Albertas credit rating cut after confirming 103B deficit 42B debt

first_imgEDMONTON – Alberta has been hit with another credit downgrade one day after it confirmed it remains on track for a $10.3-billion budget deficit this year.The credit rating agency DBRS say it has downgraded Alberta’s long-term debt rating to AA from AA (high) and has adjusted or maintained other ratings indicators on a negative trend.The agency said the downgrade reflects the high operating deficits and Alberta’s rapidly accumulating debt, which is pegged to surpass $42 billion by the spring.It’s one of a number of credit downgrades or warnings that have resulted from the province’s fiscal direction under Premier Rachel Notley’s NDP since 2015.Although the economy has been hammered by low oil prices, Notley’s government says it makes sense in the short term to take on debt to catch up on long-delayed infrastructure projects.Finance Minister Joe Ceci, responding to the downgrade, says Alberta still has the strongest debt-to-GDP ratio among provinces and the province’s credit rating remains among the highest in Canada.“The fiscal update released yesterday shows that Alberta’s economy is growing faster than forecast, the deficit is coming down, and significant cost savings are being realized,” Ceci said in a statement.“The government will continue to take a steady and responsible approach that avoids extreme and risky cuts that would hurt families, cost jobs and damage our recovery.”last_img read more

Deep Freeze

The new year is here and we’re dealing with a new and bitterly cold weather system, but it’s the kind of weather we knew as inevitable.The freezing conditions led to most cities around the region issuing their first cold weather alerts of the season. A cold weather alert is issued when the temperature drops to -15 or -20 with the wind chill. Last winter’s first alert came on January 7th, we went on to see a total of 39 cold weather alerts issued.We sent our Sean Leathong out to see how people are dealing with the cold… and he was pleasantly surprised. read more

UK vehicle production figures – November 2008

-47.3%-5.9%-62.2%-4.5%-50.5%-5.6% Home14,517310,7702,88375,46017,400386,230 Source:CarsCommercial vehicles Total vehicles  % of total14.9%22.3%26.3%38.4%16.0%24.3% % of total85.1%77.7%73.7%61.6%84.0%75.7% -30.0%-1.8%-43.9%-0.8%-31.5%-1.7% -33.3%-2.7%-50.2%-2.3%-35.5%-2.7% SMMT LtdNov-08YTD 2008Nov-08YTD 2008Nov-08YTD 2008 Export83,0871,082,0268,082121,14691,1691,203,172 Total97,6041,392,79610,965196,606108,5691,589,402 ·         Car production fell 33.3% in November – year-to-date is down 2.7%.·         Commercial vehicle production down 50.2% for the month of November.· read more

Jose Mourinho should knuckle down at Man Utd – Tim Sherwood

first_imgBlackburn Rovers legend and former Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood says Jose Mourinho should “knuckle down and create a positive vibe” at Manchester United, stating that he needs to create a positive air around the club in order to have a successful season.Manchester United boss Mourinho couldn’t add another central defender to his ranks before the wrap of transfer window, even after a lengthy spell chasing Leicester’s Harry Maguire and a speed Deadline Day chase for Atletico Madrid’s Diego Godin.Speaking to Sky Sports, Sherwood said:“Most managers don’t spend the amount of money in a lifetime that he has in the last two seasons. He’s been very fortunate to have been given the funds at one of the biggest clubs in the world, so I can’t understand why any manager, with that backing, is ever disgruntled.Jose Mourinho is sold on Lampard succeeding ar Chelsea Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho wanted to give his two cents on Frank Lampard’s odds as the new Chelsea FC manager, he thinks he will succeed.There really…“I think Jose needs to get in front of the camera in a press conference and send a message to the players saying, ‘This is what we’ve got, I believe in you and we will push Man City a lot closer this season.’“As a manager, when you sit in front of the media, you are not only talking to your fans and players, you are also talking to the board and I think he’s got to stop talking to the board now. There’s nothing you can do now, the window is closed, he has to carry on, knuckle down and get the best results for his club. He needs to send out a positive vibe.“He’s got [Victor] Lindelof, [Eric] Bailly, [Chris] Smalling or [Phil] Jones, they are all international footballers and they are now thinking that they aren’t really wanted there. The manager tried to sign a centre-back, wasn’t allowed to do it and he’s almost been left with us. Now is the time to knuckle down and get on with it and start sending a positive message about the whole club.”last_img read more

Lighthouse Pointe at Grand Lucayan on Grand Bahama Island Reopens

first_img Recommended for you Grand Bahama Set to Return to Normal After Hurricane Irma Related Items:#magneticmedianews, grand bahama, Grand Lucayan, Lighthouse Pointe Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Independence Festival coming to Taino Beach Grand Bahama International Airport Will Reopen Today Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppBahamas, September 15, 2017 – Grand Lucayan – Lighthouse Pointe at Grand Lucayan, the Caribbean resort offering guests an authentic Bahamian experience, fared well during the storm and will be re-opening its doors on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017.“Aside from the loss of a few trees, no damage resulted from the storm at Lighthouse Pointe at Grand Lucayan,” said Veronica Clarke, hotel manager. “We are relieved to be re-opening quickly and our thoughts remain with our neighbors in the Caribbean who are not as fortunate.”Grand Bahama International Airport is just 20 minutes from the resort, with Silver Airways, American Eagle and Bahamasair offering daily flights to and from Grand Bahama Island while Delta Airlines offer flights every Saturday. There are two cruise lines offering scheduled trips to and from Grand Bahama Island for those who prefer travelling by sea — Bahamas Paradise sails from Palm Beach, Florida every other day, and Balearia Bahamas Express sails from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Tuesdays and Thursdays through Sundays.last_img read more

It had to be a Gandhi none else chorused Congress leaders

first_imgNew Delhi, Aug 11 (IANS) The spectre of a split in the country’s oldest political party was looming at the Congress Working Committee meeting on Saturday as leaders got emotional at the mention of a non-Gandhi to lead the Congress. It had to be a Gandhi, and no one else. Some leaders even threatened to sit at home rather than attend party meetings under a non-Gandhi. Also Read – Enforcement Directorate summons Karnataka Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar Advertise With Us That decided the matter, and party seniors, including Ahmed Patel, approached former President Sonia Gandhi to lead the party yet again. Sonia Gandhi, who has not been keeping good health, was surprised at the CWC recommending her name as interim President. “You have suddenly come up with this idea. I am not ready for it,” she told the party leaders, according to a senior leader who was present at the deliberations. Also Read – Fresh restrictions imposed in Kashmir Valley Advertise With Us “Sonia Gandhi was not ready to accept the post of interim President,” the leader told IANS, not wishing to be named. “But she was convinced after a number of them told her that the party will split if the Gandhi family leaves the helm at this crucial juncture,” the leader added. The Congress Working Committee (CWC), the party’s top decision-making body, sat twice on Saturday to decide a new party chief after Rahul Gandhi quit the post following the party’s disastrous showing in the Lok Sabha election. The second meeting ended at around 11 p.m. Advertise With Us None of the leaders was prepared to accept the name of a non-Gandhi as President. Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar declared that he would prefer to remain at home than accept a non-Gandhi as party President. “Jakhar’s opinion was supported by many others who told the CWC members that the names of those leaders doing the rounds as party chief were not acceptable to them,” the leader told IANS. Another Punjab party leader, Pratap Singh Bajwa, told the CWC that if any non-Gandhi comes to occupy top post, “then many senior leaders will leave the party and join other parties”. The name of Priyanka Gandhi was discussed besides that of Rahul Gandhi. “When the name of Priyanka Gandhi was suggested, she herself objected to it, saying it is not possible,” the party leader said. It was Priyanka Gandhi who backed her brother Rahul Gandhi on his decision to stick to his resignation as party President despite all the five sub-groups recommending that he continue as the Congress chief. After the morning CWC, the party members again requested Rahul Gandhi to take back his resignation. But he refused. At that time, Jyotiraditya Scindia requested Rahul Gandhi to reconsider his decision to step down, to which he replied that he was not escaping from responsibilities but would work with more dedication for the party under a new President. During the second meeting, the CWC elected UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi as the interim party chief after accepting Rahul Gandhi’s resignation. Rahul Gandhi offered to resign from the top post taking moral responsibility of the party’s virtual washout in the Lok Sabha battle. The Nehru-Gandhi family has had a firm grip over the Congress for decades, starting from Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister, his daughter and later Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, her son and Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and then his widow Sonia Gandhi — before the baton was passed on to Rahul Gandhi.last_img read more

What You Need To Know About The New Documents On The 2016

first_imgTimothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty ImagesNew records released by the Senate Judiciary Committee offer the most detail yet about a June 9, 2016, meeting at Trump Tower between top Trump campaign aides and a delegation of Russians after an offer of help in the contest against Hillary Clinton.The Senate Judiciary Committee unleashed a new tranche of records on Wednesday that offered the most detail yet about one of the most important subplots in the Russia imbroglio.The more than 2,500 pages in the trove add the most context yet about the meeting that took place on June 9, 2016, in Trump Tower between top Trump campaign aides and a delegation of Russians after an offer of help in the contest against Hillary Clinton.The document dump also helps put the meeting into the broader context about what is known about the Russian attack on the 2016 election and the ongoing investigation about whether any Americans were involved with it — and what still isn’t known.Here’s a look at three big reasons the Judiciary Committee release was important.1. The Russians apparently tried hard to collude with the Americans. But there’s no airtight case that the Americans reciprocated.By the time Donald Trump Jr. received emails that described an offer of help from Moscow in June, Russians had been drilling pilot wells into the Trump campaign for months.The Russian government had a long-standing relationship with Trump’s top national security aide, retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn. Russian agents had made overtures to foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos in London in March 2016, according to court documents. Another Russian reached out via the National Rifle Association in May, according to one congressional report.In fact, the overture that Trump Jr. received in June 2016 wasn’t even the only such outreach of that month. Another request for a meeting came into the campaign via another avenue about the same time that Trump Jr. received his now well-known email on June 3. The message described, via intermediaries, an offer of help for the Trump campaign from Russia’s top federal prosecutor, Yuri Chaika.After all the earlier Russian attempts to get through, here was finally one known to have worked: “If it’s what you say, I love it, especially later in the summer,” Trump Jr. wrote to the intermediary who pitched him the meeting. He told Senate investigators that what he “loved” was the prospect of getting damaging information about Clinton.Trump Jr. invited his brother-in-law Jared Kushner and then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort to host attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya, lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin, real estate dealer Irakly Kaveladze and others.But Veselnitskaya didn’t bring high-powered “dirt” on Clinton that Trump Jr. had been promised, according to the accounts of people in the Judiciary Committee material. Instead, the tip she offered was about investors Dirk and Robert Ziff, who she alleged might have funneled money improperly out of Russia via Cyprus to the Democratic National Committee.That nugget didn’t impress Trump Jr. and the other Americans, according to their accounts, and evidently they did not express any desire to do the additional investigating that Veselnitskaya said would be necessary to substantiate and use it as a political weapon against Democrats.So although Trump Jr. did get something from his Russian guests, it was not the dirt on Clinton he was first promised, and not dirt sufficient for him to have made any kind of reciprocal commitment to Veselnitskaya or the others — at least according to his own testimony.Trump Jr. and Kushner say that ultimately, the meeting was of no consequence. Trump Jr. later released, on his own, the emails that set the process into motion that culminated in the meeting.For at least one other person inside this orbit, however, that move raised eyebrows. The Judiciary Committee released an email to Kaveladze from a redacted sender that referenced Trump Jr’s 2017 decision to unveil those messages: “Why did he release this email admitting to collusion?”2. It still isn’t clear what happened after the Trump Tower meeting.So one of the Russian pilot wells finally struck oil. The Russian government gets a meeting and conducts one, albeit — according to the Senate Judiciary Committee material — not along the lines of the initial premise as represented to Trump Jr.Why, though? And what happened next?It has become clear the Russian government was working to disrupt the election and that it was doing so to Trump’s benefit. But what role did the Kremlin envision Trump and his campaign playing in that scheme? Was the goal to enlist them in a cooperative effort and — assuming the accounts are accurate — did Veselnitskaya just botch the job?Or was the Russian goal of sowing chaos and mistrust within the United States more important to Moscow at that time than the goal of electing Trump? That’s what former CIA officer Daniel Hoffman has suggested: that this was about poisoning the well for everyone and planting a trap that was meant to be discovered.The meeting, in this view, was meant only to ensnare and embarrass the Trump camp in the way it has, according to Hoffman’s thesis, and thus befuddle Americans as to what went on behind the scenes in the presidential election.Why, then, would the Russians then arrange for WikiLeaks to begin releasing stolen emails that embarrassed the leadership of the Democratic National Committee the following month?Why wage such aggressive social media agitation against Clinton and in support of Trump? And why release emails later on to embarrass Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, hours after the appearance of the infamous Access Hollywood recording?There isn’t enough public evidence now to make the full story make sense. If people in Trump world used the June meeting in Trump Tower as the baseline to establish clandestine ties with the Russians, that would be significant — but there is so far no public evidence they did.Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/AFP/Getty ImagesDonald Trump Jr. arrives at Trump Tower in New York for meetings with then-President-elect Donald Trump on Nov. 17, 2016.President Trump, Trump Jr. and everyone else in the campaign denies there was any such conspiracy with the active measures the Russian government continued waging against the election. The House intelligence committee’s Republican majority has cleared Trump’s campaign of any wrongdoing.There were, however, continued contacts between people in Trump world and Russian officials. Manafort’s long-standing relationships with powerful Ukrainians, and through them powerful Russians, eventually were his undoing as campaign chairman.Then-Sen. Jeff Sessions met with Russia’s then-ambassador to the United States. A junior foreign policy adviser, Carter Page, traveled to Moscow twice as the year wore on. And Kushner and Flynn met or communicated with Russian officials after Election Day as well.The Senate Judiciary Committee material released on Wednesday increases the amount of noise about the story but does not help with distinguishing a new signal in the midst of it.3. How much did Donald Trump Sr. know about all this?President Trump has said different things at different times about what he accepts about Russia’s attack on the 2016 election — his latest position is that it took place but he will defend future elections strongly. Trump has been largely consistent, though, that he did not know in real time in June 2016 that his oldest son, son-in-law and campaign chairman hosted a foreign delegation bearing an offer of help from overseas.Trump Jr. stuck to that in the interview he gave to the Senate Judiciary Committee.Records show that Trump Jr. made a series of phone calls at the time he was setting up the meeting in Trump Tower. Two of them were to a blocked number. Trump Jr. was asked whether those calls were to his father. He said he couldn’t remember. Other witnesses have told the congressional committees that Trump uses a blocked number.If law enforcement investigators could substantiate that Trump Jr.’s calls did go to Trump Sr. during this period, that might undercut the president’s denials that he was aware of the Russian outreach.When asked about the process by which he and the White House crafted the initial statement about the meeting — a statement that did not accurately represent what the principals knew about it — Trump Jr. also told the committee he didn’t deal with his father. Instead, he said, he talked with then-White House Communications Director Hope Hicks, and he wasn’t aware of what she might have discussed with the president.In fact, Trump Jr. said, Hicks asked him whether he wanted to speak to the president and, in Trump Jr.’s telling, he said no: “I chose not to because I didn’t want to bring him into something that he had nothing to do with.”Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. 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Sony PlayStation Network hacked again by resetting user passwords

first_img Sony Playstation Network begins restoration of their online network (w/video) (PhysOrg.com) — Only a few days after Sony brought their PlayStation Network back on-line hackers have shown that the PSN is still vulnerable to attacks. This time around hackers have reset user account passwords by using their email address and date of birth. 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. More information: via Nyleveia.com News of this third attack first appeared on Nyleveia.com which warned users that their accounts are still not safe. According to Nyleveia.com “…the exploit involves a vulnerability in the password reset form currently implemented, not properly verifying tokens”.Sony has since then blocked PSN login access to a number of its site, and the PSN password reset site has also been taken offline. The company has stated: “unfortunately this also means that those who are still trying to change their password via Playstation.com or Qriocity.com will be unable to do so for the time being.”Sony went on to say, “in the meantime you will still be able to sign into PSN via your PlayStation 3 and PSP devices to connect to game services and view Trophy/Friends information.”According to Nyleveia.com website: “I would suggest that you secure your accounts now by creating a completely new email that you will not use anywhere else, and switching your PSN account to use this new email.””You risk having your account stolen, when this hack becomes more public, if you do not make sure that your PSN account’s email is one that cannot be affiliated with or otherwise traced to you.”It would seem that Sony has a lot more work ahead of them. Their customers are going to less likely believe them when they say that their network is now secure. Explore further With Sony’s PlayStation Network back online only a few days, attackers have breached the system for a third time. This time going for a vulnerability with the system’s password reset. Citation: Sony PlayStation Network hacked again by resetting user passwords (2011, May 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-05-sony-playstation-network-hacked-resetting.html © 2010 PhysOrg.comlast_img read more

Study finds political ideology impacts decisionmaking regarding energyefficient products

first_img More information: Political ideology affects energy-efficiency attitudes and choices, PNAS, Published online before print April 29, 2013, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1218453110 AbstractThis research demonstrates how promoting the environment can negatively affect adoption of energy efficiency in the United States because of the political polarization surrounding environmental issues. Study 1 demonstrated that more politically conservative individuals were less in favor of investment in energy-efficient technology than were those who were more politically liberal. This finding was driven primarily by the lessened psychological value that more conservative individuals placed on reducing carbon emissions. Study 2 showed that this difference has consequences: In a real-choice context, more conservative individuals were less likely to purchase a more expensive energy-efficient light bulb when it was labeled with an environmental message than when it was unlabeled. These results highlight the importance of taking into account psychological value-based considerations in the individual adoption of energy-efficient technology in the United States and beyond.Press release Name-brand or generic? Your political ideology might influence your choice Explore further Citation: Study finds political ideology impacts decision-making regarding energy-efficient products (2013, April 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-04-political-ideology-impacts-decision-making-energy-efficient.html © 2013 Phys.org Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences In the first study, 657 people (divided roughly in half by gender) were asked to fill out a questionnaire that was designed to reveal the person’s political leanings as well as their energy-saving product purchasing habits. In analyzing the answers given by the participants, the researchers found a trend that suggested that the more conservative a person’s political views, the less favorably they saw products advertised as environmentally friendly. Those with such leanings tended to claim they were more likely to buy such products, however, if they were instead advertised as money saving investments. Conversely, those with more liberal leanings tended to be more receptive towards buying products solely because they believed they would help solve environmental problems.In the second study, 210 volunteers were interviewed and then given $2 each to purchase a light bulb. The light bulbs offered for sale were either “normal” or an energy efficient variety (with a higher price.) The higher priced bulbs were identical but were advertised in two different ways: one made claims about how the light bulb was good for the planet, the other claimed to save the buyer money by using less electricity. The researchers found those with more conservative views were less inclined to buy the special bulbs when the labeling touted its planet-saving features. When it was labeled as a money-saver however, conservatives were quite willing to buy them. Those with a more liberal view were found willing to buy the special bulb regardless of which advertising was used. In another variant of the study, the researchers found that both conservatives and liberals bought the special bulb over the “normal” bulb if they were priced the same.The researchers suggest that those people in the study with conservative ideology were not necessarily against buying so-called green products, but have been conditioned to associate such terms with liberalism, and thus, shy away from products labeled as such. Because of this, the researchers suggest those that market such products look towards creating new phrases that aren’t tied to one group or another when making their pitches. 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. (Phys.org) —Two researchers from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and another from Duke University in North Carolina together have found that a person’s political ideology might impact his or her decision-making when purchasing products described as good for the environment, versus, money saving. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team describes two field studies they conducted to better understand the issues involved and the results they found.last_img read more

Bill Gates and Warren Buffett Celebrate 25 Years of Billionaire Bromance

first_img Enroll Now for Free July 5, 2016 This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Nowcenter_img When it comes to making new friends, sometimes mother really does know best. Such was the case with Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.Gates didn’t want to meet Buffett at first, but his persistent mom, Mary, eventually wore him down and convinced him to. “I’m a technology nerd,” the Microsoft co-founder reflects on his blog. “[Buffett’s] an investor who doesn’t use email. In fact, I never expected to be friends with him.”The power duo’s billionaire bromance kicked off 25 years ago today. On that fateful day, July 5, 1991, Gates was determined to spend “no more than two hours” with Buffett. But then the “Oracle of Omaha” fired off a flurry of clever questions, one after the other, that no one had ever asked Gates before. “We were suddenly lost in conversation and hours and hours slipped by,” Gates recalls in a touching blog post commemorating the anniversary today.Related: The Top 25 Self-Made Billionaires In the WorldThey laughed, they related, they bonded, and an “unexpected friendship” was born. “It was a deep friendship from our very first conversation,” Gates writes.  Despite their differing styles (Buffett likes Oreos for breakfast and Gates prefers Cocoa Puffs), the mega moguls were soon thick as thieves. They eagerly swapped book recommendations, battled it out at bridge and stitched up starring roles in each other’s sweeping spheres of influence. Sure enough, Buffett is a Gates Foundation trustee and Gates sits on the board of Berkshire Hathaway, because of course they do. That’s what friends are for.Certain connections have their benefits, especially ones of this caliber. After all, billionaire BFFs stick together like birds of a feather.To celebrate their friendship’s silver anniversary, Gates and Buffett created a photo album and virtual reality video together. No worries if you don’t have a VR headset. You can still watch the clip from a web browser, just as you would any video. Check it out here. Sorry, bub, you might never see your bestie the same. 2 min readlast_img read more

Anatomy of an automated machine learning algorithm AutoML

first_imgMachine learning has always been dependent on the selection of the right features within a given model; even the selection of the right algorithm. But deep learning changed this. The selection process is now built into the models themselves. Researchers and engineers are now shofting their focus from feature engineering to network engineering. Out of this, AutoML, or meta learning, has become an increasingly important part of deep learning. AutoML is an emerging research topic which aims at auto-selecting the most efficient neural network for a given learning task. In other words, AutoML represents a set of methodologies for learning how to learn efficiently. Consider for instance the tasks of machine translation, image recognition, or game playing. Typically, the models are manually designed by a team of engineers, data scientist, and domain experts. If you consider that a typical 10-layer network can have ~1010 candidate network, you understand how expensive, error prone, and ultimately sub-optimal the process can be. This article is an excerpt from a book written by Antonio Gulli and Amita Kapoor titled TensorFlow 1.x Deep Learning Cookbook. This book is an easy-to-follow guide that lets you explore reinforcement learning, GANs, autoencoders, multilayer perceptrons and more. AutoML with recurrent networks and with reinforcement learning The key idea to tackle this problem is to have a controller network which proposes a child model architecture with probability p, given a particular network given in input. The child is trained and evaluated for the particular task to be solved (say for instance that the child gets accuracy R). This evaluation R is passed back to the controller which, in turn, uses R to improve the next candidate architecture. Given this framework, it is possible to model the feedback from the candidate child to the controller as the task of computing the gradient of p and then scale this gradient by R. The controller can be implemented as a Recurrent Neural Network (see the following figure). In doing so, the controller will tend to privilege iteration after iterations candidate areas of architecture that achieve better R and will tend to assign a lower probability to candidate areas that do not score so well. For instance, a controller recurrent neural network can sample a convolutional network. The controller can predict many hyper-parameters such as filter height, filter width, stride height, stride width, and the number of filters for one layer and then can repeat. Every prediction can be carried out by a softmax classifier and then fed into the next RNN time step as input. This is well expressed by the following images taken from Neural Architecture Search with Reinforcement Learning, Barret Zoph, Quoc V. Le: Predicting hyperparameters is not enough as it would be optimal to define a set of actions to create new layers in the network. This is particularly difficult because the reward function that describes the new layers is most likely not differentiable. This makes it impossible to optimize using standard techniques such as SGD. The solution comes from reinforcement learning. It consists of adopting a policy gradient network. Besides that, parallelism can be used for optimizing the parameters of the controller RNN. Quoc Le & Barret Zoph proposed to adopt a parameter-server scheme where we have a parameter server of S shards, that store the shared parameters for K controller replicas. Each controller replica samples m different child architectures that are trained in parallel as illustrated in the following images, taken from Neural Architecture Search with Reinforcement Learning, Barret Zoph, Quoc V. Le: Quoc and Barret applied AutoML techniques for Neural Architecture Search to the Penn Treebank dataset, a well-known benchmark for language modeling. Their results improve the manually designed networks currently considered the state-of-the-art. In particular, they achieve a test set perplexity of 62.4 on the Penn Treebank, which is 3.6 perplexity better than the previous state-of-the-art model. Similarly, on the CIFAR-10 dataset, starting from scratch, the method can design a novel network architecture that rivals the best human-invented architecture in terms of test set accuracy. The proposed CIFAR-10 model achieves a test error rate of 3.65, which is 0.09 percent better and 1.05x faster than the previous state-of-the-art model that used a similar architectural scheme. Meta-learning blocks In Learning Transferable Architectures for Scalable Image Recognition, Barret Zoph, Vijay Vasudevan, Jonathon Shlens, Quoc V. Le, 2017. propose to learn an architectural building block on a small dataset that can be transferred to a large dataset. The authors propose to search for the best convolutional layer (or cell) on the CIFAR-10 dataset and then apply this learned cell to the ImageNet dataset by stacking together more copies of this cell, each with their own parameters. Precisely, all convolutional networks are made of convolutional layers (or cells) with identical structures but different weights. Searching for the best convolutional architectures is therefore reduced to searching for the best cell structures, which is faster more likely to generalize to other problems. Although the cell is not learned directly on ImageNet, an architecture constructed from the best learned cell achieves, among the published work, state-of-the-art accuracy of 82.7 percent top-1 and 96.2 percent top-5 on ImageNet. The model is 1.2 percent better in top-1 accuracy than the best human-invented architectures while having 9 billion fewer FLOPS—a reduction of 28% from the previous state of the art model. What is also important to notice is that the model learned with RNN+RL (Recurrent Neural Networks + Reinforcement Learning) is beating the baseline represented by Random Search (RS) as shown in the figure taken from the paper. In the mean performance of the top-5 and top-25 models identified in RL versus RS, RL is always winning: AutoML and learning new tasks Meta-learning systems can be trained to achieve a large number of tasks and are then tested for their ability to learn new tasks. A famous example of this kind of meta-learning is transfer learning, where networks can successfully learn new image-based tasks from relatively small datasets. However, there is no analogous pre-training scheme for non-vision domains such as speech, language, and text. Model-Agnostic Meta-Learning for Fast Adaptation of Deep Networks, Chelsea Finn, Pieter Abbeel, Sergey Levine, 2017, proposes a model- agnostic approach names MAML, compatible with any model trained with gradient descent and applicable to a variety of different learning problems, including classification, regression, and reinforcement learning. The goal of meta-learning is to train a model on a variety of learning tasks, such that it can solve new learning tasks using only a small number of training samples. The meta-learner aims at finding an initialization that rapidly adapts to various problems quickly (in a small number of steps) and efficiently (using only a few examples). A model represented by a parametrized function fθ with parameters θ.When adapting to a new task Ti, the model’s parameters θ become θi  . In MAML, the updated parameter vector θi  is computed using one or more gradient descent updates on task Ti. For example, when using one gradient update, θ ~ = θ − α∇θLTi (fθ) where LTi is the loss function for the task T and α is a meta-learning parameter. The MAML algorithm is reported in this figure: MAML was able to substantially outperform a number of existing approaches on popular few-shot image classification benchmark. Few shot image is a quite challenging problem aiming at learning new concepts from one or a few instances of that concept. As an example, Human-level concept learning through probabilistic program induction, Brenden M. Lake, Ruslan Salakhutdinov, Joshua B. Tenenbaum, 2015, suggested that humans can learn to identify novel two-wheel vehicles from a single picture such as the one contained in the box as follows: If you enjoyed this excerpt, check out the book TensorFlow 1.x Deep Learning Cookbook, to skill up and implement tricky neural networks using Google’s TensorFlow 1.x Read Next: AmoebaNets: Google’s new evolutionary AutoML AutoML : Developments and where is it heading to What is Automated Machine Learning (AutoML)?last_img read more

Discussing SAP Past present and future with Rehan Zaidi senior SAP ABAP

first_imgSAP, the market-leading enterprise software, recently became the first European technology company to create an AI ethics advisory panel where they announced seven guiding principles for AI development. These guidelines revolve around recognizing AI’s significant impact on people and society. Also, last week, at the Microsoft Ignite conference, SAP, in collaboration with Microsoft and Adobe announced the Open Data Initiative. This initiative aims to help companies to better govern their data and support privacy and security initiatives. For SAP, this initiative will further bring advancements to its SAP C/4HANA and S/4HANA platforms. All of these actions emphasize SAP’s focus on transforming itself into a responsible data use company. We recently interviewed Rehan Zaidi, a senior SAP ABAP consultant. Rehan became one of the youngest authors on SAP worldwide when he was published in the prestigious SAP Professional Journal in the year 2001. He has written a number of books, and over 20 articles and professional papers for the SAP Professional Journal USA and HR Expert USA, part of the prestigious sapexperts.com library. Following are some of his views on the SAP community and products and how the SAP suite can benefit people including budding professionals, developers, and business professionals. Key takeaways SAP HANA was introduced to accelerate jobs 200 times faster while maintaining the efficiency. The introduction of SAP Leonardo brought in the next wave of AI, machine learning, and blockchain services via the SAP cloud platform and other standalone projects. Experienced ABAP developers should look forward to getting certified in one of the newest technologies such as HANA, and Fiori. SAP ERP Central Component (SAP ECC) is the on-premises version of SAP, and it is usually implemented in medium and large-sized companies. For smaller companies, SAP offers its Business One ERP platform. SAP Fiori is a line of SAP apps meant to address criticisms of SAP’s user experience and UI complexity. Q.1. SAP is one of the most widely used ERP tools. How has it evolved over the past few years from the traditional on-premise model to keep up with the cloud-based trends? Yes. Let me cover the main points. SAP started in 1973 as a company and the first product SAP R/98 was launched. In 1979, SAP launched the R/2 design. It had most of the typical processes such as accounting, manufacturing processes, supply chain logistics, and human resources. Then came R/3  that brought the more efficient three-tier (Application server –  Database and the presentation (GUI)) architecture, with more new modules and functionalities added. It was a smart system fully configurable by functional consultants. This was further enhanced with Netweaver capability that brought the integration of the internet and SOA capability.  SAP introduced the ECC 5 and subsequently the ECC 6 Release. Mobility was later added that lets mobile applications running on devices to access the business processes in SAP and execute them. Both display and updation of SAP data was possible. HANA system was then introduced. It is very fast and efficient – allows you to do 200 times faster jobs than before Cloud systems then became available that let customers connect to SAP Cloud Platform via their on-premise systems and then get access to services such as Mobile Service for app protection, Mobile Service for SAP Fiori, among others. SAP Leonardo was finally introduced, as a way of bringing in next-gen AI, machine learning and blockchain services via standalone projects and the SAP cloud platform. Q.2. Being a Senior ABAP Programming Analyst, how does your typical day look like? Ahh. Well, a typical day! No two days are the same for us. Each morning we find ourselves confronting a problem whose solution is to be devised. A different problem every day- followed by a unique solution. We spend hours and hours finding issues in custom developed programs. We learn about making custom programs run faster. We get requirements of a wide variety of users. They may be in the Human Resource, Materials Management, Sales and Distribution or Finance, and so on. This requirement may be pertaining to an entirely new report or a dialog program having a set of screens. We even do Fiori ( using Javascript based library) applications that may be accessible from the PC or a mobile device. I even get requirements of teaching junior or trainee SAP developers on a wide variety of technologies. Q.3. Can you tell us about the learning curve for SAP? There are different job profiles related to SAP which range from executives to consultants and managers. How do each of them learn or update themselves on SAP? Yes, this is a very important question. A simple answer to this question is that “there is no end to learning and at any stage, learning is never enough,” no matter to which field within SAP you belong to. Things are constantly changing. The more you read and the more you work, you feel that there is a lot to be done. You need to constantly update yourself and learn about new technologies. There is plenty of material available on the internet. I usually refer to the Official SAP website for newer courses available. They even tell you for which background (managers, developers) the courses are relevant to. I also go to open.sap.com for new courses. Whether they are consultants (functional and technical), or managers, all of them need to keep themselves up-to-date. They must take new courses and learn about innovation in their technology. For example, HR must now study and try to learn about Successfactors. Even integration of SAP HANA with other software might be an interesting topic of today. There are Fiori and HANA related courses for Basis consultants and the corresponding tracks for developers. Some knowhow of newer technologies is also important for managers and executives, since your decisions may need to be adapted based on the underlying technologies running in your systems. You should know the pros and cons of all technologies in order to make the correct move for your business. Q.4. Many believe an SAP certification improves their chances of getting jobs at competitive salaries. How important are certifications? Which SAP certifications should a buddying developer look forward to obtain? When I did my Certification in October 2000, I used to think that Certifications are not important. But now I have realized, yes, it makes a difference.  Well, certifications are definitely a plus point. They enhance your CV and allow you to have an edge over those who are not certified.  I found some jobs adverts that specifically mention that certification will be required or will be advantageous. However, they are only useful when you have at least 4 years of experience. For a fresh graduate, a certification might not be very useful. A useful SAP consultant/developer is a combination of solid base/foundation of knowledge along with a touch of experience. I suggest all my juniors to go for Certifications in order to strengthen concepts, which include: C_C4C30_1711 – SAP Certified Development Associate – SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer C_CP_11 – SAP Certified Development Associate – SAP Cloud Platform C_FIORDEV_20 – SAP Certified Development Associate – SAP Fiori Application Developer C_HANADEV_13 – SAP Certified Development Associate – SAP HANA C_SMPNHB_30 – SAP Certified Development Associate – SAP Mobile Platform Application Development (SMP 3.0) C_TAW12_750 – SAP Certified Development Associate – ABAP with SAP NetWeaver 7.50 E_HANAAW_12 – SAP Certified Development Specialist – ABAP for SAP HANA For experienced ABAP developers, I suggest getting certified on the newest technologies such as HANA, and Fiori. They may help you get a project quicker and/or at a better rate than others. Q.5. The present buzz is around AI, machine learning, IoT, Big data, and many other emerging technologies. SAP Leonardo works on making it easy to create frameworks for harnessing the latest tech. What are your thoughts on SAP Leonardo? Leonardo is SAP’s response to an AI platform. It should be an important part of SAP’s offerings, mostly built on the SAP cloud platform. SAP has relaunched Leonardo as a digital innovation system. As I understand it, Leonardo allows customers to take advantage of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, advanced analytics and blockchain on their company’s data. SAP gives customers an efficient way of using these technologies to solve business issues. It allows you to build a system which, in conjunction with machine learning, searches for results that can be combined with SAP transactions. The benefit with SAP Leonardo is that all the company’s data is available right in the SAP system. Using Leonardo, you have access to all human resources data and any other module data residing in the ERP system. Any company from any industry can make use of Leonardo; it works equally well for retailers, food and beverage companies and medical industries, for organizations working in retail, manufacturing and automotive. An approach that works for one company in a given industry can be applied to other companies in that industry. Suppose a company operates sensors. They can link the sensor data with the data in their SAP systems and even link that with other data, and they can then use the Leonardo capabilities to solve problems or optimize performance. When a problem for one company in an industry is solved, a similar solution may be applied to the entire industry. Yes, in my opinion, Leonardo has a bright future and should be successful. For more information about Leonardo success stories, I encourage readers to check out SAP Leonardo Internet of Things Portfolio & Success Stories. Q. 6. You are currently writing a book on ABAP Objects and Design Patterns expected to be published by the end of 2018. What was your motivation behind writing it? Can you tell us more about ABAP objects? What should readers expect from this book? ABAP and ABAP Objects has gone tremendous changes since some time both on the features (and capability) as well as the syntax. It is the most unsung topic of today. It has been there for quite long but most developers are not aware of it or are not comfortable enough to use them in their day to day work. ABAP is a vast community with developers working in a variety of functional areas. The concepts covered in the book will be generic, allowing the learner to apply them to his or her particular area. This book will cover ABAP objects (the object-oriented extension of the SAP language ABAP) in the latest release of SAP NetWeaver 7.5 and explain the newest advancements. It will start with the programming of objects in general and the basics of ABAP language the developer needs to know to get started. The book will cover the most important topics needed on everyday support jobs and for succeeding in projects. The book will be goal-directed, not a collection of theoretical topics. It won’t just touch on the surface of ABAP objects, but will go in depth from building the basic foundation (e.g., classes and objects created locally and globally) to the intermediary areas (e.g., ALV programming, method chaining, polymorphism, simple and nested interfaces), and then finally into the advanced topics (e.g., shared memory, persistent Objects). The best practices for making better programs via ABAP objects will be shown at the end. No long stories, no boring theory, only pure technical concepts followed by simple examples using coding pertaining to football players. Everything will be presented in a clear, interesting manner, and readers will learn tips and tricks they can apply immediately. Learners, students, new SAP programmers and SAP developers with some experience can use this as an alternative to expensive training books. The book will also save reader’s time searching the internet for help writing new programs. Knowing ABAP objects is key for ABAP developers these days to move forward. Starting from simple ALV reporting requirements, or defining and catching exceptional situations that may occur in a program or even the enhancement technology of BAdIs that lets you enhance standard SAP applications require sound ABAP Objects understanding. In addition, Web Dynpro application development, the Business Object Processing Framework, and even OData service creation to expose data that can be used by Fiori apps all demand solid knowledge of ABAP objects. Read Next How to perform predictive forecasting in SAP Analytics Cloud Popular Data sources and models in SAP Analytics Cloud Understanding Text Search and Hierarchies in SAP HANAlast_img read more

The video fighting back against webjet

first_imgThe video fighting back against webjetSome companies focus their marketing on raising the profile of their own brand; others assist to grow the business of their customers.It’s not the first time roomsXML have tried something different in efforts to support the travel agent, Mark Luckey explains.“My team delivers awesome customer service and support. Over time that message became “roomsXML supports travel agents”.  This is next level.”The Australian travel industry is frustrated with Webjet who have specifically targeted smaller travel agents. As Mark explains, it’s challenging to fight a brand who can advertise on television.“The large OTA’s spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to produce cheap shots at travel agents on prime-time television. But media is evolving you can get hits elsewhere. People power can create momentum.“We’ve produced a cute little video highlighting why travellers should use a travel agent instead of a big online travel agency. Travel is about people and experiences. Secondly, travel agents are professionals and know what they are doing.” In a world that regularly complains about distribution of wealth and the growing chasm between rich and poor, the third point is salient. “We learnt from the “Milk Wars” in Australia that once people realise getting a cheap price is ripping off people in their community, attitudes change.“You can buy with a big OTA and help an individual earn millions or spend the same dollar for a better experience with a travel agent who uses it to buy a latte, something at a market, towards school fees. “We are saying to travel agents share this video. Put it on your website, put it on your Facebook page, show it to your customers, share the message. It’s about promoting travel agents. Promote yourself.”“We made this video so it can be customised with a  travel agents logo and URL for their own promotion. If an agency wants it customised, show us a receipt for a $25 donation they have made at www.projectkarma.org.au, send us a high-resolution logo and upload the video to YouTube page or somewhere you can count hits.”The guys at roomsXML know the risqué language won’t appeal to every demographic, so more videos embracing different themes and styles are under production and will be released soon.“We don’t have anywhere near the budget or the resources to produce adverts the way companies like Webjet can. But we can rally an industry to share a simple message that we need to put people back into booking a holiday with their local travel agent.”Who loses?  This time, not the travel agent.For a customised video, email au.support@roomsxml.com roomsXML connect today here www.roomsxml.comSource = roomsXML.com learn more about roomsXML.com herelast_img read more

Construction Spending Inches Up in December Touches 5Year High

first_img February 3, 2014 437 Views Share in Data, Government, Headlines Construction spending saw a modest increase in December, rising to its highest level in nearly five years as November’s total was revised down.[IMAGE]The “”Department of Commerce””:http://www.census.gov/ reported Monday that “”spending in December””:http://www.census.gov/construction/c30/pdf/release.pdf ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $930.5 billion, 0.1 percent above November’s revised estimate of $929.9 billion and 5.3 percent ahead of December 2012’s $883.6 billion.[COLUMN_BREAK]Spending in November was originally reported at a rate of $934.4 billion.December’s figure was the highest since March 2009, when spending ran at a rate of $955.0 billion.For all of 2013, the government estimates the value of construction was $898.4 billion, 4.8 percent above the amount spent in 2012.Residential construction came in at a rate of $357.4 billion, its highest since June 2008. Spending on private homebuilding was $352.6 billion. Spending for the construction of new single-family homes was at a rate of $181.7 billion–up from $175.7 billion the month prior–while spending on multifamily construction was $35.6 billion, barely up from $35.4 billion.Private residential construction spending through all of 2013 was estimated at $330.7 billion, 18 percent above 2012.Residential construction spending in the public sector was at a rate of $4.8 billion, down 11.5 percent from November’s $5.4 billion.center_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Census Bureau Homebuilders Investors Lenders & Servicers Service Providers 2014-02-03 Tory Barringer Construction Spending Inches Up in December, Touches 5-Year Highlast_img read more

The Watermark hotel was rebranded to voco Gold Coa

first_imgThe Watermark hotel was rebranded to voco Gold Coast in November 2018 and, since then, the hotel has been focused on introducing a number of sustainable and energy-reducing initiatives including eliminating as much plastic as possible from the hotel from April 2019.voco Gold Coast will replace miniature shampoo, conditioner and soap bottles with large bottle, refillable Aveda bathroom amenities in all its 389 guestrooms, reducing its plastic waste by 80%.In addition, the hotel has introduced smart-down bedding made from 100% recycled materials and replaced plastic water bottles with glass bottles in key areas of the hotel. All plastic straws are gone, with biodegradable straws in their place.“As well as our crusade to reduce our plastic consumption, we have chosen to participate in a green waste program headed up by Gold Coast City Council whereby we recycle all of our Food and Scrap waste out of all of our kitchens,” said General Manager for voco Gold Coast, Brenden van Blerk. “This waste is then turned into garden mulch which the council then uses on the garden beds and in parks and grounds, reducing the amount of water for these public spaces which in turn drives down the council rates charged to residents.“We have also recently partnered with coffee brand Will & Co to be able to offer amazing handpicked coffee out of our Social House cafe. Will & Co is one of only a few brands that produce a biodegradable and compostable take away cup – so when guests leave the hotel, they know that they’re still doing their part.”voco Gold Coast also has a resident beekeeper who manages more than 300,000 bees which are buzzing in beehives on its rooftop. The hotel uses the honey in its signature welcome honey and lavender shortbread biscuits, at the breakfast buffet and in Social House’s cocktail menu.In what can be described as a Gold Coast first, a rare occurrence recently took place in the beehive, where the two beehives naturally split – which means the hotel has now seeded the local ecosystem with two hives of honey bees and a new Queen Bee has been born.TOP IMAGE: voco Gold Coast – Deluxe Ocean View Suite australiaGold Coasthotelssustainabilityvoco Gold Coastlast_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter Belmond Cadogan Hotel

first_imgGo back to the enewsletterBelmond Cadogan Hotel, LondonFly into London and immediately feel at home in a hotel that recalls the classic ‘English townhouse’. Belmond Cadogan, London, opened at the end of February 2019. It cannot be said to have reopened its doors as, apart from a staircase, nothing remains of the original hotel.Built in 1887, it was home to actress Lily Langtry (the ‘Jersey Lily’) from 1892-1897. Oscar Wilde was also arrested here in 1895. Those who knew the hotel since the beginning will be amazed at the size of its lobby today. The owners of the hotel, Cadogan Estates and designer GA International have put it back on the map with their purposeful renovations. Belmond Cadogan is now a statement. Even the doorman dresses like a Mary Quant-style Chelsea Pensioner in bright scarlet and black trims (designed by Debbie Leon of Fashionizer).Lots of praise must also go to the hotel’s ultra-passionate GM Klaus Kabelitz. Those who know him from his time at Four Seasons and The Berkeley will attest to his attention to detail. The hotel now only has 54 rooms. A welcome card is almost a 3D popup, showing an outline of the six-floor exterior. You have Jacob Jensen phones, luxury Bamford toiletries and books to fill you in on the locale. A yoga mat can be used for sessions in Cadogan Gardens, immediately across Sloane Street; guests can also play tennis, or picnic in the Gardens. There are a slew of Knightsbridge boutiques, including Dolce & Gabbana, Hermes and Pucci, just five minutes’ walk to the left of the hotel entrance. By contrast, a five minutes’ walk to the right takes you to zingy King’s Road.When you check in to the hotel, you are asked for your choice of newspaper and what kind of fresh milk you would like for your morning tea. In the morning, your newspaper hangs outside your door in a proper leather holster, with an extension for your bottle of milk. Indeed, the longer you stay in this hotel, the more you will realise that it is far above average. My morning teacup is nestled in a bright floral design, its dominant colour exactly matching a hand-knitted cosy on the teapot that has a professional label: ‘made by Adam’s mum’.‘Adam’ is Adam Handling, the culinary guru at this luxury hotel. He’s also a wine connoisseur of sorts, something I notice when I see his name on the label of my bottle of English sparkling wine. Adam Handling has had a hand in the design of many aspects of the hotel, including the teacups and the china which are made by William Edwards. He also oversees the hotel’s two bars, a lounge that does afternoon teas and the main restaurant. The main restaurant can be cleverly reached by walking alongside the actual kitchen (it’s worthwhile to reserve one of the three kitchen tables that look down at production where, unusually, you will be asked if you would like to help plate your main meal). My meal was truly memorable: a pair of one-bite truffle dumplings; then a celeriac-egg-apple composition; and, finally, a tranche of turbot with kohlrabi, baby shrimps and sea-herb and caviar sauce with a glass of Seresin Sun & Moon Pinot Noir Marlborough 2013. Breakfast was equally memorable. Who else presents the ‘bread basket’ as a two-tier wooden box with pastries above, butter and preserves below? Belmond Castello di CasoleOnce you’ve recovered from the flight, and shopped to retail saturation, you might want to head to Italy. Belmond already has its Caruso, Cipriani, Splendido, Splendido Mare and Villa San Michele beauties. But at the end of March it extended to Tuscany. Think 4,200 acres of rolling hills and woodland, hazy vistas that are an hour south of Florence, and you have the setting for Belmond Castello di Casole. Judging by artefacts found during recent construction – the same priceless bits of pot now displayed throughout the 39 rooms of the hilltop hotel – there have been people living on this site for millennia. Belmond bought the estate in 2018 and, with the help of designer J Banks and onsite Manager, Roberto Protezione, spent months bringing it up to scratch. This renovation involved immaculate manicuring of the immediate gardens and the addition of significant antiques like the chest shown here, which opens up as a closet.The hotel has 30 timeshare houses with another 15 that will soon be established nearby. These lucky fractional owners can use all of the hotel facilities, including a scenic outside pool permanently heated to 27°. The whole complex was put together a decade ago by Timbers from Winter Park FL, and the interiors were designed by Joni Vanderslice of J. Banks, a designer who has worked with Timbers’ founding Chairman, David Burder, in the past.My suite was down a short pebbled street from the central three-floor ‘mansion’ in CP33 (Casa del Prete). Up 13 smooth-brick steps from the ‘street’, my home looked out onto the Tuscan landscape. I was reminded of the past and, at the same time, I had the trappings of today, including an espresso maker, electric towel rail and good WiFi. I also loved the addition of a satin pincushion with threaded needles and a box of goodies with postcards showing Maria Callas with Visconti, whose brother owned the estate. An enticing booklet suggested a range of activities, from boar hunting through to ballooning, but sadly my time was limited (next time the Essere Spa is definitely on the list). I hiked briskly down the near-diagonal approach road and watched world news on a Technogym elliptical (how nice to have a gym with a view, especially over Tuscan valleys).I dined with Roberto Protezione and with big-local-boss Emanuele Manfroi, who is based at Belmond Villa San Michele which he also oversees. We dined in Tosca, which to my surprise was full just six nights after the hotel opened – I envy those lucky part-owners who have Daniele Sera’s food on their doorstep. We paired the hotel’s own olive oil and wine, a 2016 Sangiovese, with our meal. I started with a tight-knit ball of al dente spaghetti lightly infused with squid ink. Pride of place went to the Bistecca alla Fiorentina, a hefty loin cut of generally Chianina beef that must be hung at least 15 days. Tonight it was presented upright, and effortlessly carved at table by a charming young lady who smiled throughout.In the morning, after a good workout and a few minutes admiring the stunning array of high-fashion athleisure in the spa’s boutique, I had my usual healthy breakfast. For a change of creative environment, I used the luxury hotel’s main building’s lounge and bar as alternative work spots. Sadly, Eduoardo from Sienna was already ready with the black Jaguar to drive me one hour to Florence airport. Who knows, next time I might be chauffeured in the electrically-modified 1936-vintage Fiat 1100 Musone that Emanuele Manfroi is having decorated, inside and out, by Rome street artist Lucamaleonte. There will be a built-in cooler inside for the Veuve Clicquot.Go back to the enewsletterlast_img read more

May 14 2010 Continuing the report from 5122010

first_imgMay 14, 2010 Continuing the report from 5/12/2010. At this point, the smooth interior surface is the only part of the planter that is visible. The concrete is allowed to set or “cure” for about ten days. [photo: sue & text: Anita Baker] The silt mold is ready to be removed from the exterior of the planter. [photo: sue & text: Anita Baker] Landscaping manager Ron Chandler is digging out the mold, revealing the previously carved design in relief. [photo: photo: sue & text: Anita Baker] The last bits of clinging silt are washed away. The simple but sculptural design is uncovered, displaying all of its variations in texture and color. [photo & text: Anita Baker] The next day, Ron Chandler and his crew member skillfully transplant the new occupant of the planter. [photo: sue & text: Anita Baker] The planter is finished. The pomegranate tree has a beautiful new home and Arcosanti gains another effective demonstration and example of silt-cast concrete, improving the landscape. [photo: sue & text: Anita Baker]last_img read more

Damaged cables fixed internet service back to normal levels authorities say

first_imgThe damage to the two underwater cables which had slowed internet connections last week has been repaired, the Office of the Commissioner for Electronic Communications and Postal Services said in a statement on Wednesday.The service said it had been in constant contact with the providers since the issue arose on Friday in order to identify the problem and coordinate actions to reduce the impact. Services are now back at normal levels, an announcement said.You May LikeLuxury Crossover SUV I Search AdsThese SUVs Are The Cream Of The Crop. Search For 2019 Luxury Crossover SUV DealsLuxury Crossover SUV I Search AdsUndoDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndo Turkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoConcern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Shakirullahi Fajimi

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"It can be disastrous, letting fans watch performances by the likes of Sir Paul McCartney, Major General BS Raju,” Dec. red-eyed and shaking with anger, pulled attention away from the claims of Russian interference. Chikun,GENEVA (Reuters) – The United States must ensure that anyone fleeing violence or persecution who needs refugee protection is able to receive it promptly and "without obstruction" President Donald Trump signed a proclamation that will effectively suspend the granting of asylum to migrants who cross the U. the U. read more

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In January he returned the top 10 for the first time since 2014. ” More than 200 schoolgirls abducted in April are still being held by Boko Haram.

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big old helping of unbridled truth. Maple,A British parliamentary committee said on Thursday it had summoned the former chief executive of Cambridge Analytica and a director of the official Brexit campaign group to appear before lawmakers. said in a statement. Reuters The elections in Russia and China following so close to one another underlines the fact that an area spanning across 16 time zones,S.com. a Russian Trade Representative in New York. read more