of violating the law. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer went so far as to suggest she could be accused of treason if she made disclosures to the public.Related: Amid Surveillance Concerns, Two Companies Shut DownWhile the companies’ letter focuses on individual rights, there is also a big business implication at stake. The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation earlier this year suggested U.S. companies could lose as much as $35 billion over the next three years as businesses and individuals move their data to countries with better data protection.Indeed, Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel, is quoted on the site saying as much. “People won’t use technology they don’t trust,” he wrote. “Governments have put this trust at risk, and governments need to help restore it.”The business coalition wants five key changes:1. Limits on surveillance. In short, the companies are looking for changes in the law that make it harder for the government to force businesses to give up data.2. Better oversight. The coalition is seeking reform to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which approves subpoenas. The group wants that court to be more open and have an adversarial process, like the rest of the federal court system.3. Transparency to customers. A key problem for companies has been their inability to tell customers – and investors – that requests for data had been made by the NSA. The coalition wants more flexibility in disclosing subpoenas to the public.4. Data flow. The group wants the government to allow transfer of data across borders, without having to worry that the NSA will tap data centers overseas.5. Better government coordination. All of the companies operate internationally, and so are subject to different surveillance laws in different countries. The coalition wants a treaty or agreements to standardize practices.Related: Can This Company Save You From The NSA’s Prying Eyes?  3 min read 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Next Article Ray Hennessey The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Technology Tech Giants Form Group to Pressure U.S. Over Surveillancecenter_img December 9, 2013 –shares Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Editor-at-Large Add to Queue Image credit: REUTERS/Kacper Pempel Guest Writerlast_img read more

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World Leading AI Chatbot Provider Bespoke Announces US Launch

first_imgWorld Leading AI Chatbot Provider Bespoke Announces US Launch PRNewswireMay 9, 2019, 4:50 pmMay 9, 2019 Chatbot Technology Used by World-Famous International Travel Destinations Now Available for US-based HotSpots at Restaurants, Coffee Shops, Hotels, Airports and MoreBespoke, a leading developer of multilingual Artificial Intelligence solutions serving travel and tourism industries throughout Japan, announce the company’s US launch, providing advanced AI-powered chatbot solutions to US restaurants, coffee shops, hotels, airports, municipalities and more.  Bespoke’s unique natural language processing technology provides superior accuracy and performance, resulting in increased customer usage and satisfaction. In addition, Bespoke is announcing their first U.S. product availability:  ChatConnect, an easy-to-implement offering enabling businesses to run customizable, chat-based surveys or promotions as their branded company WiFi sign-on landing page.“A company’s WiFi sign-on page provides a perfect, yet untapped, opportunity to engage with important customers who are at a given location, allowing business owners to capture real insight, improve customer loyalty and more,” said Akemi Tsunagawa, founder and CEO of Bespoke. “We created ChatConnect to allow businesses to quickly engage with and learn from their customers with our friendly, familiar and compelling chat experience that customers actually want to use.”Marketing Technology News: Introducing Pardot Business Units: Powering Personalized Enterprise B2B Marketing at ScaleTo get started, businesses simply sign up, enter the information to display to customers, and update their existing WiFi redirect URL. After a straightforward 15-minute onboarding, a business is ready to begin benefiting from chat-based surveys and promotions – all administered to customers through an engaging and familiar chat interface.Marketing Technology News: Streaming TV Viewership up 72% Yoy, Advertisers Shocked at 47% Fail RateBased in Tokyo, Bespoke Inc. is a world-leading developer of multilingual Artificial Intelligence solutions serving travel and tourism industries. With a focus on providing accessibility and uncovering local resources for users from over 100 countries, one of the company’s most popular products is the Bebot AI travel concierge. Bespoke custom AI chatbot customers include Holiday Inn, Sofitel Hotels & Resorts and Narita International Airport. As of Q1 2019, over forty-thousand travelers interact with Bespoke Chatbot technology daily.Marketing Technology News: SAP Offers New SaaS Solution to Onboard Millions of Partner Users, Granting Access to Sensitive Data Without Regulatory Risk Akemi TsunagawaArtificial IntelligenceBespokechatbotMarketing TechnologyNewsWiFi redirect URL Previous ArticleMINDBODY Acquires Bowtie.aiNext ArticleCGI Influencers: The Rise (and Eventual Fall)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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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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Drugs designed with advanced computing technologies could help tackle hospital superbugs

first_imgSuperbugs are becoming steadily more resistant to antibiotics, causing an ‘antibiotics crisis’ and a serious threat to public health.  In Europe alone 25,000 deaths were linked to antibiotic resistance in 2014. The World Health Organisation estimates that by 2050 this figure will rise to 392,000 and that, worldwide, 10 million people will die from untreatable superbugs.Speaking at the World Economic Forum earlier this year Matt Hancock, the UK Secretary of State for Health, said: Now computational scientists from STFC’s Scientific Computing Department (SCD), STFC Hartree Centre and IBM Research are working together to understand how antibiotic agents operate at the molecular level, and enable the first steps in the efficient design of next generation drugs and treatments. Their findings are published in Physical Review Letters.Using ultra-largescale computer simulations, which were run on the Scafell Pike and IBM Power 8 supercomputers at the Hartree Centre, the team has shown that mechanical stresses on cells can affect the apparent potency of simple antibiotics.   Some antibacterial agents kill microorganisms by attacking their cell membranes, leading to leakage and death of the cell.  But the amount of tension in the cell membrane can make a difference.SCD’s Dr Martyn Winn explains: Jun 6 2019Hospital superbugs such as MRSA or E.coli could soon be under attack from a new generation of drugs designed with the help of advanced computing technologies from STFC and IBM Research. Related StoriesStudy analyzes high capacity of A. baumannii to persist on various surfacesHave cancer, must travel: Patients left in lurch after hospital closesChildren’s Colorado granted IAC’s Cardiovascular Catheterization accreditationThis penetration of the membrane also allows for drugs to infiltrate the cell. Lead author Dr Valeria Losasso from SCD said:  “How antibiotic molecules penetrate and disrupt bacterial membranes is closely related to the permeation of membranes, required to deliver drugs to targets inside the cell. Both require the membrane barrier to be overcome. Our results may therefore have a wider impact on drug delivery, for example how molecules cross cellular barriers before they reach the circulatory system.”The design of drugs which target microbial membranes is seen as a promising strategy, which scientists will continue to investigate.Source:STFCJournal reference:Crain, J. et al. (2019) Modulation of Antimicrobial Peptide Potency in Stressed Lipid Bilayers. Physical Review Letters. doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.122.208103. Antimicrobial resistance is as big a danger to humanity as climate change or warfare.” Imagine the cell as a balloon, where the balloon ‘skin’ is the membrane protecting the bacterium inside. As the bacterium grows the membrane stretches and, like a balloon, it’s easier to poke holes into it. Agents such as antimicrobial peptides, naturally occurring molecules that our bodies produce as a first line of defence against bacteria and viruses, are then more able to launch a successful attack, tearing holes in the membrane and causing the bacterium to leak and effectively bleed to death.” The left-hand figure shows a side view of a normal bacterial membrane at the atomic scale. The right-hand figure shows two changes: 1) the membrane is stretched, making it thinner; 2) the antimicrobial peptide (in green) has punctured the membrane letting in water (blue). The paper investigates how 1) and 2) combine together, to kill the bacterium more effectively. (Credit: SCD/STFC)last_img read more

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Volkswagen workers secure big pay bump

VW’s 120,000 workers in Germany will see their pay increase by 4.3 percent in May Citation: Volkswagen workers secure big pay bump (2018, February 21) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-02-volkswagen-workers-big.html “After a long night of talks we’ve achieved a result employees at Volkswagen can be very happy with,” chief negotiator for union IG Metall Thorsten Groeger said in a statement.VW’s 120,000 employees in Germany will see a 4.3-percent pay boost from May this year and tripled contributions to their company pension fund.But the car-making giant did not match other employers’ offer of the option to temporarily switch to a 28-hour week.Instead, some groups of employees, such as those with young children or caring for relatives, can choose to take up to six additional paid days off per year instead of an annual bonus.”This decision is effectively in line with the contract renegotiation across the metalworking industry. That was an important goal for us to secure Volkswagen’s competitiveness” in the labour market, VW human resources chief Karlheinz Blessing said in a separate statement.During the wider pay talks between IG Metall and other employers’ groups earlier this year, thousands of workers down tools in 24-hour “warning strikes” across Germany.Fearing labour shortages in an already tight job market, business leaders held out long and fiercely against the demand for a working week of 28 hours.The employee representatives—negotiating on behalf of some 3.9 million metalworkers nationwide—eventually secured most of their demands including higher pay and the temporary shorter week. 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. Workers at the world’s largest carmaker Volkswagen said Wednesday they had secured a big pay bump, in line with the rest of Germany’s powerful metalworking sector. © 2018 AFP Explore further Carmaker PSA picks new head of British unit Vauxhall read more

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Voting for more voters

first_img Tags / Keywords: Related News Nation 12 Jul 2019 Govt retables ‘Vote 18’ Bill Tunku Zain Al-‘Abidin Nation 11 Jul 2019 Govt re-tables ‘Vote 18’ Bill, incorporating automatic voter registration Related News Nation 10 Jul 2019 Govt withdraws ‘Vote at 18’ Bill to tweak it (corrected) This incited debate: British friends complained that while Malaysians can vote in Newcastle, Britons can never vote in Kota Baru – the supposed justification being “payback for colonialism”. But Malaysians found it surreal to be able to vote in another country before our own. There was some disagreement as to whether to exercise the vote, but there was a precedent in Malaysians being active in British politics, including Tun Abdul Razak, who was apparently involved in the Labour party. There was no legal barrier, although some lawyers have argued that Article 24 of our Federal Constitution applies. It states that a Malaysian’s citizenship may be deprived if they exercise a right in another country that is “accorded exclusively” to that country’s citizens. No problem there, since British law explicitly says Commonwealth citizens may vote. But the next clause implies that “the exercise of a vote… outside the Federation” is nonetheless deemed to be such an exercise. However, this has never been tested in court, and as can easily be found, many Malaysians indeed voted in UK general elections as well as the 2014 Scottish and 2016 EU referenda. (Also, in 2007, Wan Saiful Wan Jan contested in an English local election.)In 2010, I participated in the Malaysian Student Leaders’ Summit where my co-panellist Shahril Hamdan (now deputy Umno Youth chief and co-founder of new think tank The Centre) agreed on the wisdom of reducing the voting age to 18. Last year, the government’s manifesto promised to do so, and last week the relevant Bill was tabled. However, this did not contain the element of automatic registration which was also promised and, after demands by the Opposition, the Bill was withdrawn in order to include it, to enable the automatic registration of an estimated four million new voters.This is unprecedented in Malaysian parliamentary procedure. But then, two unprecedented things happened in our Parliament within the past year: namely when the Dewan Negara defeated the government’s bid to repeal the Anti-Fake News Act in September 2018, and again in April 2019 when the Dewan Rakyat rejected a constitutional amendment to (ostensibly) restore Sabah and Sarawak as equal to the Federation of Malaya as founding members of Malaysia. Thus, seen positively, this shows an evolution in policymaking: the minister realises a need for consensus to achieve a manifesto promise, while the Opposition understands the legitimacy and benefits of this reform. Seen more cynically, both sides are only supporting this reform because they think they will benefit more from the new voters.From a philosophical point of view, however, there is no good reason to prevent this extension of suffrage. A democracy should always seek to increase individual rights, especially when they do not diminish others’ rights and freedoms.However, a common objection to letting 18-year-olds vote is that they are too immature, naive and reckless. This is spurious. Firstly, 18-year-olds already possess many significant rights, including decisions about relationships (including marriage), career, education and the ability to drive. Secondly, many adults are considered immature, naive and reckless, and that does not impair their right to vote. Unless you change the fundamental criteria of suffrage itself, then Malaysia ought to follow international norms and allow voting at 18.With this Bill, hopefully other beneficial electoral reforms requested by civil society can follow: such as electing senators, restoring local elections, making the Election Commission more powerful yet accountable, and perhaps reforming the method of electing MPs from simple plurality to a preferential system, which I have argued for before. Some civil society colleagues desire compulsory voting, but to me, forcing people to vote can represent a diminution, rather than an expansion, of liberty. But most of all, citizenship education is needed at every level of education so that Malaysians grow up understanding the roles of our institutions.For now, Malaysians who believe in the democratic spirit of our Federal Constitution and conformity to international norms should look favourably upon expanding the franchise.Indeed, as a single act, it would be the largest expansion of democratic rights since the formation of Malaysia. Tunku Zain Al-‘Abidin is founding president of Ideas. The views expressed here are entirely the writer’s own. Tunku Zain Al ’Abidin , abidinideas With the Bill to lower the voting age to 18, hopefully other electoral reforms like electing senators, restoring local elections and making the Election Commission more powerful yet accountable can follow. I WAS 18 when I began my first year at university in London, and a few months later there was a UK general election. It was an event that generated much argument and an evolution of political views that no classroom could provide, for one reason: prior to election day, I received an Official Poll Card, denoting my right to vote according to the Representation of the People Acts, specifying where and when to cast my ballot.It came as a surprise, because I never registered. My Malaysian friends and I discovered that the university had submitted our details to the local council which determined that we were eligible voters, as citizens of Commonwealth countries over the age of 18 living in the UK. {{category}} {{time}} {{title}}last_img read more

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School exchanges plastic bottles for entry forms

first_img Indonesia 10 May 2019 Indonesian Air Force to fly jet fighters to wake people for ‘sahur’ Related News Tags / Keywords: Indonesia Indonesia 11 Jul 2019 Indonesia construction firm to sell five toll roads JAKARTA: The student admissions committee at SMPN 1 Jogonalan junior high school in Klaten, Central Java, is requiring all applicants to bring in used plastic bottles in exchange for admissions packets.“We want to instil the early habit of reducing plastic waste,” SMPN 1 Jogonalan principal Endah Sulistyo­wati said recently.The school has long advocated reducing plastic waste, running the Plastic Diet programme that encouraged its students to minimise their daily use of plastics.“At other schools, applicants are required to pay Rp5,000 (RM1.46) for the (admissions packet),” said Endah. At the school, the admissions packet could be had “for a used plastic bottle”. AdChoices广告She said that the collected bottles would be recycled into eco-bricks.“We can use the bricks for building the school fence and other needs,” she said, adding that the school collected more than 500 used plastic bottles in only two days.The school also bans its canteen from using plastic packaging.“All students are obliged to bring reusable food containers to school,” said Endah.Parents and students have welcomed the initiatives, saying that it should be replicated in other schools.“This is better than paying Rp10,000 (RM2.93) for admission folders,” said Pratiwi, a parent. —The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network Indonesia 10 May 2019 Jet fighters to wake people for sahur meal {{category}} {{time}} {{title}} Related Newslast_img read more