Child advocates call for a national youth suicide prevention strategy

first_imgBrittany HobsonAPTN NewsA national organization representing children and youth in Canada is calling on governments to address the number of youth suicides in the country.Death by suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people in Canada.The Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates (CCCYA) say not enough is being done to combat the problem.“We can no longer tolerate the inaction of federal, provincial and territorial governments,” Del Graff, the Child and Youth Advocate for Alberta, told reporters Tuesday.“The fact that we’re the only G7 country without a national strategy is telling. The fact that we don’t have a national children’s commissioner in Canada is telling. That fact that we don’t even have a mechanism for complaints about children who have human violations is telling,” he said.“As Canadians we ought to be able to demand more.”The group released a new study on youth suicide at its national conference in Winnipeg.In it they put forward three recommendations for the federal government.“We call on the government of Canada to develop and implement a fully resourced, national suicide prevention strategy for Canada with designated funding to the provinces and territories to create their own or to support existing strategies where applicable,” said Jackie Lake Kavanagh, the Child and Youth Advocate for Newfoundland and Labrador.The CCCYA says national data on suicides and attempted suicides is lacking.The second recommendation calls on Canada to develop and implement a cross-jurisdictional data system and to compel provinces to mandatory report attempted and completed suicides.“The current landscape on suicide statistics in Canada is fraught with under reporting and inconsistency across jurisdictions,” said Lake Kavanagh.“This is especially true when it comes to data collection on Indigenous youth suicide.”There are no recent data examining rates of suicide among Indigenous youth but recent numbers from Statistics Canada show the suicide rate among First Nations people was three times higher than non-Indigenous from 2011-2016.For Metis it’s two times higher and for Inuit its approximately nine times higher.How many youth who are in care when they die by suicide is also not known.But Graff says there is a direct link between the child welfare system and mental health.“Many of the young people, if not all of the young people, within the child welfare system have experienced some levels of trauma and trauma is an indicator that, in fact, they are going to need to have those additional supports,” said Graff.“When those supports are not adequately provided we see issues like addictions, mental health concerns, suicide.”Daphne Penrose’s office tracks the number of child deaths and the circumstances around them in Manitoba.She is the Advocate for Children and Youth in the province.From 2017-2018, 20 youth died by suicide. Four were in care at the time of their death.Penrose said while the child welfare system does play a role, access to mental health resources for all youth is the main issue.“This is a problem with respect to mental health and wellness of children and the ability for children who are struggling to be able to reach out,” she said.“There are many kids in this situation who are not involved in the child welfare system.”Lastly, The CCCYA recommends governments work with Indigenous youth and leadership to develop plans that will reflect what is needed in each community.The Canada Suicide Prevention Service enables callers anywhere in Canada to access crisis support using the technology of their choice (phone, text or chat), in French or English:Phone: toll-free 1-833-456-4566, Text: 45645, Chat: crisisservicescanada.cabhobson@aptn.ca@bhobs22last_img read more

Does Hajj Money Directly Fund War in Yemen

By Anna SchaefferRabat – The Union of Tunisian Imams have implored their Grand Mufti to issue a fatwa, or religious edict, to discourage Muslims from participating in the Hajj this year in response to violence perpetrated by Saudi Arabia in Yemen. The ever-rising cost of the pilgrimage to Islam’s holiest site contributes to the massive riches of the Saudi government, whose usage of that money to fund wars, even massacres, in other Muslim nations goes directly against what numerous outspoken Muslim leaders consider ethical. General-Secretary of the Union of Tunisian Imams Fadhel Ashour said it would be better “to spend this money to improve the conditions of the Tunisian people.” Instead, he said, “It is used to kill and displace people, as is the case currently in Yemen.”The three-year Saudi military campaign “to restore legitimacy in Yemen” has killed more than 14,000 men, women, and children. Millions on the verge of starvation and thousands dead from record-high cholera outbreaks pushed the UN to call the “Yemeni genocide” the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Rather than use Hajj profits to benefit poorer surrounding nations, Saudi Arabia continues to fund the war in Yemen as well as the deadly crisis in Syria. How much profit does Hajj yield?The Qur’an states that practicing Muslims who are able should observe Hajj pilgrimage, the fifth pillar of Islam, at least once during their life; because of the steep costs resulting from both travel and imposed taxes, the trip requires extensive saving for a great number of the millions of believers who travel to the holy site.Al Arabiya reported in 2014 that the average cost for a worshiper from an outside country is approximately USD 5,000. The cost for Tunisians, whose imams have called for abstaining from the 2018 Hajj, is over USD 4,500.According to figures by Al Jazeera, it costs the average person from Malaysia half a year’s salary to complete the Hajj. For someone from Bangladesh, the Hajj costs more than three years’ earnings.Regardless of what nation a pilgrim hails from, their minimum Hajj cost begins at USD 2,000; often, the pricetag soars higher than USD 14,000 for one person. Recently increased taxes add to the head-reeling sum of money—estimated to exceed USD 150 billion per year by 2022—swallowed directly from Hajj profits by Saudi Arabia.Should believers boycott the pilgrimage?Because a considerable share of the fortune contributes to Saudi conflict or weapon acquisition, Muslims worldwide question whether boycotting the Hajj is the best course of action. A developing perception in Muslim nations considers Saudi Arabia’s actions as exploitative, utilizing the holy site to punish its opponents or advance its political ends. One Twitter user encouraged other Muslim countries to follow in the footsteps of the Tunisian imams. He cited “increase of Hajj costs, paying Hajj revenues to the US, using revenues to kill Muslims as in Yemen, [and] Al Saud [House of Saud] role in helping the Israeli occupation” as reasons to take “a strict position and boycott Hajj for this year.”Journalist Kamel Abderrahmani said the pilgrimage has evolved into “one of Saudi Arabia’s commercial pillars.” “In other words, the Saudi God is a business and worship at the same time,” he wrote.Abderrahmani urged all Muslim nations to boycott the Hajj and use the money instead to “build hospitals, schools and universities to protect our children from ignorance and an archaic conception of life and religion.”In contrast to the cries for an anti-Hajj edict in Tunisia, the Tunisian political party Ennahda Movement warned of the potential for a strained Tunisia-Saudi Arabia relationship. “These are isolated and ideological calls that only serve personal purposes,” said an Ennahda statement. Tunisian Minister of Religious Affairs Ahmed Adhoum announced 236,000 Hajj applications for 2018 alone. The number of pilgrims whose applications will be accepted by lottery has risen from 10,374 in 2017 to a current count of 10,892. If the Grand Mufti of the Republic in Tunisia issues a fatwa against the pilgrimage, profits made by Saudi Arabia could decrease by more than USD 50 million. read more

Spending more on forests could reap enormous benefits – UN report

5 June 2011Investing a relatively small amount each year in the forestry sector could halve deforestation, create millions of new jobs and help tackle the devastating effects of climate change, according to a United Nations report released today to mark World Environment Day. The report, “Forests in a Green Economy: A Synthesis,” finds that an additional $40 billion spent each year in the forestry sector – or just 0.034 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP) – could result in substantial environmental improvements.The rate of deforestation could be halved by 2030, the number of trees planted could rise by 140 per cent by 2050 and as many as 30 million new jobs could be created by that same year.Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), which issued the report, said forestry is one of the key sectors capable of helping the world transition to a ‘green economy’ model that is resource-efficient and low in its use of carbon.“There are already many encouraging signals; the annual net forest loss since 1990 has fallen from around eight million to around five million hectares and in some regions such as Asia, the Caribbean and Europe forest area has actually increased over those 20 years,” he said.The area covered by freshly planted forests has also grown from 3.6 million hectares in 1990 to just below five million hectares last year.Jan McAlpine, the Director of the Secretariat of the UN Forum on Forests, said the capacity of poorer countries to switch to green economies and protect their stocks of forests needs to be strengthened.“Encouraging a transition to green economies will require a broad range of financial, regulatory, institutional and technological measures,” she said.Forests and the benefits they provide represent the theme of this year’s World Environment Day, which is marked every year on 5 June. This year is also the UN-declared International Year of the Forests.Celebrations are being held across the globe, including in India, which is this year’s designated host.On Friday Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon described forests as central to economic development, poverty reduction and food security.“By reducing deforestation and forest degradation we can make significant progress in addressing the combined threats of climate change, biodiversity loss and land degradation,” he said in a message to a forestry conservation meeting held in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo. read more

Another 19 asylum seekers arrested

Meanwhile another 6 people were arrested in Bangadeniya, Chilaw also from a house late last night.All those who were arrested are to be produced in court today. Further investigations are underway. Another 19 would be asylum seekers were arrested in Wennapuwa and Chilaw late last night as they prepared to head to Australia, the police said today.The police media unit said that the 13 people aged between 19 and 40 were at a house in Wennapuwa when they were arrested. All those who were arrested are residents of Jaffna, Mullaitivu, Vavuniya and Pudukudiruppu. The police also arrested a person who had given the people the lodging in Wennapuwa.

SLFP UPFA in key meeting with Maithri

The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) is to have a key meeting with President Maithripala Sirisena this afternoon.SLFP sources told the Colombo Gazette that opposition leader Nimal Siripala de Silva, SLFP General Secretary Anura Priyadharshana Yapa and UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayanth will take part in the discussions. Sirisena had already announced that nominations will be given to the former President but there is pressure on him to reverse that decision. Well informed sources said that the SLFP and the UPFA will urge the President to give Rajapaksa nominations as promised as failure to do so could result in a split in the UPFA. (Colombo Gazette) Sources said that at the meeting a decision is likely to be taken with regards to giving nominations to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to contest the August 17 Parliament elections. read more

Takeback Tuesday number of parcels at Post Offices expected to jump by

first_imgAs the first full working day of the year, Tuesday could come as a shock to the system for many returning to the office after the Christmas break.But one business is gearing up for what is likely to be one of its busiest days of the year: Royal Mail. The service has disclosed that staff are being told to expect a 50 per cent jump in the volume of parcels being returned tomorrow on what is being nicknamed “take back Tuesday”.The prediction is based on the number of parcels already logged with Royal Mail through its Tracked Returns service, which is used by more than 1,000 online retailers to enable customers to send back unwanted purchases.The rise of internet shopping has transformed not only the way people buy their Christmas presents but how they dispose of or exchange any unwanted gifts afterwards. Royal Mail expects a 50 per cent jump in the number of parcels to process on Tuesday Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Instead of the traditional pile of ill-fitting jumpers and unwanted shirts on shop counters in the month of January, customers are increasingly able to return goods by post.Customers using the Tracked Returns service simply select the name of the retailer or supplier from a list of more than 1,000 brands on the Royal Mail website, print off a label and deposit the parcel at a Post Office.The system also enables retailers to track the progress of returned items as they make their way back to warehouses and stores.Parcel volumes are also likely to be boosted by recipients of gifts selling them off on sites such as eBay, which also rely on the mail system. Unwanted Christmas presents will be sent back on Tuesday Clothes and shoes are the most likely to be returned Clothes and shoes are the most likely to be returned Psychologists say the best time to try to sell on gifts is in the window between Christmas Day and New Year when people are thought to be more receptive to exchanging them and on the look-out for bargains.Separate research by Royal Mail found that clothing and footwear are still the most likely items to be returned and that women are driving the returns boom.A survey of online shoppers  found that 30 per cent of participants said they had returned women’s clothes, almost twice as many as had sent back men’s or children’s clothing. Last year the first full day back after Christmas was nicknamed “mail-back Monday” as Christmas and New Year’s Day fell on Fridays rather than Sundays. Unwanted Christmas presents will be sent back on Tuesday Recent research published by eBay claimed that British people open an estimated 115 million less-than-desirable gifts, worth as much as £2.2 billion, every year.The study, based on a poll of 2,000 adults, found that almost a third of people reported having “little or no attachment” to some gifts only a few days after Christmas.Last year eBay had more than 4,500 items listed specifically as “unwanted Christmas gifts” in the first two weeks of January alone.But those determined to make a killing from unwanted Christmas presents could already have missed the boat.  Royal Mail expects a 50 per cent jump in the number of parcels to process on Tuesdaylast_img read more

Calls for tighter rules after regulator approves foreign ships dumping palm oil

In February, The Telegraph revealed that ships are regularly dumping large quantities of noxious palm oil off the coast of Britain without legal consequences.During 2016 and 2017 seven instances of palm oil contaminating British waters were documented by satellites operated by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA).Two spills in the southern part of the North Sea left oil slicks stretching for more than 44 miles, according to EMSA records.Palm oil spills have a similar impact on the marine environment as fossil fuel oils by depleting water of oxygen, killing fish, coating the wings of birds, and washing up on beaches.All seven of the pollution incidents identified by the EMSA satellites were labelled as permitted discharges by the MCA and no action was taken against the shipping companies.Under existing international law vessels are permitted to discharge up to 100 litres of water that is contaminated by palm oil for each chemical tank on board, and lager discharges can be permitted in extenuating circumstances, such as if abandoning a polluting cargo is essential to securing the safety of a ship.Prior to the IMO decision in February the UK had pushed for the legislation to be implemented earlier, according to the British regulator, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).In a statement, the MCA said it is currently looking into the possibility of negotiating a regional deal to crack down on the dumping of food oils in British waters.“The UK had sought an earlier date and is now engaged in discussions with other North Sea States on the practicality, and legality, of implementing these restrictions earlier on a regional basis,” it said. Palm oil being cleared from Chesil Beach in dorset “UK ports have oily water reception facilities that were put in place to process crude oil waste,” said Paul Johnston, an honorary research fellow at the University of Exeter and principal scientist at Greenpeace’s research laboratories.“This legislation is already long overdue. Elsewhere there might be a need for specific ports to have a bit of time to catch up and install these reception facilities – but the UK, and Europe more generally, is in a position where it could implement this legislation immediately.”Gillian Glegg, the associate head of marine science at Plymouth University, believes the UK is in a position to lead the way globally, by taking action ahead of the 2021 deadline.“Once a regulator has decided that something like this is causing harm and there is good reason to ban it you obviously want to implement changes as soon as possible,” she said.“There are technical issues for some organisations and countries that don’t have the infrastructure to deal with that material – but I don’t see why the UK cannot bring this in ahead of the 2021 deadline.” Campaigners have called for action after the maritime regulator ruled that foreign ships can continue to dump palm oil in British waters for three years.In February, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) approved regulation that will require tankers carrying palm oil and other food oils to pump the tank residue into purpose-built disposal facilities, instead of washing it out in open water.But the new rules will not come into force until July 1, 2021, a timeframe the IMO says will give states and industry time to increase capacity at shore-based oil disposal facilities.Britain already has the infrastructure required to deal with oil residue and experts say it should ban the dumping of food oils in British waters ahead of the 2021 deadline. Palm oil being cleared from Chesil Beach in dorsetCredit:Steve Trewhella/Alamy Stock Photo Palm oil is toxic to dogsCredit:Steve Trewhella/Alamy Palm oil is toxic to dogs Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

Police launch hate crime investigation after Post Office refuses to accept Scottish

Patrick Burgess and his son He asked staff if his son could deposit a Scottish £10 bank note that his aunt, who lives in St Andrews, had given to him as present, but was told it was not permitted.Mr Burgess said: “I was well aware that Scottish notes are not legal tender and shops do not have to accept them, but they are legal currency and therefore the Post Office should have accepted the note. The row took place in a post office in KentCredit:Steve Finn A police force launched an investigation after a man claimed he had been the victim of a hate crime when a branch of the Post Office refused to accept his Scottish bank note.Kent Police were called out earlier this month when 48-year-old Patrick Burgess accused postal staff of racism.He claimed the post office worker’s refusal to accept the note amounted to a hate crime because it was based on nationality.Mr Burgess was born and brought up in Scotland, but speaks with an English accent.An officer was asked to investigate the claim and it has been recorded for official purposes as a hate crime, which will feed into national statistics.The incident occurred on November 22 in the village of Walderslade near Chatham when Mr Burgess, who works for the Royal Mail, visited his local Post Office with his 12-year-old son, Daniel. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The row took place in a post office in Kent The Kent force has lost around 300 officers as a result of budget cuts in recent years.Chris Carter, the chair of the Kent Police Federation, said: “When incidents like this are reported as hate crimes we are obliged to record them as such and we have to take it seriously. It contributes to the sheer volume of stuff we have to deal with putting extra pressure on front line officers.”Last month Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary asked the Law Commission to consider expanding the definition of hate crime by adding misogyny and ageism.But he has faced a backlash from many police chiefs who expressed concern that their frontline officers were spending too much time investigating such issues rather than tackling serious crime such as burglary and assault.Sara Thornton, the head of the National Police Chiefs’ Council said while logging such complaints might be desirable police did not have the time or the resources. A spokesman for Kent Police confirmed they had received a report and confirmed that as it was reported as a hate crime it would be investigated as such.The spokesman said: “Kent Police has received a report that a dispute took place at a premises in Walderslade Road, Walderslade, on Thursday 22 November 2018. Officers are conducting initial enquiries into the incident.”Mr Burgess said he has since received an email from the police explaining that his complaint did not constitute a hate crime.But critics have accused Mr Burgess of wasting police time and putting already stretched officers under extra pressure. Patrick Burgess and his son He added: “I asked if they would accept Euros, American or Australian Dollars. The cashier replied that they would.”I confirmed with her that the only notes they would not take were Scottish or Irish, to which she replied yes. In my opinion it’s racist and it is a hate crime.”Mr Burgess said: “I was angry at the time and put out a bit and so I went online to report it to the police. You are always hearing about hate crime and so that is what I reported it as. It was a bit tongue in cheek really and perhaps it was my sense of humour.” read more

Solar farm agreed for Image Resources Boonanarring minsands project

first_imgImage Resources NL recently announced the execution of a binding Heads of Agreement with Sunrise Energy Group Pty Ltd for the supply and construction of a 3-4 MW AC solar farm to be built next to the company’s high-grade, zircon-rich Boonanarring mineral sands project located 80 km north of Perth, which is currently under construction and scheduled to be commissioned in the Q4 2018.Subject to receipt of all necessary approvals, the Solar Farm will be built, owned and operated by Sunrise Energy Group on land owned by Image and leased to Sunrise Energy Group. The solar farm will be located approximately 20km north of Gingin, adjacent to the Boonanarring mine and processing facility and connected directly to Image’s embedded electrical supply network in a “behind the meter” configuration. “We are pleased to be one of the pioneering WA mining companies adopting distributed renewable electricity generation” said Patrick Mutz, Managing Director of Image Resources. “This solar farm is expected to produce around 25% of our electrical requirements at Boonanarring. Not only will the solar farm supply power in an environmentally sustainable manner, its construction will result in a further A$6-$7 million of capital investment by Sunrise Energy Group into a long-life asset located in the shire of Gingin, creating both construction and operational employment. It could also provide a small savings in annual electricity costs to the company.”Sunrise Energy Group will now work, at its cost, to complete all of the remaining development activities, including securing all required approvals, over the next 6-8 months, with construction anticipated to commence in early 2019.The binding provisions of the HOA are customary for an agreement of this nature and include exclusivity, confidentiality and the reimbursement of certain costs incurred by Sunrise Energy Group in the event Image decides not to proceed with the project during the project approvals phase. “We are excited to be working with Image Resources on this solar farm project” said Neil Canby, Executive Director, Sunrise Energy Group. “The adoption of large-scale distributed generation by the commercial and industrial sector in WA has been very limited to date. The WA market is a very different market to the National Electricity Market applicable to the Eastern States, having unique challenges and opportunities. Image Resources has taken the time to work through our commercial model and evaluate the opportunity as a potential large load industrial customer, including the social, environmental and economic benefits of having distributed renewable energy generation for their mining project.”Canby goes on to say, “This proposition is not unique to Image Resources. This is a model that can be used for many large rural loads across WA that are connected to the grid. We look forward to making this project a huge success for Image Resources. Sunrise Energy Group is proud and committed to be leading the charge in this exciting new energy supply segment.”last_img read more

Heres What Happened Today Saturday

first_imgHere’s What Happened Today: Saturday No repeal at the Citizens’ Assembly, man dies in Cliffs of Moher parachute jump and an American Airlines standoff. http://jrnl.ie/3353489 By Sean Murray 6 Comments Apr 22nd 2017, 8:00 PM NEED TO CATCH up? TheJournal.ie brings you a round-up of today’s news.IRELAND Citizens’ Assembly chairperson Ms Justice Mary Laffoy declaring the results of the ballots on the Eighth Amendment today. Source: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ieThe Citizens’ Assembly did not recommend the repeal of the Eighth Amendment, but instead said it should be replaced or amended.Two men died overnight in a house fire in Sligo.A man in his 40s died after a parachute jump went wrong at the Cliffs of Moher.Easons on Dublin’s O’Connell Street was evacuated due to a bomb scare.Health Minister Simon Harris has called for cool heads on the issues surrounding the new National Maternity Hospital.People took to the streets of Dublin, as part of thousands worldwide, in the March for Science.The company who constructed the balcony at Berkeley where five young Irish people died in 2015 has had its licence suspended for five years.Gardaí made an appeal for witnesses following a cash-in-transit robbery in north Dublin yesterday.INTERNATIONAL People taking part in the March for Science in Amsterdam today Source: Paulo Amorim SIPA USA/PA Images#AIRLINE AGGRO: An American Airlines worker has been suspended after footage showing him engage in a verbal confrontation with a passenger went viral.#TOO LATE TO SAY SORRY: The Sun newspaper has apologised for its column on footballer Ross Barkley, and said “there was never any slur intended”.#PARIS: There was panic at a Paris train station after a man wielding a knife was arrested by police.PARTING SHOTGolfer Rory McIlroy was due to tie the knot today at a lavish ceremony at Ashford Castle.The guest list was pretty exclusive but local gardaí were there – with all their best golf puns at the ready – to keep an eye on proceedings. Source: An Garda Síochána/Twitter Share Tweet Email center_img Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Gardaí on duty at Ashford Castle, Cong, Co Mayo ‘fore’ a wedding. No ‘drivers’ allowed access. The place will be ‘wedged’ pic.twitter.com/7003IB2QmX— An Garda Síochána (@GardaTraffic) April 22, 2017 Short URL Saturday 22 Apr 2017, 8:00 PM 13,535 Views Get our daily news round up:last_img read more

Watch Artist Robert Ball Shows Game of Thrones Deaths in Illustrations

first_img Artist Robert Ball is taking Game of Thrones fans behind the scenes of Beautiful Death, a series that features illustrations of characters’ final moments on the show.The Game of Thrones finale aired in May, however, the series recently shared a video on YouTube featuring Ball and his stunning artwork. From Season 1 to Season 8, Ball captured Iron Throne contenders’ deaths in 74 illustrations, each creatively showing their fate and how they play a role in the greater Westeros power struggle.Right after each episode would end, Ball would illustrate the iconic deaths of each character. From Eddard Stark’s execution to Missandei’s beheading, Ball’s art tells a greater story beyond their fatal incidents through gloomy, yet mesmerizing images. Now, Ball is getting ready to commemorate the Mother of Dragons, also known as Daenerys Targaryen, who perished after Jon Snow stabbed her during the last episode of Game of Thrones.Some of Ball’s past ‘Beautiful Death’ illustrations. (Photo Credit: Game of Thrones / HBO)“I think my most successful pieces really talk about what their deaths mean for the show going forward, rather than having a clever way of mirroring the death scene,” Ball said in the video. “It’s been bigger than I expected, to put it mildly, it’s been quite overwhelming.”Photo Credit: Game of Thrones / YouTubeBall also commented on how he had to figure out the 74th illustration of the Beautiful Death series and how he can’t wrap around the fact that the series is done.“It’s really weird that it’s over. It’s going to take a while to absorb. It was a perfect Game of Thrones mix of tragedy, surprise, and trying to communicate that in an image.”Ball ended up incorporating the fiery Iron Throne with the phrase “You are my queen, now and always.” And, it’s a breathtaking creation that will stay in the memories of fans for years to come.More on Geek.com:‘Game of Thrones’ Star Sophie Turner Gives Coffee Cup Dilemma Update ‘Game of Thrones’ Star Emilia Clarke Deeply Regrets One Season 8 ThingThis ‘Game of Thrones’ Star Predicted How the Series Would End in 2015 Stay on target ‘Game of Thrones’ Targaryen Prequel Series Is Reportedly Coming to HBO‘Game of Thrones’ Star Kit Harington Joins Marvel’s &#… last_img read more

Ben Mee insists Hart will get a good reception at City

first_imgBurnley defender Ben Mee insists Joe Hart will get the reception he deserves on his first return to the Etihad Stadium.Hart, who recently had a training pitch named after him at the Etihad Campus, won five major trophies in a 12-year period with the Citizens.The former Manchester City shot-stopper never got chance to say a proper goodbye to fans who adored him, but he will back in goal, only in opposition tomorrow as he plays against City for the first time in his career.Asked whether Hart has a point to prove, Mee said, according to Burnley Express:“Yeah, you have to ask him that, but I’m sure there’s something there. It’s always good to go back to places you’ve played. “He has been, I guess, written off in the past, but he’s still a top keeper and I’m sure he wants to prove he’s still a top keeper.Burnley FC v Manchester City - Premier LeagueMatch Preview: Burnley vs Liverpool Boro Tanchev – August 30, 2019 Premier League leaders Liverpool travel to Burnley for the Matchday 4 of the 2019-20 Premier League campaign.“I think he’s still got a lot to offer and show he’s still a top goalkeeper.”“He’s well thought of at the club for what he did over the years. He was there a long time, yeah, I’m sure he will get a very good reception.”“He’s well thought of. “I think I was playing in his first game when he arrived at City, so I knew him from a young lad. He’s a good lad.”“I remember watching him and went to see him when he made it into the first team. It’s great to see how well he’s done.”last_img read more

Alaska News Nightly Monday Sept 21 2015

first_imgStories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @aprn.Download Audio2015 Permanent Fund Dividend is $2,072Josh Edge, APRN-AnchorageA record-breaking Permanent Fund Dividend was announced Monday, not from the Governor, but instead from 12-year-old student, because, according to Governor Bill Walker, the fund is really about the next generation. Shania Sommer, a 7th grader at Palmer Junior Middle School, is involved in the Alaska Native Science and Engineering program.Alaska Senators sponsor legislation to repeal “Cadillac” taxAnnie Feidt, APRN-AnchorageAlaska’s two U. S. Senators are co-sponsoring legislation to repeal the so-called Cadillac tax, which will impact high priced employer health plans starting in 2018.  Because health care is so expensive in Alaska, the tax will have a disproportionate impact in the state.Hearings start on fighter jets coming to EielsonDan Bross, KUAC-FairbanksLocal hearings are happening this week on the planned basing of 54 F-35 fighter jets at Eielson Air Force Base.  The sessions, in North Pole, Delta and Fairbanks, provide opportunity to comment on a draft Environmental Impact Statement on the basing plan.Washington opens criminal investigation into walrus deathsThe Associated PressThe federal government has opened a criminal investigation into the death of 25 Pacific walrus found on an isolated northwest Alaska beach. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokeswoman Crystal Leonetti says agency investigators have not returned from the site at Cape Lisburne but that the case is now in the hands of the U.S. Attorney office. Initial reports last week said the walrus had been shot but the Fish and Wildlife Service refused to speculate on the cause of death until agency personnel had examined the carcasses.Starfish losing arms to diseaseJohn Ryan, KUCB-UnalaskaStarfish from Mexico to Alaska have been hammered by a wasting disease that causes their arms to melt and fall off. Sea stars in the Aleutian Islands have not been affected yet.Newtok feeling nervous about relocation timelineCharles Enoch, KYUK-BethelCharles Residents in the small coastal village of Newtok in Southwest Alaska have been preparing to move as erosion eats away at their village.  A dispute over who has tribal authority slowed the process, but now that dispute has been decided by federal courts, a new set of tribal officials are getting the relocation effort underway again. But with climate change accelerating the erosion many are getting anxious that the move can’t happen soon enough.Tribal housing gets HUD grants to fight moldLori Townsend, APRN-AnchorageTribal housing in Alaska will benefit from more than $1 million in grants to address concerns over mold. An announcement was made announced by  Housing and Urban Development or HUD. The $1.6 million in grants were awarded to three tribal entities in the state specifically for mold remediation or prevention in more than 200 tribal homes through improved windows, doors and exteriors.UAS to offer marine transportation degree programLisa Phu, KTOO-JuneauStudents and mariners will soon be able to get formal marine transportation education without leaving the state. The University of Alaska Board of Regents last week approved a new marine transportation degree program at the University of Alaska Southeast.UAA engineering program attracting more Native studentsDaysha Eaton, KYUK-BethelAs college freshmen dig into their studies at the state’s universities this fall, more Native faces are appearing in science and engineering classrooms. That’s thanks to the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program, or ANSEP. Yup’ik students from the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta are among them.last_img read more

Sea Level Rise Is Costing Texas Homeowners Millions In Property Values Study

first_img Listen Listen To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: X 00:00 /07:21 UPDATE: This article has been updated to more accurately reflect Columbia University’s role in the study. From 2005 to 2017, homes along the Texas Gulf Coast lost more than $76 million in potential value due to tidal flooding, according to a study by First Street Foundation.Nearly half of that loss in property value – $35 million – was from homes in five communities in the Greater Houston and Galveston area: Galveston, Jamaica Beach, Bolivar Peninsula and Nassau Bay.“The northern part of the coastline in Texas from Port Arthur down to just south of Houston was where we saw the most loss,” Columbia University lecturer and First Street Foundation data scientist Jeremy Porter said on Houston Matters. “And we didn’t see as much loss on the southern part of the state.”Researchers looked at 3 million coastal properties in Texas and analyzed real estate transactions to estimate how much their value would have appreciated without frequent tidal flooding.“We ended up developing a model that holds characteristics of homes and neighborhoods and market fluctuations over time constant, so that we can compare homes to another as if they were the same,” Porter said.“And when we do that, the only thing we add then is the negative amenity of flooding. And when we add the negative amenity of flooding, we see this year-over-year loss in terms of appreciation.”The Texas data adds to previous research by First Street Foundation and Columbia University. It now includes 18 East and Gulf Coast states from Maine to Texas.The total loss of potential property values is $15.9 billion.You can look at the numbers for individual communities here. And listen to the full conversation on Houston Matters in the audio below: center_img A screenshot from the FloodiQ map. 00:00 /00:46 To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: X Sharelast_img read more

Pigs Beware ThinkGeek Unveils New Jumbo Angry Birds Plush

first_imgThere are Angry Birds toys, Angry Birds cakes, even an Angry Birds board game, but now you can order your very own Angry Bird, thanks to the folks at ThinkGeek. This Jumbo Angry Birds Plush will set you back $49.99 list, but provide you endless hours of cuddling, squeezing, and pig smashing fun. The plush is of the ubiquitous Red Bird and comes in at a radius of 15 inches: big enough to topple your friends when they get too close to your eggs and look imposing on the couch when you have guests over. The Red Bird is all alone at the moment, but he’s in stock and available now. Thanks to a licensing agreement with Rovio, ThinkGeek is planning additional Angry Birds merchandise in the future, including huge plush pigs for the birds to fight, and some of the other birds from the game.  Check out a video of the Angry Birds Plush behind the jump.last_img read more

Raspberry Pi Zero hacked into Game Boy to play tons of games

first_imgThe classic Game Boy is still a cool little handheld gaming device, if you want to play some retro Game Boy titles. It stands as a testament to the platform that these devices still exist, but what if you don’t want to be limited to Game Boy games on your Game Boy? A modder with the handle “wermy” has sliced up an old Game Boy and added a Raspberry Pi Zero to turn it into the ultimate game emulator handheld.Just looking at the “Game Boy Zero,” you might not realize there’s anything different about it right away. That’s the cool thing — the device fits inside the standard Game Boy shell. The most obvious change is the addition of two extra buttons next to A and B, which are needed for many of the emulated games. There are also two cleverly disguised L and R bumper buttons on the back in the middle screw holes.The device has a 3.5-inch composite display, a 2000mAh battery good for about 3.5 hours of use, and a Raspberry Pi Zero micro-computer. There’s a Teensy LC controller wired in that makes the buttons work as keyboard inputs, but there’s also a USB port and miniHDMI-out if you want to attach it to a TV. Probably the coolest part of the build is wermy’s modified game cartridge with an integrated SD card to hold the RetroPi emulation software.The Game Boy Zero can play game ROMs from the SNES, NES, Mame, and of course the Game Boy. There’s some information on the build on Reddit, but it’ll take some electronics expertise to replicate the Game Boy Zero at home.last_img read more

Famous Fairie Pictures which Fooled the World Sell for Outlandish Sum

first_imgPrints of the famous Cottingley fairy photographs recently came to auction. Although initially expected to fetch £2,000 ($2,600), they ended up selling for over £20,000 ($26,000). The photographs have been famous ever since they were published in the 1920 Christmas edition of The Strand.The world was aghast to see pictures, taken by two young girls, apparently proving the existence of fairies.Cottingley Fairies pictures. Photo by Johnny Green – PA Images/PA Images via Getty ImagesElsie Wright, aged 16, and nine-year-old Frances Griffiths were cousins. When they took the first photographs, Frances was visiting Elsie, who lived in the village of Cottingley, England.The girls used to play a lot by a nearby stream. This annoyed Elsie’s mother since they often came back bedraggled, but the girls insisted they went there to see the fairies.When no one believed the cousins, Elsie took her father’s camera the next time they went to play. When they came back, Elsie’s father, Arthur, developed the photographs they’d taken.Among them was one showing Frances sitting with four fairies dancing in on a rock in front of her.Frances and the Leaping Fairy.Arthur knew his daughter was creative and assumed the fairies were merely cardboard cut-outs. But two months later, the girls took another photograph which Elsie’s mother, Polly, was convinced was authentic.In mid-1919, Polly attended a meeting of the Theosophical Society in Bradford. The subject under discussion was “fairies,” so she took the pictures along.The photographs were subsequently exhibited at the Society’s annual conference, and so they came to the attention of the public.Cottingley Beck, where Frances and Elsie claimed to have seen the fairies Photo by Paul Glazzard CC BY-SA 2.0Edward Gardner was a leading member of the Society. He sent the prints, along with the original glass-plate negatives, to Harold Snelling, a photography expert.Snelling’s response was that “the two negatives are entirely genuine, unfaked photographs… [with] no trace whatsoever of studio work involving card or paper models.”However, Snelling made it clear that he wasn’t suggesting that the photographs proved the existence of fairies, only that they hadn’t been tampered with, but showed “whatever was in front of the camera at the time.”Edward. L. Gardner, member of theosophical society in London, in the 1922 book ‘The Coming of the Fairies’ by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.Gardner got Snelling to make prints, which he took with him to lectures he gave around the country.The pictures ultimately came to the attention of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a prominent spiritualist as well as the author of the Sherlock Holmes stories.Doyle and Gardner had the photographs examined by two more experts. After three evaluations, it seemed that only one came back with the opinion that there was “some evidence of faking.”The second of the five photographs, showing Elsie with a winged gnome.Gardner went to visit Elsie and her family. Arthur Wright said that he’d been so sure the photographs were fake that he’d searched Elsie’s room and the stream in an effort to find evidence. But he’d failed to find anything incriminating.Gardner wanted to prove the photographs beyond doubt. To that end, Frances was invited to stay with the Wrights again for the summer of 1920.At the end of July, Gardner returned with two Kodak cameras and 24 photographic plates.Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.He gave each girl a camera and some brief instructions on how to get the best pictures. However, he assured them “[i]f nothing came of it at all… they were not to mind a bit.” He did not want them to feel under pressure.The girls insisted that the fairies would not come if others were watching, so they were left alone.They took several pictures over that time, including those entitled Fairy offering Posy of Harebells to Elsie, Frances and the Leaping Fairy, and Fairies and their Sun-Bath.One of Claude Arthur Shepperson’s illustrations of dancing girls, from Princess Mary’s Gift Book.Doyle sought permission from Arthur Wright to publish the first two pictures as part of his article on fairies which he was writing for The Strand. Arthur gave his consent. Doyle protected their identity by naming the family as “the Carpenters” in his article.The photographs had a mixed reception. Maurice Hewlett, a historical novelist and poet, stated in an article for John O’London’s Weekly: “knowing children, and knowing that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has legs, I decide that the Miss Carpenters have pulled one of them.”Comparison of Cottingley Fairies and illustrations from Princess Mary’s Gift Book.In 1921, Doyle published the later pictures in The Strand, inspiring similar reactions. In August of that year, Gardner took another trip to Cottingley.This time, Gardner took with him Geoffrey Hudson, a noted clairvoyant. Neither Elsie nor Frances claimed to see any fairies during that visit. In contrast, Hudson claimed he saw them everywhere.After 1921, interest in the photographs died down. In 1966, Elsie was interviewed by a reporter from The Daily Express. She didn’t say the photographs were fake but suggested that what the camera had succeeded in photographing might have been a figment of her imagination. She gave the same story again in another interview in 1971.Elsie Wright in 1920, picture printed in the American edition of the 1922 book ‘The Coming of the Fairies’ by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Author is not precised.Finally, in 1983, the cousins admitted that the pictures were fake. Elsie had copied pictures of dancing girls from Princess Mary’s Gift Book and drawn wings on them. The two girls had then cut the drawings out and stood them upright using hatpins, which they later disposed of in the stream.However, the girls disagreed on the authenticity of the fifth photograph, the last one they took. Elsie maintained it was a fake, but Frances said: “It was a wet Saturday afternoon and we were just mooching about with our cameras and Elsie had nothing prepared. I saw these fairies building up in the grasses and just aimed the camera and took a photograph.”Frances Griffiths in 1920.Geoffrey Crawley, in a letter to The Times published in April 1983, suggested how both girls might be telling the truth. He reasoned that the photograph was “an unintended double exposure of fairy cutouts in the grass.”In 1985, for the television program Arthur C. Clarke’s World of Strange Powers, Elsie admitted why they had carried on the ruse for so long: they were embarrassed to admit the truth after fooling the famous author.The fourth photograph – Fairy Offering Posy of Harebells to Elsie.“Two village kids and a brilliant man like Conan Doyle – well, we could only keep quiet… I never even thought of it as being a fraud – it was just Elsie and I having a bit of fun and I can’t understand to this day why they were taken in.”Geoffrey Crawley sold his Cottingley fairy collection to the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford. The items included prints of the photographs, two of the cameras used, watercolors painted by Elsie, and a letter admitting to the hoax written by Elsie.The fifth and last photograph of the Cottingley Fairies – Fairies and Their Sun-Bath.On October 4, 2018, two of the prints used by Gardner in his lectures came under the hammer at Dominic Winter Auctioneers in Cirencester, England. Since these were only prints, rather than the original photographs, they were given a conservative estimate of £700-£1,000 ($900-$1,300) each.In fact, the print of Elsie with a gnome sold for £5,400 (around $7,000) while the other print, showing Frances with the fairies sold for £15,000, or almost $20,000.Read another story from us: Marie Antoinette’s Dazzling Jewelry Made Public for the First Time EverWith such a price tag, it seems fair to say that the Cottingley photos fascinate the public as much today as they did in 1920.last_img read more

People Follow a Universal Pattern When Switching Between Cell Phone Apps

first_img(Credit: William Perugin/shutterstock)One of the best parts of traveling is getting to see how, despite differences in culture and geography, we’re all fundamentally alike. “People are the same everywhere,” Morrissey tells us — we laugh, we cry, we find cute things cute. And, it now seems, we also juggle the apps on our smartphones the same way.That’s the finding of an international team of computer scientists and neuroscientists, published Wednesday in the journal Royal Society Open Science. Despite differences in total time spent on our phones and the specific programs we use, it seems people inadvertently follow a universal pattern while switching between different apps. Not only will it help developers and tech wizards create the next great viral app, but this find also provides insight into how our brains function and react to these kinds of stimuli.There’s Many Apps For ThatAlthough lots of studies have looked at overall usage levels of smartphones, and other related behaviors, the study’s authors zeroed in on what they call an “overlooked aspect of smartphone usage”: surfing between different apps. Because everyone has some things in common restricting their online habits — time and the human brain’s own limitations — the authors suspected that some overall patterns might emerge among different people.To find out, they used a “bespoke app” called Tymer to monitor the program-switching habits of 76 people over 6 weeks, though only 53 volunteers ended up providing enough data. The researchers analyzed more than 192,000 app switches, and they didn’t count interacting with the system (rather than specific apps) or any switches less than half a second apart (since those were presumably accidents). So what were the results?Interestingly, regardless of how many apps people juggled, and which individual ones they were switching between, everyone did that switching in a similar way.It turns out that everyone has clear favorites, with certain apps winning out and being used far more than the rest. It wasn’t like there was a pool of many roughly equally used apps we flick through — there’s a clear no. 1, no. 2, and so on. The second-most used app only gets switched to about 73 percent as much as the most used, with the third-most used app getting even less attention.Apps-olutley FabulousThe findings suggest that we approach our favorite apps via a “preferential attachment mechanism,” the authors write. So the most popular apps are still switched to even after a user starts trying out new ones, because we’ve become so attached to the old favorites, “either consciously through memory or subconsciously through habit.”Now app-makers have a better sense of the steep hill they’ll have to climb to get people using novel apps. (The top contenders overall are currently WhatsApp and Facebook.) It also gives a leg up to predictive tools like recommendation lists and getting likely next apps pre-loaded. And finally, the research shows switching patterns “may correlate to the psychological status of the user” as well, since previous research had already shown changes in switching patterns could be a proxy for mood.Something to think about next time you’re flitting between apps on your phone, thinking about the human condition.last_img read more

OpenSUSE may go independent from SUSE reports LWNnet

first_imgLately, the relationship between SUSE and openSUSE community has been under discussion. Different options are being considered, among which the possibility of setting up openSUSE into an entirely independent foundation is gaining momentum. This will enable openSUSE to have greater autonomy and control over its own future and operations. Though openSUSE board chair Richard Brown and SUSE leadership have publicly reiterated that SUSE remains committed to openSUSE. There has been a lot of concern over the ability of openSUSE to be able to operate in a sustainable way, without being entirely beholden to SUSE. The idea of an independent openSUSE foundation has popped up many times in the past. Former openSUSE board member Peter Linnell says, “Every time, SUSE has changed ownership, this kind of discussion pops up with some mild paranoia IMO, about SUSE dropping or weakening support for openSUSE”. He also adds, “Moreover, I know SUSE’s leadership cares a lot about having a healthy independent openSUSE community. They see it as important strategically and the benefits go both ways.” On the contrary, openSUSE Board member Simon Lees says, “it is almost certain that at some point in the future SUSE will be sold again or publicly listed, and given the current good working relationship between SUSE and openSUSE it is likely easier to have such discussions now vs in the future should someone buy SUSE and install new management that doesn’t value openSUSE in the same way the current management does.” In an interview with LWN, Brown described the conversation between SUSE and the broader community, about the possibility of an independent foundation, as being frank, ongoing, and healthy. He also mentioned that everything from a full independent openSUSE foundation to a tweaking of the current relationship that provides more legal autonomy for openSUSE can be considered. Also, there is a possibility for some form of organization to be run under the auspices of the Linux Foundation. Issues faced by openSUSE Brown has said, “openSUSE has multiple stakeholders, but it currently doesn’t have a separate legal entity of its own, which makes some of the practicalities of having multiple sponsors rather complicated”. Under the current arrangement, it is difficult for OpenSUSE to directly handle financial contributions. Sponsorship and the ability to raise funding have become a prerequisite for the survival of openSUSE. Brown comments, “openSUSE is in continual need of investment in terms of both hardware and manpower to ‘keep the lights on’ with its current infrastructure”. Another concern has been the tricky collaboration between the community and the company across all SUSE products. In particular, Brown has stated issues with the openSUSE Kubic and SUSE Container-as-a-Service Platform. With a more distinctly separate openSUSE, the implication and the hope is that openSUSE projects will have increased autonomy over its governance and interaction with the wider community. According to LWN, if openSUSE becomes completely independent, it will have increased autonomy over its governance and interaction with the wider community. Though different models for openSUSE’s governance are under consideration, Brown has said, “The current relationship between SUSE and openSUSE is unique and special, and I see these discussions as enhancing that, and not necessarily following anyone else’s direction”. There has also been no declaration of any hard deadline in place. For more details, head over to LWN article. Read Next SUSE is now an independent company after being acquired by EQT for $2.5 billion 389 Directory Server set to replace OpenLDAP as Red Hat and SUSE withdraw support for OpenLDAP in their Enterprise Linux offerings Salesforce open sources ‘Lightning Web Components framework’last_img read more

Why are experts worried about Microsofts billion dollar bet in OpenAIs AGI

first_imgMicrosoft has invested $1 billion in OpenAI with the goal of building next-generation supercomputers and a platform within Microsoft Azure which will scale to AGI (Artificial General Intelligence). This is a multiyear partnership with Microsoft becoming OpenAI’s preferred partner for commercializing new AI technologies. Open AI will become a big Azure customer, porting its services to run on Microsoft Azure. The $1 billion is a cash investment into OpenAI LP, which is Open AI’s for-profit corporate subsidiary. The investment will follow a standard capital commitment structure which means OpenAI can call for it, as they need it. But the company plans to spend it in less than five years. Per the official press release, “The companies will focus on building a computational platform in Azure for training and running advanced AI models, including hardware technologies that build on Microsoft’s supercomputing technology. These will be implemented in a safe, secure and trustworthy way and is a critical reason the companies chose to partner together.” They intend to license some of their pre-AGI technologies, with Microsoft becoming their preferred partner. “My goal in running OpenAI is to successfully create broadly beneficial A.G.I.,” Sam Altman, who co-founded Open AI with Elon Musk, said in a recent interview. “And this partnership is the most important milestone so far on that path.” Musk left the company in February 2019, to focus on Tesla and because he didn’t agree with some of what OpenAI team wanted to do. What does this partnership mean for Microsoft and Open AI OpenAI may benefit from this deal by keeping their innovations private which may help commercialization, raise more funds and get to AGI faster. For OpenAI this means the availability of resources for AGI, while potentially allowing founders and other investors with the opportunity to either double-down on OpenAI or reallocate resources to other initiatives However, this may also lead to them not disclosing progress, papers with details, and open source code as much as in the past. As for Microsoft, this deal is another attempt in quietly taking over open source. First, with the acquisition of GitHub and the subsequent launch of GitHub Sponsors, and now with becoming OpenAI’s ‘preferred partner’ for commercialization. Last year at an Investor conference, Nadella said, “AI is going to be one of the trends that is going to be the next big shift in technology. It’s going to be AI at the edge, AI in the cloud, AI as part of SaaS applications, AI as part of in fact even infrastructure. And to me, to be the leader in it, it’s not enough just to sort of have AI capability that we can exercise—you also need the ability to democratize it so that every business can truly benefit from it. That to me is our identity around AI.” Partnership with OpenAI seems to be a part of this plan. This deal can also possibly help Azure catch up with Google and Amazon both in hardware scalability and Artificial Intelligence offerings. A hacker news user comments, “OpenAI will adopt and make Azure their preferred platform. And Microsoft and Azure will jointly “develop new Azure AI supercomputing technologies”, which I assume is advancing their FGPA-based deep learning offering. Google has a lead with TensorFlow + TPUs and this is a move to “buy their way in”, which is a very Microsoft thing to do.” It is also likely that Microsoft is investing money which will eventually be pumped back into its own company, as OpenAI buys computing power from the tech giant. Under the terms of the contract, Microsoft will eventually become the sole cloud computing provider for OpenAI, and most of that $1 billion will be spent on computing power, Altman says. OpenAI, who were previously into building ethical AI will now pivot to build cutting edge AI and move towards AGI. Sometimes even neglecting ethical ramifications, wanting to deploy tech at the earliest which is what Microsoft would be interested in monetizing. I see two primary motivations: For OpenAI—to secure funding and to gain some control over hardware which in turn helps differentiate software. For MSFT—to elevate Azure in the minds of developers for AI training. – James Wang, Analyst at ARKInvest However, the news of this investment did not go down well with some experts in the field who saw this as a pure commercial deal and questioned whether OpenAI’s switch to for-profit research undermines its claims to be “democratizing” AI. “I can’t really parse its conversion into an LP—and Microsoft’s huge investment—as anything but a victory for capital” – Robin Sloan, Author “What is OpenAI? I don’t know anymore.” – Stephen Merity, Deep learning researcher People are also speculating whether creating AGI is really even possible. In a recent survey experts estimated that there was a 50 percent chance of creating AGI by the year 2099. Pet New York Times, most experts believe A.G.I. will not arrive for decades or even centuries. Even Altman admits OpenAI may never get there. But the race is on nonetheless. Then why is Microsoft delivering the $1 billion over five years considering that is neither enough money nor enough time to produce AGI. Although, OpenAI has certainly impressed the tech community with its AI innovations. In April, OpenAI’s new algorithm that is trained to play the complex strategy game, Dota 2, beat the world champion e-sports team OG at an event in San Francisco, winning the first two matches of the ‘best-of-three’ series. The competition included a human team of five professional Dota 2 players and AI team of five OpenAI bots. In February, they released a new AI model GPT-2, capable of generating coherent paragraphs of text without needing any task-specific training. However experts felt that the move signalled towards ‘closed AI’ and propagated the ‘fear of AI’ for its ability to write convincing fake news from just a few words. Read Next Github Sponsors: Could corporate strategy eat FOSS culture for dinner? Microsoft is seeking membership to Linux-distros mailing list for early access to security vulnerabilities OpenAI: Two new versions and the output dataset of GPT-2 out!last_img read more